Federal grants for statewide STEM teacher professional development programs may be an option in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

 

Each state can apply to the U.S. Dept. of Education for a COMPETITIVE grant for STEM teacher professional development programs at state level (OR for a STEM master teacher corps). Specifically, grants can be given to nonprofit organizations in partnership with State educational agencies. (Nonprofit organizations include post-secondary institutions, at least in some parts of this Act.)

 

I quote pages 129, 147, and 151 in the Dec. 10, 2015 final version of ESSA, SB1177, signed by President Obama on that date. Page 5 states that  appropriations for competitive programs begin on Oct. 1, 2016.

 

This act can be downloaded at

   https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/s1177/BILLS-114s1177enr.pdf

 

ESSA gives state departments of education the responsibility to choose among actions regarding STEM. I see at least three ways that we can seek funding for Modeling Workshops. Two of them entail working with our state K-12 educational agency – soon!

 

University personnel are advised to pursue a partnership with their state department of education, if this is to happen.  (“The Lorax,” the Dr. Seuss book, includes the line: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.")

 

Read more at http://modeling.asu.edu/modeling/ConvincingDocuments.html

   – Jane Jackson, ASU (12/18/2015)

 

 

TITLE II - PREPARING, TRAINING, AND RECRUITING HIGH-QUALITY TEACHERS, PRINCIPALS, AND OTHER SCHOOL LEADERS

 

SEC. 2003. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

(a) GRANTS  TO STATES  AND LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AGENCIES.—

For the purpose of carrying out part A, there are authorized to be appropriated $2,295,830,000 for each of fiscal years 2017 through 2020.

(b) NATIONAL ACTIVITIES.—For the purpose of carrying out part B, there are authorized to be appropriated—

    (1) $468,880,575 for each of fiscal years 2017 and 2018;

    (2) $469,168,000 for fiscal year 2019; and

    (3) $489,168,000 for fiscal year 2020.

PART B—NATIONAL ACTIVITIES

SEC. 2201. RESERVATIONS.

From the amounts appropriated under section 2003(b) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall reserve—

   ...

   ( 4) to carry out activities authorized under subpart 4—

          (A) 15.4 percent for each of fiscal years 2017 through 2019; and

          (B) 14.8 percent for fiscal year 2020.

 

Subpart 4—Programs of National Significance

SEC. 2241. FUNDING ALLOTMENT.

From the funds reserved under section 2201(4), the Secretary—

      ...

     (4) may reserve not more than 2 percent to carry out activities under section 2245.

...

SEC. 2245. STEM MASTER TEACHER CORPS.

   (a) IN GENERAL.—From the funds reserved under section 2241(4) for a fiscal year, the Secretary may award grants to—

   (1) State educational agencies to enable such agencies to support the development of a State-wide STEM master teacher corps; or

   (2) State educational agencies, or nonprofit organizations in partnership with State educational agencies, to support the implementation, replication, or expansion of effective science, technology, engineering, and mathematics professional development programs in schools across the State through collaboration with school administrators, principals, and STEM educators.

 

 

TITLE VIII—GENERAL PROVISIONS (page 287 to 290, 298)

...

 (21) EVIDENCE-BASED.—

   (A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the term ‘evidence-based’, when used with respect to a State, local educational agency, or school activity, means an activity, strategy, or intervention that—

     (i) demonstrates a statistically significant effect on improving student outcomes or other relevant outcomes based on—

         (I) strong evidence from at least 1 well- designed and well-implemented experimental study;

         (II) moderate evidence from at least 1 well- designed and well-implemented quasi-experimental study; or

         (III) promising evidence from at least 1 well- designed and well-implemented correlational study with statistical controls for selection bias; or

    (ii)(I) demonstrates a rationale based on high-quality research findings or positive evaluation that such activity, strategy, or intervention is likely to improve student outcomes or other relevant outcomes; and

        (II) includes ongoing efforts to examine the effects of such activity, strategy, or intervention.

