Improving Teacher Quality State Grants Julie Coplin Academic Improvement and Teacher Quality Programs Office of Elementary and Secondary Education U.S. Department of Education August 17, 2006
The Goal of NCLB • Every student will be proficient in reading and math by the end of the 2013-14 school year.
The Purpose • To increase student academic achievement through strategies such as improving teacher and principal quality and increasing the number of highly qualified teachers in the classroom and highly qualified principals and assistant principals in schools.
High-Quality Professional Development • Improves teachers’ knowledge of the academic subjects they teach and enables them to become highly qualified • Gives teachers and principals the knowledge and skills to help students meet challenging State content standards and student achievement standards • Is sustained, intensive and classroom focused • Is not one-day or short-term workshops or conferences.
Highly Qualified TeacherDefinition: (NCLB 9101 (23) • Must have full State certification1; • Hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree; and • Demonstrate subject-matter competency in subjects the teacher teaches. 1 Note: teachers in public charter schools must meet certification/licensure requirements, if any, in the State’s charter school law
Highly Qualified Teachers – Demonstrating Subject Competence A “new” elementary school teacher • Has demonstrated competence by passing a rigorous State test of subject knowledge and teaching skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and other areas of the basic elementary school curriculum.
Highly Qualified Teachers – Demonstrating Subject Competence A “new” middle or high school teacher can demonstrate competence by: • Passing a rigorous State academic subject test in each academic subjects, OR • Successfully completing, in each academic subject, of an academic major, a graduate degree, coursework equivalent to an undergraduate academic major, or advanced certification.
Highly Qualified Teachers – Demonstrating Subject Competence For a veteran elementary or secondary school teacher, another option exists for demonstrating subject-matter competency: HOUSSE – high objective State standard of evaluation
HQT and Special Education IDEA 602(10): special education teachers who teach core academic subjects must be highly qualified. They must • Hold a special education certificate • Hold a bachelor’s degree • Demonstrate subject-matter competency in each subject taught
Special Education Teachers who support regular instruction Special educators who do not directly instruct students in core academic subjects or who provide only consultation to highly qualified teachers need not demonstrate subject competency. They must have special education certification.
Special Education flexibility Special education teachers who teach core academic subjects exclusively to students who are assessed against alternative academic standards, must be highly qualified only at a subject matter level appropriate to the content and achievement standards of the students. IDEA 602(10)(C)
Special Education flexibility Special education teachers new to the profession who teach multiple core academic subjects and are highly qualified in mathematics, language arts, or science at the time they are hired, have two additional years to become highly qualified in other academic subjects they teach. IDEA 602(10)(D)
Highly Qualified Paraprofessionals All paraprofessionals—except individuals with non-instructional roles such as personal care services, clerical services, or cafeteria or playground supervision—must have a high school diploma or its equivalent AND
Highly Qualified Paraprofessionals Paraprofessionals who provide instructional support must • Complete two years of study at an institution of higher education OR • Obtain an associates (or higher) degree OR • Demonstrate through a formal state or local assessment knowledge of, and ability to assist in instructing reading, writing, and mathematics
Improving Teacher Quality State Grants • Total Program funds-- $2,873,001,756 • Total for RI--$13,751,559 • SAHE grants--$340,351 • LEA grants-- $12,933,342 • State Activities-- 340,351
Eligible Partnerships • Partnerships must include three parties: • An institution of higher education and the division that prepares teachers and principals • A school of arts and sciences • At least one high-need district
Who else may be in partnership? • Other districts or schools • Additional IHEs • Charter schools • Nonprofit organizations • Businesses • Pre-kindergarten programs • Teacher organizations
What is a high-need district? • A district that serves not fewer than 10,000 children from families with incomes below the poverty line; OR • For which not less than 20 percent of the children served by the agency are from families with incomes below the poverty line.
AND • Where there is a high percentage of teachers not teaching in the academic subjects or grade levels that the teachers were trained to teach; OR • There is a high percentage of teachers with emergency, provisional, or temporary certification or licensing.
Allowable Uses of Funds • Professional development in core academic subjects to teachers, highly qualified paraprofessionals, and principals (including knowledge of computer-related technology to enhance student learning). • Instructional leadership skills for principals to assist them in effectively working with teachers to help students master core academic subject.
Allowable Uses of Funds • Provide sustained, high-quality professional development activities that ensure teachers, highly qualified paraprofessionals, or school principals can use challenging State academic content standards, and State assessments to improve instructional practices and student academic achievement.
Allowable Uses of Funds • May include intensive programs designed to prepare individuals who will return to a school to provide instruction related to the professional development. • May include activities of partnerships between one or more LEA, one or more school within the LEA, and one or more IHEs for the purpose of improving teaching and learning.
Designing a Successful Project • Begin with a needs assessment of the high-need district. • Find the gaps in academic achievement. • Look at the content knowledge of the teachers. • Discover what strengths the IHE partners can offer to the district. • Seek out additional support if needed. • Inquire with other districts or schools that may have similar needs.
Designing a Successful Project • Design a high-quality professional development program that meets the needs of the students and teachers in the district(s) and draws on the knowledge of the IHE (and other) partners. • Evaluate the impact of the project.
Winning a Grant • Clearly define the goals of the project. • Include a detailed needs assessment. • Describe the scope of the project. • Explain how the activities of the project will meet the needs of the district. • Is there research to support this? • Discuss the evaluation methods including the expected impact.
The 50% Rule • The law requires that no single participant in an eligible partnership may “use” more than 50 percent of the subgrant. • Focus is on who directly benefits from the funds, not who receives the funds.
Recordkeeping • Must keep records that fully show: • The amount of the funds under the grant; • How the funds are used; • The total cost of project activities; • Cost provided from other sources; and • Other records to facilitate an effective audit.
Questions, Comments, Concerns Thank you!