Race to the Top Publications and Resources
Implementation and Support Unit (ISU)

You are here: ISU Home > RTT Technical Assistance > Resources


On this page:    Instructional Improvement & Data Systems
Teacher & Leader Effectiveness/Standards & Assessments
School Turnaround
SEA Capacity Building
Stakeholder Communications and Engagement

Instructional Improvement & Data Systems Publications:

  • Instructional Improvement Systems Planning and Implementation Guide [PDF, 2.50MB]

    This guidebook provides an introduction to Instructional Improvement Systems (IIS) for State education agency (SEA) managers and program leads. Functional components of a theoretical IIS model are discussed and used as a reference point for the introduction a seven-step planning and implementation cycle designed to guide SEAs in the development of their own models. Experiences and resources from several SEAs are referenced throughout the document to provide real-world examples of best practices in IIS planning and deployment.

  • Education Architecture Guidebook [PDF, 2.59MB]

    Education Enterprise Architecture, or EEA, is a strategic framework that can provide the structure, plan and processes to achieve an education agency's vision and goals by aligning its business and program side with information technology (IT). This guidebook will help the staff members of education agencies gain an understanding of what EEA is and how it can help an agency accomplish its vision and goals. This guidebook describes the components and processes necessary to develop and implement an EEA blueprint, and walks through one example of a segment architecture approach to EEA.

  • Brief: Education Architecture Guidebook [PDF, 1.9MB]

    This two-page document provides a brief introduction to the need and benefits of aligning education reform through an Education Enterprise Architecture. Components and essential elements of Education Enterprise Architecture governance and management are discussed; those interested in additional detail should review the above Education Enterprise Architecture Guidebook.

  • 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.

  • The View from the States: A Brief on Instructional Improvement System Strategies and Approaches [PDF, 1.54MB]

    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.

Teacher & Leader Effectiveness/Standards & Assessments Publications:

School Turnaround Publications:

  • Strategies for Community Engagement in School Turnaround
    [PDF, 4MB]

    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.

  • Recruiting and Retaining Highly Effective Turnaround Teachers
    [PDF, 846KB]

    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
    [PDF, 814KB]

    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.

  • Race to the Top Highlights, Third-Party Providers and School Turnaround
    [PDF, 870KB]

    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.

  • Highlights of State Approaches to School Turnaround Governance
    [PDF, 983KB]

    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.

  • Delaware's Partnership Zone, School Turnaround Governance Highlights [PDF, 778KB]

    This brief describes Delaware's Partnership Zone (PZ) and the process for implementation. The document provides planning tools and other resources.

  • Turning Around the Lowest-Achieving Schools, Highlights of State Support Systems for School Turnaround [PDF, 831KB]

    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.

  • Massachusetts' Essential Conditions for School Effectiveness [PDF, 930KB]

    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.

  • Turnaround Leadership, How to Identify Successful School Leaders
    [PDF, 889KB]

    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 Principal Pipeline, Highlights of Efforts to Develop Effective Leaders for Turnaround Schools [PDF, 668KB]

    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.

SEA Capacity Building Publications

  • Sustainability Rubric (Full) [PDF, 967KB]

    The Sustainability Rubric is a tool for SEAs to use in assessing the sustainability of any reform initiative (for example, implementing an educator effectiveness system). The rubric introduces a succinct description of the three primary categories of sustainability: system capacity, performance management and context for sustaining reform. The full Rubric covers 20 sustainability elements and moves along a continuum to characterize inadequate to exemplary for each element, providing a set of guiding "look-fors". The Rubric was intentionally designed to be content agnostic, to be utilized within a variety of education reform areas. The design of the Sustainability Rubric allows for later re-testing to determine the SEA's progress along the continuum.

  • Sustainability Rubric Summary [PDF, 680KB]

    The Sustainability Rubric Summary is a condensed version of the full Sustainability Rubric (above). It provides an overview of the rubric's purpose; the categories, elements, and variables of sustainability; and the guiding questions to consider. This brief document is intended to be used for reference throughout your ongoing sustainability work.

  • Sustainability Self-Assessment Workbook [PDF, 332KB]

    The Sustainability Self-Assessment Workbook is designed to be used alongside the Sustainability Rubric (above). It outlines five exercises that will help SEAs to conduct an initial self-assessment of the sustainability of reforms. Additional context for the workbook can be found in the Sustainability Self-Assessment Workbook Exercises 1-3 PowerPoint. Also, as a supplement to the Workbook, the Sustainability Problem of Practice Template can be used for a problem of practice identified in Exercise 5.

  • Sustainability Webinar Presentation [PDF, 299KB] (recording found here)

    The SEA Capacity Building Work Stream hosted a webinar to introduce the Sustainability Description and Rubric for other ED-funded technical assistance centers: Comprehensive Centers, Content Centers, and Regional Resource Centers. As technical assistance providers, we work together to support States in increasing student achievement, closing achievement gaps, implementing programs with fidelity and rigor, and sustaining their educational reforms. This webinar allowed participants to explore the description and the categories of sustainability, the purpose and uses of the rubric, and potential opportunities for use with their States, Districts, and schools.

