Tapping the Potential of Illinois’ Teacher Leadership Endorsement: Recommendations from Teach Plus Illinois Policy Fellows

In this brief, we detail our findings and offer some recommendations for increasing teacher leadership in Illinois based on survey responses of endorsement holders. We also highlight additional research into promising approaches to teacher leadership from across the country.

Keeping the Core: Teach Plus Fellows on Retaining Mid-Career Educators in Illinois

In this paper, we review national research revealing several major reasons why midcareer teachers decide to leave the profession, including finances, stress, and a lack of opportunities for professional growth, and we offer recommendations for state and local policymakers to address these concerns and build a more stable and effective teaching profession in Illinois.

Restarting and Reinventing School

This report provides an overarching framework that focuses on how policymakers as well as educators can support equitable, effective teaching and learning regardless of the medium through which that takes place. This framework provides research, state and local examples, and policy recommendations in 10 key areas that speak both to transforming learning and to closing opportunity and achievement gaps.

Voices from the Field on School Reopenings: Teacher Stressors and Needed Supports

At a recent meeting of the REL Mid-Atlantic Governing Board, we heard directly from the teachers and principals on the board about the challenges they face and the supports that can help them continue the good work they are doing despite these challenges. We value the high-level strategic guidance these colleagues provide to help the REL address important issues in education—they are the bridge to help us travel what Institute of Education Sciences Director Mark Schneider has dubbed the “last mile,” connecting education research with those who can use it to make a difference in teaching and learning. At the same time, we recognize that their day-to-day routines changed suddenly, catapulting them into disruptive, emotionally taxing, and anxiety-producing circumstances—and often leaving them in survival mode.

A New Congress Means More Opportunities for Evidence-Based Decision Making

After a year marked by an extraordinary public health crisis, an economic recession, and heightened awareness of widespread social injustice, the new Congress and presidential administration face a lengthy list of complex challenges. In developing strategies to promote Americans’ health, safety, and overall well-being, new members of the 117th Congress must have access to the best information about what makes policies and practices most effective. Fortunately, policymakers recognized this need two years ago, when they passed the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Actcommonly known as the Evidence Act.

Education in a Pandemic: Learning from Illinois Students & Caregivers to Plan for the Road Ahead

Education in a Pandemic: Learning from Illinois Students & Caregivers to Plan for the Road Ahead highlights the testimonies of more than 120 students, parents and caregivers from across Illinois as they share their experiences of remote, hybrid, and in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings, coupled with specific suggestions from focus group participants, lend themselves to recommendations for state leaders planning for the learning recovery road ahead. Read the report to learn about our participants’ experiences and our policy recommendations.

The Importance of Teaching and Learning Conditions

This brief draws on a study of teacher working conditions and their relationship to teacher retention and school performance in North Carolina. It is part of a series of studies conducted by the Learning Policy Institute—in collaboration with WestEd and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University—as part of an action plan developed to inform ongoing efforts to ensure compliance with the North Carolina Supreme Court’s decision in Leandro v. the State of North Carolina. That case affirmed the state’s constitutional responsibility to provide every student an equal opportunity for a sound basic education, including access to qualified teachers and administrators. Requested by the court in conjunction with both plaintiffs and defendants, the action plan aims to identify root causes of current inequalities and evidence-based solutions to meet the constitutional standard.