Education Week - December 14, 2016 - 14
GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
New Help for States Focused on Bolstering School Leaders
By Denisa R. Superville
As state education officials set agendas for
K-12 under the Every Student Succeeds Act,
a new guide and a research review are being
released this week to help them figure out
how best to elevate school leadership through
Two of the resources-a report by the RAND
Corporation and a guide from the Council of
Chief State School Officers-provide a broad
view of how states can keep school leaders a
major focus in their ESSA discussions and
plans and use Title I and Title II funds to develop training and support programs for principals and other school leaders.
The RAND report highlights research on
school leadership interventions and programs, along with synopses of whether those
programs or elements of them were successful
in improving student or other outcomes, and
the level of evidence they meet under ESSA.
The report makes it easier for states to find
evidence-based school leadership programs
and initiatives that they may be able to adapt
to their local contexts.
The report and CCSSO guide were unveiled
as states are moving past the initial information-gathering phase to writing their K-12
education plans that they will submit to the
federal government next year. The report and
guide also follow very detailed guidance that
the Education Department recently released
that elaborated on how states and districts
can use Title II funds to support teacher-leaders, principals, and principal supervisors.
School leadership experts praised the federal
guidance for recognizing the role principals
and school leaders play in teacher and student
success, for its clarity on the uses of funds, for
including teacher-leaders and principal super-
visors in the programs that could be funded
under Title II, and for providing concrete examples of initiatives that states may consider.
"The big thing here is that principals are not
an add-on in this guidance-they're actively
woven throughout," said Jackie Gran, the chief
policy and evaluation officer at New Leaders,
a New York City-based program that trains
Gran said it was similarly encouraging that
the federal Title II guidance also included
While states have always been allowed to use
ship in ESSA can be a game-changer if states
are strategic about how they use the money to
meet the leadership challenges in their states-
whether those concerns relate to principal licensure procedures, preparation programs, or
States such as Vermont and New York plan
to take advantage of the new 3 percent setaside.
Vermont intends to create professionallearning programs for principals. Haley
Dover, a spokeswoman for the state's education agency, said the state had not yet decided
We wanted to help provide [states] with the evidence and...
make it easier for them to think about that process as well."
Title II funds for principals and school leaders,
most of the funds dedicated to educator development have traditionally gone to teachers.
Under ESSA, states can use up to 2 percent of
their Title II funds to create or expand teacher-,
principal-, or leadership-preparation programs
for those serving in high-needs schools. They
can devote an additional 3 percent of Title II
funds for leadership development, such as
academies, training programs, or other support
for school leaders. (Title I school improvement
funds can also be used for school leadership.)
Experts say an emphasis on school leader-
what programs to use and that it was researching successful school-leader initiatives
to determine the right fit.
In a summary document on how it plans to
"support excellent educators," the New York
state education department said it would use
the 3 percent set-aside to "develop programs
that provide for systemic improvements for
principals and other school leaders." Those
programs could be particularly beneficial to
smaller districts that would now be able to plug
into larger statewide initiatives, according to
That's where the CCSSO guide and the
RAND evidence review could be very helpful.
While the federal "What Works Clearing-
house" has a trove of research, it only includes
programs that meet ESSA's most rigorous
Tiers 1 and 2 evidence requirements, according to RAND. The new report includes programs and initiatives that also meet the less
rigorous Tiers 3 and 4 requirements.
Rebecca Herman, one of the report's authors, said that many states did not have the
capacity to conduct the necessary deep evidence review of successful interventions.
"We wanted to help provide them with the
evidence and...make it easier for them to
think about that process as well," she said.
For example, if a state is considering school
leadership-focused improvement models,
there are references in the report to seven
studies on the KIPP charter school network, including some that meet the Tier 1
ESSA requirements and shows "substantial"
The authors of the RAND report urged state
officials not to limit themselves to the initiatives highlighted in their analysis.