  • Sustainability Planning Tool [PDF, 391KB]

    This guide can be used to create a plan for sustaining a priority reform. The Sustainability Planning Tool is designed to be used in conjunction with the Sustainability Rubric and Self-Assessment Workbook (above). After a team has used the Self-Assessment Workbook to apply the Sustainability Rubric, the team will be ready to use the Sustainability Planning Tool.

  • Integrated Messaging Tools

    These resources supplement sustainability planning work and focus on developing clear, consistent messaging to support implementation of priority reforms.

    • Integrated Messaging and Communications PowerPoint [PDF, 314K]
    • From “Inform” to “Inspire”: A Framework for Communications and Engagement [PDF, 322K]
    • Integrated Messaging Handout [PDF, 134K]
    • Integrated Messaging Template [PDF, 157K]
    • Engaging Stakeholders about Progress Template [PDF, 95K]

    • Capacity Building Tools

      These tools are supplemental resources for your sustainability planning work.

      • Capacity Building PowerPoint [PDF, 235K]. This presentation provides an overview of what effective capacity building looks like, and steps for shifting system-wide practice at the SEA toward a focus on development.
      • Capacity Building Template [PDF, 99K]. This tool provides an overview of the stages of building capacity: desired change, formal learning, practicing and reflecting.

      • 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.

      • EdStat in Rhode Island: A Case Study of Race to the Top Performance Management [PDF, 1.6MB]

        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.

      • Collaborative Learning for Outcomes: Connecting LEAs with the Rhode Island Department of Education [PDF, 1.26MB]

        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.

      • Performance Management: Setting Outcomes and Strategies to Improve Student Achievement [PDF, 1.6M]

        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.

      • Performance Management: Aligning Resources to Reforms [PDF, 836K]

        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.

      • Performance Management: Collecting and Using Data to Measure Progress, Improve Results [PDF, 893K]

        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.

      • Performance Management: Ensuring Accountability for Results [PDF, 893K]

        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.

      Stakeholder Communications and Engagement Publications:

      • Communications and Engagement Assessment Rubric and Facilitator's Guide
        The Communications and Engagement Assessment Rubric and accompanying Facilitator’s Guide can help SEAs reflect on and assess their current efforts to reach and engage internal and external stakeholders about key reforms.

        • Communications and Engagement Assessment Rubric. The goals of this rubric are to help State education leaders confirm areas of strength and identify areas of need and provide suggested steps for sharpening strategies, building capacity and enhancing reach. The rubric is divided into five sections, representing the five core areas of focus SEAs should consider when assessing communications and engagement efforts: overall strategy, audience segmentation, audience-specific messages and diverse tactics, stakeholder engagement and coalition building, and SEA communications capacity. Each section can be used individually or in tandem, depending on the State’s unique needs.
        • State Facilitator’s Guide for the Reform Support Network Communications and Engagement Assessment Rubric. The accompanying facilitator’s guide is a critical resource for State teams to use to do an initial self-assessment using the rubric and to improve their strategy or approach. The guide offers States flexibility in designing a workshop, providing instructions for either a comprehensive two-day workshop or individual sessions to address specific topics covered by the rubric.

      • Social Media Tip Sheets
        The Reform Support Network created social media tip sheets to help State and local education agencies expand their efforts to communicate and engage with key audiences on reform topics via social media.

        • Tip Sheet #1: Innovative Engagement [PDF, 767KB]. This tip sheet showcases ways in which States are engaging with audiences in new and innovative ways, including using State chiefs to lead department social media efforts and using new and different social media platforms to reach key audiences including teachers.
        • Tip Sheet #2: Building Capacity [PDF, 1.18MB]. This tip sheet showcases ways in which States are building more capacity for social media work, including the Georgia Department of Education's strategy of asking non-communications staff throughout the department to help create compelling content and the Colorado Department of Education's use of social media ambassadors to help spread the word.
        • Tip Sheet #3: Driving Success Through Smart Policies [PDF, 488KB]. This tip sheet showcases ways in which States are implementing smart policies, including educating internal audiences on the advantages and disadvantages of social media, identifying dos and don'ts of social media and ensuring policies are firm and enforceable.
        • Tip Sheet #4: Measuring Success [PDF, 741KB]. This tip sheet showcases ways States are tracking followers, fans and figures, digging in deeper with micrometrics and building measurement reports to showcase their progress.

      • Using Social Media to More Effectively Communicate Reform Efforts: A Case Study on the Ohio Department of Education’s Use of Twitter [PDF, 2MB]

        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

      • Measurable Success, Growing Adoption, Vast Potential Social Media Use Among State and Local Education Agencies
        [PDF, 1.39MB]

        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.

      • From "Inform" to "Inspire": A Framework for Communications and Engagement
        [PDF, 486KB]

        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.

      • Building Enduring Race to the Top Education Reforms: Using Social Media to Engage With and Communicate to Key Stakeholders
        [PDF, 1.2MB]

        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.

Print this page Printable view Bookmark  and Share
Last Modified: 03/16/2015