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REL Northwest Webinar: Creating Caring, Culturally Responsive preK–Grade 3 Classrooms

The early elementary years lay the foundation for school and life outcomes. Join REL Northwest at 11 a.m. PDT on April 24 for a free webinar exploring strategies to create culturally responsive and emotionally supportive preK–3 classrooms for children from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds. Featuring Dr. Sharon Ritchie, national researcher and principal investigator for the FirstSchool initiative, the webinar will offer practical advice for using data and evidence to improve early school experiences and set all students up for success. Register today!

2018 State Teacher Policy Best Practices Guide

The National Council on Teacher Quality released a guide that is a comprehensive resource, highlighting leading state work across 37 different policy areas affecting teacher quality and provides reference information for states seeking to emulate these best practices.

Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: Indicators of Effective Practice

In 2017 the Center on School Turnaround at WestEd (CST) developed Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: A Systems Framework. That framework identifies four areas of focus that research and experience point to as central to rapid and significant improvement: turnaround leadership, talent development, instructional transformation, and culture shift. The intent was to organize and frame the field’s learning about rapid school improvement efforts and how improvement decisions made at any one level could have a lasting impact across all levels of a system comprising the state education agency (SEA), the local education agency (LEA), and the individual school.

This follow-up document is intended to facilitate educators’ ability to take and track action within each domain and provides the specificity of indicators for each practice identified in the framework.

SEA Strategic Communications: Making Communications More Proactive, Efficient, and Effective

The Building State Capacity and Productivity Center (BSCP Center) released a brief detailing the critical elements of a strategic communications approach and then demonstrates how the Arkansas Department of Education has improved its communication processes through applying some of those elements.

Organizing Early Education for Improvement: Testing a New Survey Tool

The UChicago Consortium and the Ounce of Prevention Fund designed teacher and parent surveys, the “Early Education Essential Organizational Supports Measurement System” (Early Ed Essentials), to help ECE sites diagnose organizational strengths and weaknesses. The current study tested whether the newly adapted and designed Early Ed Essentials teacher and parent surveys captured reliable and valid information about the organization of ECE programs—information that is also associated with existing indicators of program quality.

Creating More Effective, Efficient, and Equitable Education Policies with Human-Centered Design

Bellwether Education Partners released a report making the case that policy practitioners can use human-centered methods to create better education policies because they are informed by the people whose lives will be most affected by them.

The report provides a brief overview of the evolution of human-centered design; catalogs examples of its use in the education sector; explores how its methods and processes might be added to the policy research toolkit; and outlines limitations, risks, and potential for next steps.

The Practice Base For How We Learn: Supporting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

The Aspen Institute released a report outlining promising practices that show how students, teachers, parents, and administrators can integrate social, emotional, and academic learning in preK–12 education. The report, which represents the vision of the 34-member Council of Distinguished Educators, calls for widespread implementation of these strategies as essential to students’ success in their schools, homes, workplaces, and communities.

The report examines how the role of the teacher as well as the school environment need to support the social, emotional, and academic dimensions of learning to maximize the outcomes of all students. The consensus statements of practice offer clear guidance for educators, schools, and districts across the country.

The Necessary Components of an Effective Career and Technical (CTE) Program

The Institute for Education Policy at Johns Hopkins released a report acknowledging the increased interest and the limited clarity about what works and how best to develop effective Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. The report also provides policymakers with the available evidence on these programs.

The 21st-century economy necessitates, and rewards, both higher education credentials and skills development. As such there is a growing interest among policymakers in creating and expanding effective CTE programs. However, there are few research-based resources in the field to assist in guiding policy. CTE is definitionally amorphous, with multiple possible characteristics and areas of focus. Furthermore, there is some disagreement as to whether the economy can sustain jobs that pay a medium wage for skill levels that lie between strong high-school/entry level career and technical training and graduate-degree preparation.

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