With ESSA, education officials "have the ability to reconsider, strategically, how they deliver
education services in their state," said Jody
Spiro, the director of education leadership at
the Wallace Foundation, which commissioned
the RAND review.
"The idea with the guidance, the report, and
the field guide, is to give the states as many resources as possible to assist them in visioning
and in knowing what's possible, rather than
[adhering to] a compliance-driven model where
they check the box."
Coverage of leadership, expanded learning
time, and arts learning is supported in part by
a grant from The Wallace Foundation, at www.
wallacefoundation.org. Education Week retains sole
editorial control over the content of this coverage.
Congress Faces Range of Education Issues in Upcoming Session
Obama administration if he decides
they go beyond the scope of the law.
The outgoing administration has
yet to release final ESSA spending
regulations that could shift more state
and local money to disadvantaged stuBy Andrew Ujifusa
dents. If it does before leaving office,
With President-elect Donald Trump the odds are that GOP lawmakers-
waiting in the wings, the Republican many of whom have said the proposal
majority in Congress will have the op- represents federal overreach-would
portunity to tackle a host of education use the review act to get rid of them.
issues when its next session begins in
2017, from funding for disadvantaged Fate of Final Rules
and special education students and
college access and affordability issues,
Less certain is the fate of final ESSA
to student-data privacy and career accountability and testing regulations
and technical education.
the department released in recent
At the same time, there will be sig- weeks, as well as rules on teacher
nificant turnover in some key posi- preparation the administration retions: In addition to Trump's selection leased in October.
of school choice advocate Betsy DeVos
The future of the accountability
to be education secretary, the House regulations will be closely watched by
education committee will have a new states and districts, whose input could
leader, Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C.
be a big factor in whether Republicans
But what's probably at the top of the move to toss them and possibly start a
list for leading GOP lawmakers is de- new round of rulemaking. The yearciding which regulations from Presi- old law, the successor to the No Child
dent Barack Obama's administration Left Behind Act, is due to kick in for
pertaining to the Every Student Suc- the 2017-18 school year.
ceeds Act they may wish to overturn
"People are anxious to get going,"
through the Congressional Review said Michele McLaughlin, the presiAct. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. dent of the Knowledge Alliance, an
and the Senate education committee advocacy and policy-research group.
chairman, has indicated his intent
Congress also already has a running
to toss out final ESSA rules from the start or has expressed clear interest in
may get scrutiny
14 | EDUCATION WEEK | December 14, 2016 | www.edweek.org
a number of specific policy areas. Earlier this year, bills to reauthorize the
Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical
Education Act and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act
breezed through the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support, only to stall in the Senate.
Both could have a relatively easy path
through Congress starting next year.
"There's a decent chance [DeVos]
would be interested in CTE," said
Sasha Pudelski, an assistant director
of AASA, the Schools Superintendents
Association. She cited the involvement by DeVos and her husband in
an aviation-focused charter school in
"And I think Congress came pretty
far [on passing a CTE bill]," Pudelski
said. "I anticipate that will not be a difficult bill to pass next year."
But one of the education policy areas
that could be at the top of the list for
many members of Congress isn't about
DeVos, the prominent GOP donor
who is Trump's education secretary
nominee, is best known for her work
to expand school choice. She does not
have significant experience d ealing
with policies affecting colleges and
universities. But Alexander, the chairman of the Senate education committee, used the Nov. 23 news of her
selection to signal his interest in reauthorizing the Higher Education Act.
In a statement, the senator said
DeVos' work with Congress would
provide "an opportunity to clear out
the jungle of red tape that makes it
more difficult for students to obtain financial aid and for administrators to
manage America's 6,000 colleges and
universities." The HEA is now three
years overdue for renewal.
Alexander's omission of school choice
in his initial public reaction to DeVos'
nomination could mean he's more interested in revamping the higher education law than in pushing a major
school choice plan like the $20 billion
voucher program Trump proposed
during the campaign. (Alexander
previously proposed a "Pell Grants for
Kids" bill to allow states to redirect
federal aid to school choice programs.)
