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NWCC Newsletter

Improving Language Acquisition Among English Learners: Four Powerful Evidence-Based Activities

REL Northwest released an instructional video illustrating how teachers can help English learners build their language skills while they learn complex grade-level content. The four evidence-based practices, which are found in the 2014 Institute of Education Sciences practice guide, Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School, are demonstrated by a real classroom teacher.

How ESSA and IDEA Can Support College and Career Readiness for Students with Disabilities: Considerations for States

The College & Career Readiness & Success Center (CCRS Center) released a brief examining how two federal laws, ESSA and IDEA, can promote the development of meaningful pathways to postsecondary opportunities, including 2- and 4-year college, non-degree certificate programs, apprenticeships, and more by ensuring all students are college and career ready. It also provides examples of model programs.

The Engagement Playbook: A Toolkit for Engaging Stakeholders Around the Four Domains of Rapid School Improvement

The Center on School Turnaround released a toolkit combining a powerful framework for school turnaround with a focus on the human side of change. The toolkit is built on the intersections between Leading by Convening, a blueprint for authentic engagement in school improvement developed by 50 national organizations and adopted by the National Center for Systemic Improvement, and the Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement, a framework developed by the national Center on School Turnaround (CST). This document focuses on capacity and efforts to engage stakeholders across the system to support rapid improvement.

Advancing Personalized Learning through Effective Use and Protection of Student Data

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) released a report arguing that good student data privacy policies recognize the potential for personalized learning to accelerate student achievement while also guaranteeing safe, secure access to a predetermined, transparent set of student data. To advance personalized learning, state policymakers need to develop laws and policies that avoid key pitfalls that can hamper the efficient, effective use of data by school leaders, teachers, parents, and students. The report recommends actions state boards can take to foster personalized learning and data protection.

States Leading for Equity: Promising Practices Advancing the Equity Commitments

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released a report providing a brief overview of practices and policies states are currently engaging in to provide a stronger education for students. The purpose of this document is not to advocate for one approach over another or to suggest that the work toward educational equity is complete. Rather, this document shows positive examples of state action toward each of the ten equity commitments as a milestone on this journey to share the progress states have made and recognize the difficult work remaining.

Suspension and Expulsion: Policy Snapshot

The Education Commission of the States (ECS) released a policy snapshot highlighting recent legislation addressing school discipline, which has primarily focused on reducing the use of suspension and expulsion, limiting lengths of suspension, implementing reporting requirements, and supporting student re-engagement.

Teacher Supply and Demand: How States Track Shortage Areas

Bellwether Education released a slide deck providing a roadmap for states that want to learn more about their specific teacher landscape and improve the pipeline of high-quality teachers into their schools.

Although this deck was not intended as a systematic overview of every state’s consideration of teacher supply and demand, it may serve as a launching point for state leaders to think creatively about what’s possible, both in terms of what data to collect and how to share it with the public. While each state operates within its own unique context, state leaders must take inventory of how many teachers are in their education pipelines, in what subjects those teachers are training, and whether those candidates are able to find and keep jobs related to their training.

Thinking Long Term: State Academic Achievement Goals Under ESSA

Achieve released a brief examining state-defined, long-term goals for improving achievement in states’ ESSA plans as of January 2018; for states whose plans were approved by the U.S. Department of Education at the time of publication, the analysis is based on the long-term goals in their final plans. The brief offers early insights into the varied approaches states have taken in setting long-term goals, timelines, and trajectories to reach their goals. It also compares the baselines states are working from in determining their long-term goals and; given states’ increased autonomy for setting goals under ESSA, compares differences in the approaches states have used to establish their goals per their ESSA plans. Then the authors take a closer look at how states’ achievement goals vary for different subgroups of students and for different grade levels. And finally, they lay out a set of recommendations for states as they turn to the difficult task of making their academic achievement goals a reality.

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