New report from New America helps states “think big” on educator quality
New America today released a report – Painting the ESSA Canvas: Four Ideas for States to Think Big on Educator Quality – designed to help states think through the significant flexibility that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) grants with regards to Title II funding.
Part A of Title II is focused on “preparing, training, and recruiting high-quality teachers, principals, or other school leaders,” according to the report, and ESSA includes many new uses of state funds to support that goal. This “create[s] a space to employ innovative and evidence-based strategies for improving educator quality in our elementary and secondary schools,” Melissa Tooley, New America’s director of educator quality, writes in the report’s introduction.
Under the previous iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, No Child Left Behind, states could mostly “paint by number,” but ESSA has given states more of a blank canvas. The allowable uses of Title II-A are broad and provide far more flexibility for states to determine their own courses of action.
The report includes interviews with four experts in educator-quality policy – including our own Benjamin Riley – about how and where states can, in the report’s words, “think big” in using Title II-A funds to support four key areas: educator preparation; educator recruitment and retention; educator evaluation and support systems; and comprehensive professional learning systems.
Painting the ESSA Canvas is full of thoughtful, innovative ideas that states can use to improve educator quality – we encourage you to check it out.