Implementation and Support Unit (ISU)
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Teacher & Leader Effectiveness/Standards & Assessments
SEA Capacity Building
Stakeholder Communications and Engagement
Using CEDS Align for P-20 Collaboration [PDF, 1MB]
Based on work performed by Reform Support Network (RSN) experts with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), this document describes the use of the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) Align tool in the P-20 effort to map data to CEDS elements, the collection of data sources, and the formatting and uploading of materials.
In the fall of 2012, Instructional Improvement System (IIS) Leads of six Race to the Top grantee States participated in a scan of their current efforts and initiatives. Based on the information provided, this publication highlights how IIS systems have been developed and deployed, what functions they support, and why certain functions were selected.
Request for Proposals Evaluation Guide [PDF, 1.56MB]
This publication offers SEAs and LEAs steps for evaluating a Request for Proposal (RFP) that allows input from a wide range of participants and specific subject matter experts, permits flexibility and weighted scoring in appropriate areas and provides an objective and defensible process for determining the vendor finalist.
To help States meet the challenges of aligning new standards, including the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), with new evaluation systems, the Reform Support Network (RSN) convened a group of experts to review instructional observation frameworks against CCSS. This paper outlines the group's discussions in the context of four guiding principles that emerged as they considered how to better align instructional observation frameworks and rubrics with CCSS.
This publication outlines steps States can take to strengthen the approval and renewal processes of their principal preparation programs.
This report introduces systems for approving professional development providers as they currently operate in two State education agencies (SEAs) and two professions outside of education. The report introduces the topic and guides readers toward more detailed information.
This publication describes new ways that States redesigning their educator effectiveness systems are measuring growth in student achievement, including value-added models and student learning objectives. The publication concludes with a brief discussion of communicating the results of student growth measures, such as monitoring correlations between student outcomes and teacher evaluation ratings and using data dashboards to track and share evaluation data.
Educator Evaluation Communications Toolkit [PDF, 2.03MB]
This toolkit, developed by the Quality Evaluation Rollout Work Group, contains a set of tools and resources to support States in communicating about educator evaluation systems with key audiences, with a focus on teachers. It includes recommended strategies to help States develop effective messages, provide educators with the information they really want, and communicate about difficult and complex topics such as value-added data.
Making High-Quality Teacher Evaluation Manageable [PDF, 1.5MB]
This publication explores quickly deployable, high-impact tactics that SEAs and LEAs are using to make their evaluation systems more manageable. It also examines the foundation upon which States and school districts must build high-quality, manageable evaluation systems.
This brief describes various approaches to measuring student growth and what research says about the extent to which student growth may be used as a measure of teacher performance.
The Race to the Top Reform Support Network (RSN) designed this toolkit to help States and school districts implement student learning objectives (SLOs) with the highest degree of quality. The toolkit contains templates, guidance documents, sample SLOs and other tools, which States and school districts can select or adapt for their own purposes as they implement a system of quality control.
This report summarizes the outcomes of a discussion among a group of State and district officials, teachers and principals, and external experts in educator evaluations and strategic communications who gathered in the District of Columbia to examine early results from evaluation systems in two States.
This brief explores emerging practices for improving communication between teachers and State education agencies on teacher evaluation systems.
This brief profiles how three Race to the Top granteesDelaware, North Carolina and Tennesseedeveloped growth measures for teachers of non-tested grades and subjects.
This publication highlights a series of video clips in which participants in a recent Reform Support Network convening of the Teacher and Leader Effectiveness/Standards and Assessment Community of Practice reflect on the work of translating college- and career-ready standards from policy adoption by States to reality in the classroom.
This publication highlights a series of video clips featuring an overview and discussion of the Engaging Educators guide among State and local educational agency leaders from Race to the Top grantee States.
This publication highlights a series of video clips in which LEA level officials from Tennessee to provide their local perspective and views from the ground on the Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model (TEAM), a comprehensive new teacher evaluation system based on multiple measures of teacher performance.
Baltimore's Career Pathways Initiative for Teachers [PDF, 828KB]
This publication describes Baltimore's Model Pathway, the process for becoming a Model Teacher, and lessons the LEA learned from working with teachers and the Baltimore Teacher's Union to negotiate their new differentiated career pathways and compensation.
This publication explores several State and LEA policies designed to synchronize different data sources to support a well-informed teacher evaluation process.
This publication describes the options that State education agencies and/or local educational agencies have when taking into account student growth in non-tested grades and subjects as part of their teacher and principal evaluation systems.
This brief provides a snapshot of the rules for including student achievement data in evaluations of teacher performance in selected Race to the Top grantee States.
This brief provides a snapshot of the rules governing classroom observations used in teacher evaluations in selected Race to the Top grantee States.
This brief summarizes research about the specifications for video libraries in the Requests for Proposals developed by four States: Delaware, Illinois, New York and Rhode Island.
This brief describes the key elements and challenges of SLOs, providing examples of SLOs and links to additional resources.
This paper describes Tennessee's transition to the Teacher Educator Acceleration Model (TEAM) and illustrates implementation challenges and lessons learned.