 

(42) PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.—The term ‘professional development’ means activities that—

  (A) are an integral part of school and local educational agency strategies for providing educators (including teachers, principals, other school leaders, specialized instructional support personnel, paraprofessionals, and, as applicable, early childhood educators) with the knowledge and skills necessary to enable students to succeed in a well-rounded education and to meet the challenging State academic standards; and

  (B) are sustained (not stand-alone, 1-day, or short term workshops), intensive, collaborative, job-embedded, data-driven, and classroom-focused, and may include activities that

   (i) improve and increase teachers’—

         (I) knowledge of the academic subjects the teachers teach;

        (II) understanding of how students learn; and

        (III) ability to analyze student work and achievement from multiple sources, including how to adjust instructional strategies, assessments, and materials based on such analysis;

  (ii) are an integral part of broad schoolwide and districtwide educational improvement plans;

  (iii) allow personalized plans for each educator to address the educator’s specific needs identified in observation or other feedback;

  (iv) improve classroom management skills;

  (v) support the recruitment, hiring, and training of effective teachers, including teachers who became certified through State and local alternative routes to certification;

  (vi) advance teacher understanding of—

        (I) effective instructional strategies that are evidence-based; and

        (II) strategies for improving student academic achievement or substantially increasing the knowledge and teaching skills of teachers;

  (vii) are aligned with, and directly related to, academic goals of the school or local educational agency;

  (viii) are developed with extensive participation of teachers, principals, other school leaders, parents, representatives of Indian tribes (as applicable), and administrators of schools to be served under this Act; 

   (ix) are designed to give teachers of English learners, and other teachers and instructional staff, the knowledge and skills to provide instruction and appropriate language and academic support services to those children, including the appropriate use of curricula and assessments;

  (x) to the extent appropriate, provide training for teachers, principals, and other school leaders in the use of technology (including education about the harms of copyright piracy), so that technology and technology applications are effectively used in the classroom to improve teaching and learning in the curricula and academic subjects in which the teachers teach;

   (xi) as a whole, are regularly evaluated for their impact on increased teacher effectiveness and improved student academic achievement, with the findings of the evaluations used to improve the quality of professional development;

   (xii) are designed to give teachers of children with disabilities or children with developmental delays, and other teachers and instructional staff, the knowledge and skills to provide instruction and academic support services, to those children, including positive behavioral interventions and supports, multi-tier system of supports, and use of accommodations;

    (xiii) include instruction in the use of data and assessments to inform and instruct classroom practice;

    (xiv) include instruction in ways that teachers, principals, other school leaders, specialized instructional support personnel, and school administrators may work more effectively with parents and families;

    (xv) involve the forming of partnerships with institutions of higher education, including, as applicable, Tribal Colleges and Universities as defined in section 316(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1059c(b)), to establish school-based teacher, principal, and other school leader training programs that provide prospective teachers, novice teachers, principals, and other school leaders with an opportunity to work under the guidance of experienced teachers, principals, other school leaders, and faculty of such institutions;

    (xvi) create programs to enable paraprofessionals (assisting teachers employed by a local educational agency receiving assistance under part A of title I) to obtain the education necessary for those paraprofessionals to become certified and licensed teachers;

    (xvii) provide follow-up training to teachers who have participated in activities described in this paragraph that are designed to ensure that the knowledge and skills learned by the teachers are implemented in the classroom; and

...

 

(50) TECHNOLOGY.—The term ‘technology’ means modern information, computer and communication technology products, services, or tools, including, the Internet and other communications networks, computer devices and other computer and communications hardware, software applications, data systems, and other electronic content (including multimedia content) and data storage.

 

51) UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING.—The term ‘universal design for learning’ has the meaning given the term in section 103 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1003).

(52) WELL-ROUNDED EDUCATION.—The term ‘well-rounded education’ means courses, activities, and programming in subjects such as English, reading or language arts, writing, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, geography, computer science, music, career and technical education, health, physical education, and any other subject, as determined by the State or local educational agency, with the purpose of providing all students access to an enriched curriculum and educational experience.’’.