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District Readiness to Support School Turnaround: A Guide for State Education Agencies and Districts, 2nd Edition

The Center on School Turnaround released a guide providing state education agencies (SEAs) and districts with guidance about how to assess a district’s readiness to support school turnaround initiatives. First published in 2013, the guide has been updated in this edition to highlight how its approach to assessing district readiness embeds and reflects key components of Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement, a framework developed by the Center on School Turnaround.

State Information Request: Exiting Students From English Language Learner Programs

The Education Commission of the States released an information response to a state department of education official highlighting examples of criteria used by states to exit students from English language learner programs. The response includes information on Federal policy requirements and several state policy examples.

Closing Achievement Gaps in Diverse and Low-Poverty Schools: An Action Guide for District Leaders

Public Impact released a report based on an analysis from more than 150 quantitative studies on the achievement gap from the last decade, looking at both the prevalence of income and racial achievement gaps in different types of schools and the practices of schools that successfully close achievement gaps.

The report finds more than half of the 24 million black and Latino students and more than a third of low-income students in the United States attend middle-income schools. But while poor or minority students in wealthier schools tend to outperform students in schools with more concentrated poverty, they continue to lag behind their white or wealthier peers at middle-class schools, as data from the 2016 National Assessment of Educational Progress show.

High-Quality Curricula and Team-Based Professional Learning

Learning Forward released a report exploring the premise that there’s nothing more powerful than great teachers skillfully using great instructional materials to motivate and engage students in their learning. Three real-world examples illustrate how schools and school systems are working to support teachers to skillfully use high-quality, standards-aligned curricula, by providing teachers with the time and expertise to use those curricula well, with a focus on team-based, collaborative learning. The report also provides lessons learned across these sites and action steps to get schools and districts started on the journey.

Taking the Long View: State Efforts to Solve Teacher Shortages by Strengthening the Profession

The Learning Policy Institute released a report focusing on six evidence-based policies that states are pursuing to address their teacher shortages by strengthening, rather than weakening, their educator workforce. It also takes a close look at the state of Washington, where state policymakers have taken a comprehensive approach to addressing teacher shortages and improving the educator workforce by implementing many of the evidence-based policies described in the report. The policies were selected based on research on teacher preparation, recruitment, and retention strategies that have been found to support greater teacher effectiveness and retention. These strategies can help states build long-term sustainable systems to attract, develop, and retain a strong and stable teacher workforce.

Trauma-Sensitive Schools: Training Package

The National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments released a Trauma-Sensitive Schools Training Package offering school and district administrators and staff a framework and roadmap for adopting a trauma-sensitive approach school- or districtwide. The Training Package includes a variety of resources for educating school staff about trauma and trauma-sensitive practices and for providing school leaders with a step-by-step process for implementing a universal, trauma-informed approach using package materials. School and district leaders are encouraged to begin by reviewing the Implementation Guide for an overview of the package components and their intended use.

Auditing a State Career and Technical Education Program for Quality: A Playbook for State Policymakers

ExcelinEd released a guide outlining key design components of a purposeful state CTE program audit, a three-phase process for establishing and conducting such an audit, a customizable framework for CTE program quality indicators and a rubric for evaluating overall CTE program quality.

Work-Based Learning: Model Policy Components

The Education Commission of the States released a report outlining state-level policy components that help ensure work-based learning opportunities for high school students are well-coordinated, broadly accessible, aligned to state or regional workforce demands, and of high quality.

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