The following is a list of recent resources for those focused on the professional improvement of teachers, principals, and other educational leaders.

Study Examines Common Traits of Teacher Leaders. A pair of education professors examined 54 studies from the last 12 years and came up with some common traits and experiences of teacher leaders. Teacher leaders tend to feel more confident, empowered, and professionally satisfied; they even report that their classroom practice improves as they take on teacher leadership responsibilities. The report considers what school conditions are needed for teacher leaders to be most successful (Will, Education Week).

Commentary: Preparing Teachers for the Next Generation Science Standards. (Education Week – July 5). The Next Generation Science Standards, adopted in 18 states and the District of Columbia, set clear, high expectations for what students should know about science and how they should use that knowledge to make sense of the world around them. These standards are a powerful tool that can ignite the best teaching from teachers and facilitate deep learning for their students.

IERC Just Released the Final Report of a Comprehensive Investigation of Principal Preparation in Illinois, Navigating the Shift to Intensive Principal Preparation in Illinois: An In-Depth Look at Stakeholder Perspectives (IERC 2016 – 2). This report is based on a joint study with the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research (UChicago Consortium) led by Brad White at the IERC and Amber Stitziel Pareja at UChicago Consortium in which we describe how sweeping reforms in principal preparation in Illinois, designed to improve the quality of school leadership, are being implemented across the state. This in-depth look at principal preparation programs provides insights into the challenges programs face after major reforms and the innovative ways that they have negotiated through these challenges. This two-year project, based on interviews, site visits, and focus groups across the state, was funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and The Wallace Foundation.

Enhancing Students’ Transitions to College and Careers: A Case Study of Distributed Leadership Practice in Supporting a High School Career Academy Model. Creating effective pathways for students to transition from high school to college or career is immensely important and, although challenging, some have developed promising approaches. This case study examined how formal and informal leaders in an urban high school and district collaborated to implement a college and career academy model, utilizing distributed-leadership theory as a lens. Data analysis yielded seven themes. This study’s documentation of considerable leadership distribution outside the organization is unique within the literature and underscores the need for researchers and practitioners to consider the important contribution of community leaders in promoting college and career readiness.

Teacher Attrition Data: A state board of education member asked for state-level data regarding teacher attrition. Our response included multiple resources from Education Commission of the States that explore a variety of teacher-based topics, including teacher shortages.

State policies regarding CTE and STEM teachers. A state education office asked about two types of state policies related to middle school and high school CTE and STEM teachers. Our response included information about policies regarding credentialing across selected states for professionals transitioning to CTE/STEM teaching, as well as for current CTE/STEM teachers.