ESSA is the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, formerly known as “No Child Left Behind”.
Note: An LEA is either a school district or a charter school.
TITLE II—PREPARING, TRAINING, AND RECRUITING HIGH-QUALITY TEACHERS, PRINCIPALS, OR OTHER SCHOOL LEADERS
SEC. 2001. PURPOSE.
The purpose of this title is to provide grants to State educational agencies and subgrants to local educational agencies to —
(1) increase student achievement consistent with the challenging State academic standards;
(2) improve the quality and effectiveness of teachers …;
(3) increase the number of teachers … who are effective in improving student academic achievement in schools; and
(4) provide low-income and minority students greater access to effective teachers ….
[page 124 & 125]
(1) IN GENERAL.—To be eligible to receive a subgrant under this section, a local educational agency shall submit an application to the State educational agency ….
(2) CONTENTS OF APPLICATION.—Each application submitted under paragraph (1) shall include the following:
(A) A description of the activities to be carried out by the local educational agency under this section and how these activities will be aligned with challenging State academic standards.
(B) A description of … opportunities for building the capacity of teachers …
(D) A description of how the local educational agency will use data and ongoing consultation described in paragraph (3) to continually update and improve activities supported under this part.
(E) An assurance that the local educational agency will comply with section 8501 (regarding participation by private school children and teachers).
(F) An assurance that the local educational agency will coordinate professional development activities authorized under this part with professional development activities provided through other Federal, State, and local programs.
(3) CONSULTATION.—In developing the application described in paragraph (2), a local educational agency shall—
(A) meaningfully consult with TEACHERS [MY CAPS], …, community partners, and other organizations or partners with relevant and demonstrated expertise in programs and activities designed to meet the purpose of this title;
(B) seek advice from the individuals and organizations described in subparagraph (A) regarding how best to improve the local educational agency’s activities to meet the purpose of this title; and
(C) coordinate the local educational agency’s activities under this part with other related strategies, programs, and activities being conducted in the community.
[A long list of suggested uses of Title II funds is on page 125 to 129. Professional development predominates, including in STEM. Also suggested uses are to reduce class size, “differential and incentive pay for teachers … in high-need academic subject areas”, and more. Here are relevant excerpts for science teachers.]
SEC. 2103. LOCAL USES OF FUNDS.
(a) IN GENERAL.—A local educational agency that receives a subgrant under section 2102 shall use the funds made available through the subgrant to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive programs and activities described in subsection (b), which may be carried out—
(1) through a grant or contract with a for-profit or non-profit entity; or
(2) in partnership with an institution of higher education …
(b) TYPES OF ACTIVITIES.—The programs and activities described in this subsection—
(1) shall be in accordance with the purpose of this title;
(2) shall address the learning needs of all students, including children with disabilities, English learners, and gifted and talented students; and
(3) may include, among other programs and activities—
(A) developing or improving a rigorous, transparent, and fair evaluation and support system for teachers, principals, or other school leaders that—
(i) is based in part on evidence of student achievement, which may include student growth; and
(ii) shall include multiple measures of educator performance and provide clear, timely, and useful feedback to teachers, principals, or other school leaders;
(B) developing and implementing initiatives to assist in recruiting, hiring, and retaining effective teachers, particularly in low-income schools with high percentages of ineffective teachers and high percentages of students who do not meet the challenging State academic standards, to improve within-district equity in the distribution of teachers, consistent with section 1111(g)(1)(B), such as initiatives that provide—
(i) expert help in screening candidates and enabling early hiring;
(ii) differential and incentive pay for teachers … in high-need academic subject areas and specialty areas, which may include performance-based pay systems;
(iii) teacher … advancement and professional growth, and an emphasis on leadership opportunities, multiple career paths, and pay differentiation;
(iv) new teacher, principal, or other school leader induction and mentoring programs …
(D) reducing class size to a level that is evidence- based, to the extent the State (in consultation with local educational agencies in the State) determines that such evidence is reasonably available, to improve student achievement through the recruiting and hiring of additional effective teachers;
(E) providing high-quality, personalized professional development that is evidence-based, to the extent the State (in consultation with local educational agencies in the State) determines that such evidence is reasonably available, for teachers …, that is focused on improving teaching and student learning and achievement …
(H) providing training, technical assistance, and capacity-building in local educational agencies to assist teachers … with selecting and implementing formative assessments, designing classroom-based assessments, and using data from such assessments to improve instruction and student academic achievement, which may include providing additional time for teachers to review student data and respond, as appropriate;
(M) developing and providing professional development and other comprehensive systems of support for teachers … to promote high-quality instruction and instructional leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics subjects, including computer science;
(N) developing feedback mechanisms to improve school working conditions, including through periodically and publicly reporting results of educator support and working conditions feedback;
(O) providing high-quality professional development for teachers … on effective strategies to integrate rigorous academic content, career and technical education, and work-based learning (if appropriate), which may include providing common planning time, to help prepare students for postsecondary education and the workforce …
For the definition of high-quality, evidence-based professional development, see the document on Title VIII in ESSA, at http://modeling.asu.edu (near the bottom of the webpage, below this document). Modeling Instruction fits the description well!