"DeVos is not experienced in [higher
education]. The senator is absolutely
experienced in this. That's to his advantage," said David DeSchryver, the
senior vice president and co-director of
Whiteboard Advisors, a consulting organization. "The majority of the work
is going to be in higher education."
In a statement, Sheridan Watson,
Foxx's spokeswoman, said the North
Carolina Republican "would like to
see the next [Higher Education Act]
reauthorization focus on increasing
transparency, improving the accessibility and affordability of postsecondary education, reforming the
accreditation process, and encouraging innovation in the classroom."
Watson added that reauthorizing
the Perkins Career and Technical
Education law and the Child Nutrition Act would also be top priorities
for Foxx in the next Congress.
Right now, Foxx leads the subcommittee on higher education and
workforce training. In 2014 she
helped shepherd through a reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation
and Opportunity Act.
Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., an education committee member, said in
an interview last month that he was
optimistic that reauthorization of
the Family Educational Rights and
Privacy Act would get consideration,
given productive bipartisan work
on the issue of student-data privacy over the last two years. Messer
crafted a bill with Rep. Jared Polis,
D-Colo., to overhaul federal law governing student-privacy issues.
" T hey just have so much on
their plate that they're going to
be focused on," Pudelski said of
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - December 14, 2016
Education Week - December 14, 2016
State-Level Showdowns Over ESSA
School Choice Is A Primary Focus For Ed. Sec. Pick
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Media Literacy Vs. Bogus News
States Aim to Bolster School Counselors’ Thinning Ranks
News in Brief
Debate Renews Over Seat Belts In Buses After Deadly Crash
17 Teacher-Prep Programs Meet New Accreditation Bar
SNAPSHOT: TIMSS/PISA Results Highlight Global Math And Science GapsSNAPSHOT: TIMSS/PISA Results Highlight Global Math And Science Gaps
College Board Eases Access To Supports
Students Interact With Scientists At ‘Teen Science Cafes’
New Help for States Focused On Bolstering Schools
Congress Faces Range of Education Issues in Upcoming Session
SNAPSHOT: Final ESSA Rules Flesh Out Details on School Accountability, Testing
TERRY B. GRIER: A Superintendent Tackles Student Stress
TIFFANY ANDERSON: What Trauma-Informed Leadership Looks Like
BRUCE D. PERRY: The Brain Science Behind Trauma
ALI SMITH: After-School Student Wellness
School Leadership in the Wake of a Natural Disaster HEIDI DURHAM: Healing Through Creative Expression TRACY FRANKE: A School Shaped by Trauma
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - States Aim to Bolster School Counselors’ Thinning Ranks
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - 2
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - 3
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - News in Brief
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - Report Roundup
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - Debate Renews Over Seat Belts In Buses After Deadly Crash
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - 17 Teacher-Prep Programs Meet New Accreditation Bar
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - SNAPSHOT: TIMSS/PISA Results Highlight Global Math And Science GapsSNAPSHOT: TIMSS/PISA Results Highlight Global Math And Science Gaps
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - College Board Eases Access To Supports
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - Students Interact With Scientists At ‘Teen Science Cafes’
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - 11
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - 12
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - 13
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - Congress Faces Range of Education Issues in Upcoming Session
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - SNAPSHOT: Final ESSA Rules Flesh Out Details on School Accountability, Testing
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - 16
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - 17
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - 18
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - TERRY B. GRIER: A Superintendent Tackles Student Stress
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - BRUCE D. PERRY: The Brain Science Behind Trauma
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - ALI SMITH: After-School Student Wellness
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - School Leadership in the Wake of a Natural Disaster HEIDI DURHAM: Healing Through Creative Expression TRACY FRANKE: A School Shaped by Trauma
Education Week - December 14, 2016 - Letters
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Education Week - December 14, 2016 - TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
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