The purpose of this brief from the Center on School Turnaround (CST) at WestEd is to provide examples of how states and districts are working together to improve low-performing schools under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This brief includes a description of state and district roles in school improvement based on an analysis of 23 state ESSA plans. It also provides examples, based on interviews, of how 10 states are carrying out those roles.
This brief summarizes the May and June 2018 Thought Leadership Forum presentations. May featured a content-based presentation by Kevin Perks of WestEd on the Visibly Improving Teaching and Learning (VITAL) program offered to build teachers’ capacity for collaboration focused on teacher and student learning. June featured joint presentations by Suzi Mast and Tracy Fazio of the Arizona Department of Education, and by Pam Betten and Steve Holmes of the Sunnyside School District in Tucson, Arizona profiling their work in formative assessment. This brief concludes with recommendations for SEAs and LEAs for implementing instructional transformation.
This brief summarizes the March and April 2018 Thought Leadership Forum presentations. March featured a content-based presentation by Bryan Hassel of Public Impact on Opportunity Culture and April featured Denise Watts from Project L.I.F.T. (Project Leadership & Investment for Transformation) profiling this program’s work in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. This brief concludes with recommendations for SEAs and LEAs for pursuing and implementing Opportunity Culture.
This brief summarizes the January and February 2018 Thought Leadership Forum presentations. January featured a content-based presentation by William Robinson from the University of Virginia on turnaround leadership competencies and February featured Hannah Peria and Elisabeth Peterson from the New Mexico Public Education Department profiling New Mexico’s Principals Pursuing Excellence program. This brief concludes with recommendations for SEAs on how to support and develop turnaround leaders.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to reconsider their accountability systems for schools and districts. Many of the accountability requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act are continued under ESSA, including judging schools by such academic measures as students’ proficiency on annual assessments, graduation rates, and English learners’ progress toward attaining English proficiency. But ESSA also requires states to adopt at least one additional indicator of school quality or student success, and it gives states flexibility in choosing that indicator.
In meeting this new requirement, states may choose non-traditional indicators, adding to their accountability system one or more measures of student engagement, educator engagement, student access to and completion of advanced coursework, postsecondary readiness, school climate and safety, or any other indicator they choose. The selected measure(s) must meaningfully differentiate between and among schools, based on performance, and be valid, reliable, comparable, and available for schools statewide.
These alternate indicators attempt to measure the learning conditions, supports, and/or opportunities for students. Included are a number of possible indicators states may consider as they revise and reconstruct their state accountability system.
The State Policy Brief Series highlights state policies, regulations, practices, laws, or other tools intended to create the necessary conditions for school and/or district turnaround. Each brief includes a tool overview, its development process, its impact, and lessons learned that could assist other education agencies interested in enacting something similar.
This brief highlights a 2012 Florida state policy that requires the 100 elementary schools (called the Low-100) with the lowest reading scores to add an additional hour of literacy instruction to their regular school day. The statute requires that the additional time be used for literacy, and the schools and districts have considerable flexibility in how they implement the policy, including the timing, approach, and professional development of staff. The state recently expanded the program to the 300 lowest-performing (in reading) elementary schools, but this brief focuses on the design and impact of the initial policy.