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Building a System for Postsecondary Success: The Pivotal Role of School Counselor Evaluation

The College and Career Readiness and Success Center (CCRS) released a brief addressing the question: How can school counselors support large-scale postsecondary and career-readiness initiatives With their advanced training to address students’ postsecondary, career, social-emotional, and school safety goals, school counselors are well-positioned to provide the expertise and leadership necessary for these postsecondary readiness efforts. Unfortunately, school counselors’ roles are often misunderstood and an untapped resource in postsecondary readiness efforts. School counselor evaluation models, however, offer valuable insight into state-level expectations of school counselors, resulting in a deeper understanding of school counseling at the state and local levels.

How Districts and States Can Support Instructional Transformation In the Turnaround Context

The Center on School Turnaround (CST) released a paper presenting guidelines and recommendations for states and districts as they seek to improve systems that support instructional practices.

Because the quality of teaching is the most important school-based factor for student learning, a focus on instruction is pivotal for successfully turning around failing schools and districts. These school systems need to abandon instructional practices that are not working, usher in new approaches that lead to improved instruction, and create conditions that enable and inspire effective teaching that allows students to achieve their full potential.

Managing Networks for School Improvement: Seven Lessons from the Field

The Consortium for Policy Research in Education released a guidebook focusing on common lessons for designing improvement infrastructures from the perspective of leaders across four different types of networks.

In recent decades, new networks for school improvement (NSI) have proliferated across the country. These emerging organizational structures present education leaders with an opportunity to build dynamic infrastructures to engage schools in improvements to teaching and learning. NSI are diverse. Some NSI are part of school districts, while others are contracted by school districts to design blueprints for school improvement. What all NSI have in common is a central hub supporting a set of member schools, like the center of a wheel and its spokes.

District Leader Interviews: How School Districts are Responding to ESSA’s Evidence Requirements for School Improvement

The Center on Education Policy released a report based on interviews with officials from five school districts, exploring how districts are implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act’s requirements to use evidence-based interventions to improve low-performing schools. The report also includes some recommendations for making research more accessible to educators.

Equity Principles: Foundational Truths to Promote Equity in States’ ESSA Plans

The Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation (CSAI) released a brief outlining eight guiding principles to support states’ equity plans as they shift from focusing on compliance to promoting more equitable opportunities for student learning through accountability, technical support, and a focus on continuous improvement. These principles are not intended to be an exhaustive list or a recipe for success. Rather, they are considerations that can facilitate deeper thought and reflection about how states might approach the decision-making process as they revisit and revise their accountability systems.

As states revisit their ESSA accountability plans, adopting a set of principles can be a helpful strategy to guide strategic planning, focus decision-making, and build stakeholder consensus around the common goal of creating a more equitable educational system. The principles described are a starting point for state teams that are preparing to engage in stakeholder feedback and evaluate their equity plans.

End-of-Course Exams and Student Outcomes

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute released a report providing a longitudinal look at state policies related to end-of-course exams (EOCs) over the past twenty years and the effects of administering EOCs in different subjects on high school graduation rates and college entrance exam scores.

The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report presenting evidence that changes in brain structure and connectivity that happen in adolescence present young people with unique opportunities for positive, life-shaping development, and for recovery from past adversity. The report provides multiple recommendations for policy and practice that capitalize on these developmental opportunities and address inequities–such as in health care and education–that undermine the well-being of many adolescents and leave them less able to take advantage of the promise offered by this stage of life.

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