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

Report: States Implementing Practices to Increase Educational Equity  While the report focuses on state-level efforts, the ideas presented can also inspire school and district leaders to examine their own practices and structures from an equity perspective. (Education Dive)

Equity in Education: Key questions to consider  This special report encourages increased intentionality of policy assessment and development through exploring equity-minded questions across four key state policy levers: teaching and leading, learning and transitioning, measuring and improving, and financing.

How Title II Can Lead to Better Professional Development in Your District  The new federal education law, TitleII, offers the opportunity to make professional development something that is done by teachers and for teachers. How can you take advantage of it? (Real Learning for Real Life and Teach Plus Illinois)

Report: Community Colleges Play Important Role in Preparing Early Educators  Offering programs that better fit early educators’ schedules, allowing flexibility in completing practicum requirements, and integrating remedial education with credit-bearing coursework are a few of the ways community colleges are helping early educators gain greater access to postsecondary education opportunities, according to a new report from Bellwether Education Partners. (Education Dive)

National Board Certification Candidate Fee Subsidy Now Available  The Illinois State Board of Education is pleased to announce the $1,900 National Board Candidate Fee Subsidy Application is now available for Illinois teachers and counselors. Funding has been made available for 500 candidates. Applications are due May 21. The U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse has added the National Board to its list of programs that meet the highest standards of research evidence supporting their effectiveness. The What Works Clearinghouse identifies interventions, programs, policies, and practices that meet the most rigorous research standards to answer the question “What works in education?” The National Board is one of only three programs nationally that meets their threshold. The National Board Resource Center (NBRC) is available to work with schools and districts to support efforts to build a community of National Board Certified Teachers. Call the NBRC at (309) 438-1835 for more information.

Mentors Help Guide School Principals on the Job  Like most professionals, school principals can benefit from having someone who can support and mentor them. Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia recognized this need and quadrupled its mentor corps that serves novice principals. You can listen to educators from Gwinnett talk about why mentoring for principals matters in Episode 4 of The Principal Pipeline podcast.

Connecting what teachers know about state English Language Arts standards for reaching and what they do in their classrooms  Drawing on data from a spring 2016 survey of the RAND American Teacher Panel (ATP), this report provides an update on ELA teachers’ implementation of state standards. In particular, the authors connect teachers’ approaches to reading instruction with their understanding of two ideas aligned with most state standards related to reading: use of complex texts and close reading of texts. The findings imply that ELA teachers need clearer messaging about the reading instruction approaches and practices aligned with their state standards, as well as better supports and curriculum resources to engage in those approaches. In particular, teachers need guidance on the use of leveled readers — or texts written at students’ individual reading levels — and how to address reading skills through texts.

Preparing “Learner Ready” Teachers: Guidance from NTEP States For Ensuring A Culturally Responsive Workforce  The Network for Transforming Educator Preparation (NTEP) created “Preparing ‘Learner-Ready’ Teachers” to provide states with a “common language on culturally responsive teaching and relevant pedagogy, along with state-level recommendations and promising examples for extending this work into teacher workforce policies across the career continuum.” The report identifies five domains of culturally responsive teaching and model teacher actions that correspond to each domain. (Council of Chief State School Officers)