POLICY PAPERS

Our policy papers codify the learning from our community of practice and offer recommendations
to Chiefs as they shape the future of education in their states and districts.
December 11, 2017

SUSTAINED, BOLD REFORM

Investing in Teacher Leadership in New Mexico

Sustained, Bold Reform: Investing in Teacher Leadership in New Mexico draws lessons from the distinct approach used by New Mexico Education Secretary Hanna Skandera and her successor Christopher Ruszkowski, both Chiefs for Change members, to modernize and elevate the teaching profession, providing an in-depth analysis of the state’s successful model for teacher leadership. With the state agency as a case study, this brief lends an insider view of the structures, systems, metrics, policies, and programs developed in the Land of Enchantment to empower teachers as leaders, advocates, and trusted partners in school and system improvement. Bold leadership, sustained over time – and the coaching trees that help to ensure sustained leadership – matter.
August 8, 2017

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT

Leveraging Curriculum to Improve Student Learning

A relatively nascent but powerful body of research suggests that content-rich, standards-aligned, and high-quality curricula exert a powerful influence on student achievement. There is also early evidence that switching to a high-quality curriculum may be a more cost-effective way to raise student achievement than several other school-level interventions. Leading states and districts – from New York to Louisiana to Washington, D.C. – are showing how smart strategies can be used to ensure that high-quality standards are matched with high-quality instructional materials, leading to strong student outcomes – without trampling on local control of education.
October 16, 2016

ESSA INDICATORS

Indicators of School Quality and Student Success

Before considering new indicators, states will want to critically examine the quality and validity of all the existing indicators in their systems, particularly with regard to any performance targets in their annual growth indicators and so as to ensure that these are consistent with their ESSA-required state-wide interim and longterm academic achievement targets. Nevertheless, ESSA clearly also requires at least one indicator of school quality as part of a state’s accountability system, thus providing an important opportunity to focus on new indicators that could contribute to continuous improvement in educational outcomes.
May 25, 2016

IMPLEMENTING CHANGE

Rethinking School Improvement Strategies and Funding Under the Every Student Succeeds Act

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires state education agencies (SEAs) to set aside 7% of their Title I funding in order to turn around struggling schools identified by states under their accountability systems. Nationwide, this translates to over $1 billion annually. Under ESSA, states have far greater flexibility to approach school improvement in fundamentally stronger ways, shifting decision-making from the federal government to SEAs and local education agencies (LEAs). This paper provides guidance for SEAs committed to advancing this newfound local flexibility and innovation, while also incentivizing LEAs to identify and implement evidence-based school improvement strategies and holding them accountable for results.
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