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

50-State Comparison: Teacher Leadership and Licensure Advancement  Thirty states now have a system in place that allows teachers to advance beyond a standard professional license. It’s one policy of many that states are developing in an effort to support and retain excellent teachers. Learn more in the new 50-State Comparison, which includes current state policy approaches to supporting teacher leadership and licensure advancement.

How Do Teachers Perceive Feedback and Evaluation Systems?  This report examines how teachers perceive the systems that evaluate their work. The authors analyzed survey responses from 1,825 teachers who were asked about the kind and frequency of classroom observations and feedback they received in the 2015–16 school year. Most teachers found regular, frequent feedback to be helpful in professional development. In addition, teachers valued peer and mentor observation and feedback. Furthermore, perceptions about the fairness of an observation and evaluation system were associated with teachers’ understanding of the system’s professional development purpose.

Supporting Novice Principals on the Job: Principal Preparation for the Complexity of the Work  Wednesday, December 12, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EST  Strong leadership is a necessary catalyst for student learning, yet the complexity of the work makes it sometimes hard to focus on the role of instructional leader. Join the discussion with new principals on how to best prepare principals for entering the profession in this final webinar of a four-part series.  This webinar will include time for Q&A. It will also be recorded and available for future viewing.

2018 Elections Resources  ECS has been following the 2018 elections closely and will soon be reporting on the impact of yesterday’s votes on state education leadership. The recent infographic illustrated the potential shifts in governors, chief state school officers, state higher education executive offers, state board of education members and legislative chambers. In the next few days, ECS will release several resources — including an interactive map that breaks down results by state, blog posts outlining the results and top issues, and an infographic and video that summarize the results succinctly for you. Be the first to receive the post-election content by subscribing to the New From Your Policy Team announcements.

Teacher Residencies Have Many Admirers but Still Train Few Teachers. CA May Be About to Change That.  California recently earmarked $75 million to create new residencies and expand existing ones — enough to jumpstart programs that face unique funding challenges. Advocates hope these programs will give teachers better training, improve their likelihood of staying in the classroom, and diversify the profession. (Chalkbeat)

NCTR to Help Launch Chicago’s First Bilingual Teacher Residency NCTR has received a $300,000 grant from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust to support Chicago Public Schools and National Louis University in the launch of the city’s first bilingual teacher residency program. (National Center for Teaching Residencies)

Here Are Some Of The Historic Firsts From The Midterm Elections  The elections ushered in a wave of young, diverse political leaders, many of whom are women.

Using Continuous Improvement to Support Teachers’ Growth  Teacher performance measures often focus on compliance and accountability rather than professional development and growth. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, AIR undertook a two-year continuous improvement project to identify specific problems of practice and use plan-do-study-act cycles to test solutions.

School and District Leadership  This Policy Snapshot – exploring 2018 legislative activities related to school and district leadership – organizes legislation around the career continuum: preparation, certification and licensure; induction, mentoring and professional development; evaluation; and compensation, incentives and contracts.

Teacher Evaluations Have Dramatically Changed the Principal’s Job  More rigorous teacher evaluations mean school leaders are paying more attention to instructional quality, but the new systems are also incredibly time-consuming. (Education Week)

Fundamental Ways Principals Can Strengthen Teaching  Ample research makes clear that effective school leaders are key to effective schools. Increasingly, that means paying more attention to what’s going in classrooms. Here are several ways to think about that role that have emerged from research.

The Path to Professionalizing Teaching  Take teacher evaluation seriously. Teachers have told a wide range of researchers that they value tremendously the shared vocabulary and more frequent conversations about effective teaching that new teacher evaluation systems have engendered in many schools in recent years. They particularly value evaluators’ guidance on improving their performance-support that has been too rate in public education in the past and that teachers say has made their work much more attractive. Not surprisingly, teachers care more the quality of their work when they feel cared about.

Scaling Reform: Tennessee’s Statewide Teacher Transformation The battle that has raged for a decade over the use of student test scores in teacher ratings, on the other hand, has been tremendously counterproductive and accountability hawks were wrong to press so hard for the reform, as many of them now acknowledge. Sure, student achievement is what matters most in classrooms. But the backlash among teachers in classrooms (as opposed to accountability-averse teacher unions) hasn’t been worth the controversy.