Education Reform Hub Monthly: May 2015


Education Reform Hub Monthly header imageWhite Section Divider

Welcome to the 
Education Reform Hub Monthly!

This monthly update from the U.S. Department of Education will alert readers to new resources that inform policy and practice across several areas of education reform. 

Highlighted Resources

Support for Growth: How States Can Improve the Quality of Post-Observation Feedback

Support -for-Growth

The primary purpose of any teacher evaluation and support system is to increase student learning by improving classroom instruction. Support for Growth: How States Can Improve the Quality of Post-Observation Feedback offers six strategies to accurately assess the performance of teachers and provide them with specific and actionable feedback. The publication is based on recommendations generated during a July 2014 Reform Support Network convening of leaders from nine States. These leaders identified as their first priority to ensure that districts, through principals and other observers, provide teachers with high-quality feedback, resources and other support as a result of evaluation. 

Draft State Equity Plans from Tennessee and Wisconsin

As States refine their equity plans for submission to the U.S. Department of Education by June 1, many have asked for examples of high-quality draft equity plans. To inform the work that States are doing to develop equity plans, Tennessee and Wisconsin have graciously agreed to share their draft equity plans. The draft plans from Tennessee and Wisconsin each contain annotations from expert reviewers who have reviewed early versions of the plans on behalf of the Reform Support Network (RSN) and the Equitable Access Support Network (EASN).

In reviewing these draft plans, please note that the equity gaps, root causes and corresponding strategies to address these root causes are unique to Tennessee and Wisconsin, respectively. While these resources may be used to strengthen the quality of another State’s equity plan, each State must develop an approach that is appropriate for its specific context.


Tennessee’s annotated equity plan can be found here. You must register with the EASN to view the plan.


Wisconsin’s annotated equity plan can be found here. You do not need to register with the EASN to view the plan.

For more examples of how States have addressed the required components of the equity plan, see State Plans to Ensure Equitable Access to Excellent Educators: Guidance and Examples for States. Additional tools and resources to support States in the development of equity plans are now available through the Equitable Access Support Network.

SAVE-THE-DATE: Webinar on Streamlining Assessments

State and district leaders across the country are undertaking the important work to evaluate the assessments that are given in their classrooms to make sure they are serving their intended purpose and supporting educators and schools to meet the needs of their students. In February, the Reform Support Network hosted a webinar to highlight efforts in New York and Connecticut to streamline assessments. Click here to access the recording of the February webinar.  

On Wednesday, May 27, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET, the Reform Support Network will host a follow-up webinar to highlight a new set of State and district approaches to evaluating the assessments administered to students and consider ways to reduce or streamline the assessments.

The 90-minute webinar will focus on strategies and resources States and districts can use to:

  • Survey the current assessment landscape within their State, districts and schools
  • Identify and eliminate assessments that are redundant or that do not contribute to teaching and learning

Colleagues from State and district education agencies will share the strategies and resources. Please save the date and register for the webinar at this link 

For more information on this webinar, please contact Jamila Smith at

Talent Pipeline Management in Education

Talent Pipeline Management in Education

The Building State Capacity and Productivity Center Solutions Series recently published Talent Pipeline Management in Education: Using Supply Chain Management to Close the Educator Equity Gap. Addressed to schools, districts and State education agencies, this publication suggests learning from effective business and industry practices to adopt a demand-driven strategy to address barriers that foster inequitable teacher distribution. By identifying the sources of highly quality teachers, and managing the supply chain, educators create opportunities to match those teachers with the right positions.

PROGRESS: Rhode Island Partners with Low-Performing Schools

PROGRESS: Rhode Island Partners with Low-Performing Schools

A shift is underway in the relationship between the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) and its lowest-performing schools and districts, the PROGRESS blog reports. In the past, when RIDE intervened to help improve student achievement, it typically pushed schools to meet their goals rather than help them do so. Beginning in spring 2013, RIDE specialists began meeting with the schools four times a year to help them collect and analyze data and discuss ways to adjust their improvement plans to speed their progress. RIDE created customized “data dashboards” to help the schools track their progress and look at data more proactively.


This month we highlight new resources from the U.S. Department of Education.

Small, Tan Section Divider


Explore toolkits, practical guides, case studies, summary briefs and highlights on key topics and issues that States identify as important to their work at the U.S. Department of Education’s Reform Support Network resources webpage.  

View past issues of the Education Reform Hub.

To join our mailing list, click here or email

Click the button below to forward this issue to a colleague.
Bookmark and Share