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Teaching and leadership resources

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

An Updated Tool for Measuring the Quality of Principal Preparation Programs  With principals increasingly recognized as playing key roles in school improvement, some universities are taking a fresh look at their programs to train aspiring school leaders. The recently revised Quality Measures self-assessment toolkit is designed to help those who run principal preparation programs, along with school district representatives and/or others, take stock and assess the quality of principal preparation programs.

Preparation and Support for Teachers in Public Schools: Reflections on the First Year of Teaching  This report uses data from a 2011–12 national survey to investigate the preparation and support provided to teachers during their first year of teaching. The majority of early-career teachers in public schools reported being well prepared for a range of instructional duties in their first year of teaching. Larger percentages of early-career teachers in lower poverty schools than in higher poverty public schools reported being well prepared in their first year of teaching to handle a range of classroom management or disciplinary situations, use a variety of instructional methods, teach their subject matter, assess their students, differentiate instruction in the classroom, use student assessment data to inform instruction, and meet state content standards. About 75% of early-career teachers in public schools reported receiving regular supportive communication with their principals, other administrators, or department chair; 66% reported receiving seminars or classes for beginning teachers; and 56% reported receiving common planning time with teachers in their subject during their first year of teaching. Smaller percentages of early-career teachers in charter schools than in traditional public schools reported having access to beginning teacher seminars or classes and regular supportive communication with their principal, other administrators, or department chair during their first year of teaching. Larger percentages of early-career teachers in public primary and middle schools than in high schools and combined schools reported having common planning time with other teachers in their subject during their first year of teaching.  (National Center for Education Statistics)

NCEE Evaluation Brief on Key Strategies to Promote Educator Effectiveness  The National Center for Education Evaluation (NCEE) synthesized findings from studies on the federal Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grants and its successor program, the Teacher and School Leader (TSL) Incentive grants.

Teachers Still Haven’t Recovered Financially From the Recession  One major contributing factor is recession recovery — 29 states have less funding per student now than they did in 2008. And with about 60-65 percent of school funding going to teacher salaries, that’s meant pay and benefits cuts and wage stagnation that doesn’t take into account years of experience or cost of living increases. (KERA News)

How Can School Leaders Maximize the Impact of Teacher Leadership?  The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, a group that works to increase educator effectiveness, launched The Teach Factor last week, which is an initiative to find scalable solutions around a factor “pivotal” to the teaching profession each year. (Education Week) 

Applications are now open for the 2018-19 Teach Plus Illinois Teaching Policy Fellowship.  This highly selective leadership opportunity is for outstanding Illinois teachers looking to deepen their knowledge of education policy and gain a voice in decisions that affect students and the teaching profession. Teachers will expand their influence without leaving the classroom, and receive a $1,600 stipend for their commitment. No prior policy experience required.  The application is due May 20th. Please reach out to Sarah Campbell at scampbell@teachplus.org with additional questions.

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