Teacher professional development programs (specifically STEM) at larger than school district level (e.g., county, region of a state) may be an option for funding in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

 

I quote from pages 115 and 118 to 123 in the Dec. 10, 2015 final version of ESSA. SB1177, signed by President Obama on that date. 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 several statewide actions regarding teachers; only ONE of them is focused on professional development in STEM; and one focuses on dual enrollment strategies.  Page 5 states that appropriations for non-competitive programs begin on July 1, 2016.

 

University personnel are advised to pursue a partnership with their state department of education, if professional development in STEM  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

 

 

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.

...

(c) STATE USES OF FUNDS.—

   (1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided under paragraph (3), each State that receives an allotment under subsection (b) for a fiscal year shall reserve not less than 95 percent of such allotment to make subgrants to local educational agencies for such fiscal year, as described in section 2102.

...

   (3) PRINCIPALS OR OTHER SCHOOL LEADERS.—Notwithstanding paragraph (1) and in addition to funds otherwise available for activities under paragraph (4), a State educational agency may reserve not more than 3 percent of the amount reserved for subgrants to local educational agencies under paragraph (1) for one or more of the activities for principals or other school leaders that are described in paragraph (4).

  (4) STATE ACTIVITIES.—

     (A) IN GENERAL.—The State educational agency for a State that receives an allotment under subsection (b) may use funds not reserved under paragraph (1) to carry out 1 or more of the activities described in subparagraph (B), which may be implemented in conjunction with a State agency of higher education (if such agencies are separate) and carried out through a grant or contract with a for-profit or nonprofit entity, including an institution of higher education.

    (B) TYPES OF STATE ACTIVITIES.—The activities described in this subparagraph are the following:

...

     (v) Developing, improving, and implementing mechanisms to assist local educational agencies and schools in effectively recruiting and retaining teachers, principals, or other school leaders who are effective in improving student academic achievement, including effective teachers from underrepresented minority groups and teachers with disabilities, such as through—

     (I) opportunities for effective teachers to lead evidence-based (to the extent the State determines that such evidence is reasonably available) professional development for the peers of such effective teachers; and

...

     (xiv) Developing, or assisting local educational agencies in developing, strategies that provide teachers, principals, or other school leaders with the skills, credentials, or certifications needed to educate all students in postsecondary education coursework through early college high school or dual or concurrent enrollment programs.

...

     (xvii) Developing and providing professional development and other comprehensive systems of support for teachers, principals, or other school leaders to promote high-quality instruction and instructional leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics subjects, including computer science.

...

 

(d) STATE APPLICATION.—

   (1) IN GENERAL.—In order to receive an allotment under this section for any fiscal year, a State shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time and in such manner as the Secretary may reasonably require.

...

   (3) CONSULTATION.—In developing the State application under this subsection, a State shall—

     (A) meaningfully consult with teachers, principals, other school leaders, paraprofessionals (including organizations representing such individuals), specialized instructional support personnel, charter school leaders (in a State that has charter schools), parents, 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, organizations, or partners described in subparagraph (A) regarding how best to improve the State’s activities to meet the purpose of this title; and

     (C) coordinate the State’s activities under this part with other related strategies, programs, and activities being conducted in the State.

...

 

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

...

(15) DUAL OR CONCURRENT ENROLLMENT PROGRAM.—

The term ‘dual or concurrent enrollment program’ means a program offered by a partnership between at least one institution of higher education and at least one local educational agency through which a secondary school student who has not graduated from high school with a regular high school diploma is able to enroll in one or more postsecondary courses and earn postsecondary credit that—

   (A) is transferable to the institutions of higher education in the partnership; and

   (B) applies toward completion of a degree or recognized educational credential as described in the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.).

...

(17) EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL.—The term ‘early college high school’ means a partnership between at least one local educational agency and at least one institution of higher education that allows participants to simultaneously complete requirements toward earning a regular high school diploma and earn not less than 12 credits that are transferable to the institutions of higher education in the partnership as part of an organized course of study toward a postsecondary degree or credential at no cost to the participant or participant’s family.’’;

...

(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.’’.