The U.S. Department of Education released proposed non-regulatory guidance to support school districts' compliance with the requirement that federal funds supplement and do not supplant state and local funds, under section 1118 of Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The guidance explains how ESSA changed the longstanding requirement in order to reduce administrative burden, simplify the compliance demonstration, and promote effective spending.
The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) released a case study, including action steps and lessons learned state leaders can draw from to create a culture of evidence-based continuous improvement in districts and schools.
School and district leaders make many important education decisions but don’t always have the tools to evaluate their impact. ESSA encourages states to support the use of evidence by local leaders in many ways, including through research-practice partnerships.
The Education Commission of the States released a policy snapshot, highlighting enacted legislation in 2017 and 2018 pertaining to career and technical education. States enacted career and technical education (CTE) policy in one or more of the following areas: awareness and support, collaboration and research, graduation requirements and dual credit, work-based learning, and funding.
The George W. Bush Institute released a guidebook focusing on principal performance evaluation, which is one of several components of Principal Talent Management (PTM) that districts can leverage to support effective school leadership. The Bush Institute believes that evaluation systems are a way to help professionals—in this case principals—grow so that they are better able to serve their teachers and students. It is not a chance to “catch” principals doing something wrong or a tool to punish. This guidebook identifies key best practices that can help ensure the appropriate intent is realized during the principal evaluation process.
The Education Commission of the States released a policy analysis, highlighting the research on school discipline, past state policy trends, current policy examples, and considerations for policymakers examining their state’s policies. It also looks at how states address school discipline data in their plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released a report providing the most recent year of data available for each dropout and completion rate, summarizes long-term trends, and examines the characteristics of high school dropouts and completers. Five rates are presented to provide a broad perspective on high school dropouts and completers in the United States: the event dropout rate, the status dropout rate, the status completion rate, the adjusted cohort graduation rate, and the averaged freshman graduation rate. The report also provides information about individuals who completed an alternative high school credential.
Chiefs for Change released a report to help state and district leaders throughout the country serve students better through practical, actionable strategies and policies to strengthen and modernize CTE. These recommendations reflect promising practices from several CFC members—along with a review of the existing research on CTE. This report focuses particularly on progress in improving CTE programs in Tennessee, Nevada, Denver, and San Antonio—all models of innovation, each with different lessons to offer.
The Center on School Turnaround released a guide drawing on material used in the Transformation Academy, a professional learning program for principals charged with achieving the rapid improvement of their school. The intent of that program is to help principals get started with transforming instruction—the change that is at the heart of school improvement. In the approach laid out in this guide, the principal starts down the road to instructional transformation by convening a select group of teachers as an action team (or A-team) that will look closely at how the principal makes time for instructional leadership and how teachers help each other improve their practice. The team, which includes the principal, will examine every aspect of the school’s instructional system, a system that consists of planning, providing, adjusting, and enhancing instruction. The team considers learning obstacles their students might face and how well the school builds students’ capabilities as learners. At key points, the team solicits input from the entire faculty.