This guide proposes a framework for engaging teachers in evaluation reforms and proposes new roles that State and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) and State and local union affiliates can play to support their engagement.
This paper examines one key strategy for making school turnaround more effective: community engagement. To explore community engagement in action, the Reform Support Network (RSN) conducted studies between April and August of 2013 of 11 States and districts, urban and rural, engaged in the communities surrounding low-performing schools. The research yielded five primary lessons or takeaways: make engagement a priority and establish an infrastructure, communicate proactively in the community, listen to the community and respond to its feedback, offer meaningful opportunities to participate, and turn community supporters into leaders and advocates.
This publication provides resources for State and local leaders considering strategies to recruit and retain highly effective teachers for low-performing schools. The publication summarizes research and promising practices on recruitment and retention in turnarounds across all sectors, as well as findings on the recruitment and retention of highly effective teachers, with emphasis on actions State leaders can take to find and keep talented educators in low-performing schools.
Identifying Effective Turnaround Teachers
What strategies can local educational agencies and States use to find, screen and hire the teachers who will most likely contribute to turnaround success? This brief reviews one approach districts and principals can take to identify teachers who can help lift low-performing schools.
This publication describes the varying approaches that some Race to the Top States have taken to engage outside experts and providers of specialized services to bring additional capacity and assist with implementing school turnaround models. It also provides examples of safeguards that States are using to maximize the number of available providers while ensuring that they are supplying high-quality services.
The brief describes multiple States' implementation of school turnaround strategies that have been expedited by the unique opportunity provided by the School Improvement Grant (SIG) and Race to the Top programs.
This brief describes Delaware's Partnership Zone (PZ) and the process for implementation. The document provides planning tools and other resources.
This paper provides a snapshot of the work of the 12 Race to the Top grantees (Phases 1 and 2) within state support systems. The highlights were specifically selected to draw out topics and examples that may be of use to others interested in learning from early implementation efforts.
This brief discusses the Massachusetts' Essential Conditions for School Effectiveness. The conditions articulate the key elements of school governance, curriculum, instruction, finance, training and student services.
This document assists States in identifying successful school leaders, providing a list of key actions, a check list for Competencies for Turnaround Success, and links to practical resources.
The goal of this document is to provide a snapshot of some of the publicly available resources describing efforts across Race to the Top States to ensure that turnaround schools have effective leaders.
Performance Management Description [PDF, 420KB]
This "Performance Management: Description and Key Elements" document provides a general framework for State education agencies, local educational agencies and partners in the Reform Support Network (RSN) to understand and plan for the important work of performance management.
This publication highlights Rhode Island's EdStat, a system of performance management that has enabled the Rhode Island Department of Education to monitor the progress of its participating LEAs and its own offices on Race to the Top implementation and outcomes.
This publication highlights Rhode Island's Collaborative Learning for Outcomes (CLO), a new progress monitoring process that leads to two-way communication between the State and its 50 participating and two involved local educational agencies.
This first brief in a four-part series, outlines the first element of performance management "Clarity of Outcomes and Theory of Action", to examine how Tennessee and Massachusetts are pursuing performance management of their key education reforms by establishing and widely communicating priorities, and setting ambitious, clear and measurable goals and outcomes with aligned strategies and activities.
This second brief in a four-part series, outlines the second element of performance management "Alignment of Resources", to examine how Hawaii and Tennessee are pursuing performance management of their key education reforms by directing or redirecting resources (time, money, technology and people) to priority efforts that produce results and establish clear roles and responsibilities.
This third brief in a four-part series, outlines the third element of performance management "Collection and Use of Data", to examine how Delaware and Hawaii are pursuing performance management of their key education reforms by establishing and implementing routines and processes for collecting, analyzing and monitoring data, including leading and lagging indicators, to inform continuous improvement, provide feedback and make decisions.
This forth brief in a four-part series, outlines the forth element of performance management "Accountability for Results", to examine how Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Tennessee are pursuing performance management of their key education reforms by making decisions to continue, improve or end practices based on data; implementing incentives tied to performance; and engaging and communicating results with internal and external stakeholders.
Ohio is one of the leading State education agencies embracing and experimenting with social media. This publication details how the Ohio Department of Education used social media, including Twitter and a Wordpress blog, to drive interest and engagement in its 2012 statewide educator conference, Connecting the Dots, and how this strategy resulted in creating a network of educators statewide
This report presents data collected through a questionnaire of State education agencies and local educational agencies on the growing use of social media to reach key stakeholder groups and engage with primary audiences.
This publication describes a framework for thinking about and implementing a comprehensive communications and engagement strategy to support successful implementation of State education reform. The framework encourages States to prioritize audiences, create clear and compelling messages using a variety of tactics, work in coalitions and with partners to expand reach, build staff capacity to do this work, measure effectiveness of strategies, and use data to make any necessary adjustments.
This guide describes emerging social media practices among State education agencies and other governmental organizations and suggests key steps and considerations for those interested in using social media to advance education reform.