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


The Lessons of a Rural Principal  “Eighteen years ago, I thought I was starting a brief stint at a rural school. It turned into a career full of experimentation and success.”

The U.S. Desperately Needs to Modernize and Elevate the Teaching Profession. Here Are Some Ways to Advance the Workforce for the Next Generation  The U.S. desperately needs to modernize and elevate the teaching profession. Here are some ideas for doing just that.

Leading for Professional Learning – What Successful Principals Do To Support Teaching Practice  The University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership has announced the release of a new book from Anneke Markholt, Joanna Michelson, and Stephen Fink. Leading for Professional Learning offers field-tested guidance to help school leaders more effectively support teachers’ professional development. Leadership is crucial to professional learning, providing the necessary systems and structures that enable teachers to improve their own practice and in turn, improve student learning. With an illustrative case study, this book provides invaluable guidance, packed with practical tools, processes, and expert advice.

PWR Transitional Math Overview  Join us for a webinar on October 16, 2018 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. CDT.  This webinar will cover the basics of transitional math under the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act. Topics will include projected readiness, course content, grading policies, memos of understanding, portability, and more. This webinar has additional time built in to accommodate questions. High school, college, and university administrators, teachers, and counselors are encouraged to attend. The webinar will be recorded. All high school counselors should attend this webinar or view its recording since it will serve as the first part of a two-part counselor professional development series.

PWR Transitional Math Advising  Join us for a webinar on October 30, 2018 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. CDT. This webinar will act as the second part of a two-part counselor professional development series. It will address issues that high school counselors will face as they advise high school juniors for senior math registration. Topics will include who is eligible for transitional math, which pathway best serves particular majors, how graduation requirements factor into transitional math, and more. Additional time has been built in to accommodate questions. The webinar will be recorded.  All attendees of this webinar are encouraged to watch the October 16 webinar (PWR Transitional Math Overview) prior to attending. All high school counselors should attend this webinar or view its recording since it will serve as the second part of a two-part counselor professional development series. Additional attendees are also welcome.

Legislation Addresses Teacher Shortages  Under the Addressing Teacher Shortages Act of 2018 legislation, school districts can apply to fund numerous initiatives including teacher residency, mentorship, licensing, tuition assistance, and other professional development programs. The legislation also provides additional staffing resources at the Department of Education to help under-resourced districts apply for grants and formally recognizes teaching as a part of career and technical education. (Marshall Independent)

Turning the Tide on Low-Performing Schools Through Strong Principals  This blog post, from Deven Scott, draws on interviews with two state schools chiefs and examples of current state legislation to identify the importance of principals in school improvement efforts – and how states can support them.

Education is no longer a political winner, and that’s a problem  Last week, leaders from many of the nation’s leading education reform organizations gathered in New Orleans for the twelfth annual Policy Innovators in Education Network conference. Louisiana’s State Superintendent of Education, John White, gave the keynote remarks. Here they are, edited slightly for readability.

Strategic Retention: Principal Effectiveness and Teacher Turnover in Multiple-Measure Teacher Evaluation Systems   Studies link principal effectiveness to lower average rates of teacher turnover. However, principals need not target retention efforts equally to all teachers. Instead, strong principals may seek to strategically influence the composition of their school’s teaching force by retaining high performers and not retaining lower performers. The authors investigated such strategic retention behaviors with longitudinal data from Tennessee. Using multiple measures of teacher and principal effectiveness, the authors document that indeed more effective principals see lower rates of teacher turnover, on average. Moreover, this lower turnover is concentrated among high-performing teachers. In contrast, turnover rates of the lowest-performing teachers, as measured by classroom observation scores, increase substantially under higher-rated principals. This pattern is more apparent in advantaged schools and schools with stable leadership.  (American Educational Research Association)

CA – Rural Education Network Launches to Help Isolated Teachers Share Resources  The goal of the nascent California Rural Ed Network, which launched online October 1, is to join forces to attract new resources, share expertise, and focus attention of policy makers to schools outside urban and suburban California — many of them underfunded and serving a preponderance of low-income students. (Ed Source)

Tools for Strong District-Teacher Preparation Program Partnerships  This new toolkit can help districts, teacher preparation programs and states build stronger, more diverse teacher pipelines.