Research shows that teacher quality makes the biggest difference of all the in-school factors that influence student learning. Teachers want to improve, and good principals want to prepare their teachers for any classroom challenge and support their professional development. But, raising the level of teaching in every classroom isn’t easy, nor is it an exact science. We are still learning what works, but it is clear state policymakers have a vital role in identifying, developing, evaluating, and supporting effective school leaders. This edition of The State Education Standard explores the many ways policymakers can ensure that those who teach and lead our children in public schools are better prepared and better supported to do their jobs well.
Stock taking of states reveals relatively little focus on principal development and responsibilities split among divisions of state education agencies.
By Bobbi Newman and Robert Hull
Six school districts are Renewing the Principal Pipeline taking up the challenge of ensuring their schools have a supply of effective principals, and their experiences can point other district and state leaders to how to do it.
By Brenda J. Turnbull
Bold steps toward more rigorous preparation and certification of teachers required input from higher education leaders and dovetailed with new standards set by the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation.
By Gayle Manchin
A new state policy pushes schools and others that prepare educators to demonstrate need for their programs and to provide evidence that they have the capacity to run them.
By Heather Peske, Liz Losee, and Meagan Comb
Most classroom practice is remarkably similar. Most classroom practice needs improvement. How can teacher evaluations that target a few top performers and struggling teachers ever move the needle?
By Drew H. Gitomer
Local control of teacher evaluation reform strains the capacity of state education agencies to support their districts and spurs some states to streamline their efforts.
By Patrick McGuinn
A sequence of changes in Denver paved the way for a program of teacher leadership that is expected to touch every school in the district by 2018.
By Lori Nazareno