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The Right Fit: Selecting an English Learning Program for Your Students

One of the biggest challenges in English learner education is choosing the right program for your students and your local context. This new tool from Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northwest walks you through some important items to think about—what the law says, types of English learners, questions to ask when choosing a program, and the models most commonly used in Oregon.

Thought Leadership Forum Brief: Talent Development and Opportunity Culture

The Center on School Turnaround released a brief summarizing 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.

Formative Assessment for Improving Native American Student Learning and Language Development: A Series of Professional Learning Modules

The Center on Standards & Assessment Implementation has released a series addressing formative assessment implementation with Native students across content areas and focuses more specifically on bringing formative assessment into Native American language classrooms. Students' levels of prior knowledge and language development in English and their Native language vary greatly from one to another. It is important that instructors know where each student is on their learning pathway and then target instructional experiences that are matched to their levels. With formative assessment, teachers have the tools to do this work. It is only in connecting with students where they are on the pathway, that they are able to progress toward meeting their Learning Goals.

Writing the Rules: Ensuring Chronic Absenteeism Data Works for Schools and Students

FutureED and Attendance Works released a report outlining steps to strengthen attendance collection and to ensure districts are using the data to identify schools and students who need the most help.

Nearly three quarters of states now include chronic absenteeism in their rubrics for assessing schools under The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This reflects the metric’s value for identifying students headed off track academically and targeting resources to students and schools who need the most support. But, the increased scrutiny brings increased pressure to ensure data are accurate and used effectively.

Guiding Questions for State School Improvement Efforts

Education Commission of the States released a brief to equip leaders with the knowledge they need to meet the great responsibility of ensuring a high-quality education for all students.

While the hard work of school improvement is often accomplished at the local level, state leaders play a crucial supporting role. Generally, state leaders can leverage policy to create an optimal environment for improvement in their state. In particular, state leaders may be best equipped to ensure equity statewide by focusing support and drawing resources to those schools or districts that need them most.

A recent Education Commission of the States’ Thinkers Meeting brought together national experts and top education policy leaders (see the full list at the end of this brief) for a discussion of strategies to address lower-performing schools. This two-day meeting resulted in the key questions outlined in this brief.

Administrator Data Literacy Fosters Student Success

The Data Quality Campaign released a paper providing a picture of what administrator data literacy looks like in action and detailing how state policymakers can support it.

When school and district administrators are empowered to lead a culture of data use, students do better. As states focus on improving overall school quality and ensuring success for all students, they need a workforce of school and district administrators who are equipped to use data to continuously improve. State leaders are uniquely positioned to align policies and programs that train and support school and district administrators.

School Administrator: Career Pathways for Students

AASA’s latest magazine issue examines the growing creation of youth apprenticeships and other connections to workplace learning. Articles touch on an industrial city’s emphasis on soft skills and worksite credentials in emerging fields, the tired stereotypes surrounding career and technical education courses, and school initiatives that support transitions of students with disabilities into college and careers.

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