Inside the Beltway

What is going on in Washington?

This past week was Teacher Appreciation Week, and Washington celebrated with a special event at the White House featuring the National Teacher of the Year and the award finalists. NASSP Principal of the Year Alan Tenreiro and NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti were in attendance alongside inspiring educators and school leaders from across the country.

Why should principals care?

In conjunction with the celebrations for Teacher Appreciation Week, the U.S. Department of Education also released a report on diversity in the educator workforce and included a mention of principal diversity and the principal pipeline. More information below!

In the Press

The State of Racial Diversity in the Educator Workforce, U.S. Department of Education

Educator diversity, a priority of Secretary of Education John King, gets the spotlight in this new research from the U.S. Department of Education. The report finds that elementary and secondary school educators in the United States are relatively homogeneous racially; 82 percent of public school teachers are white despite the dramatically changing demographics of public school students. Only 20 percent of school principals in 2011–2012 were individuals of color. Some other findings include: Diversity decreases across the teacher pipeline; fewer students of color start bachelor degrees; fewer major in education; and fewer complete their degree. Retention rates are also lower for teachers of color than white teachers.

Local Education Inequities Across U.S. Revealed in New Stanford Data Set, Stanford University

Stanford’s Graduate School of Education has compiled an unprecedented data set of 200,000,000 test scores to look for key patterns of educational inequality. They found that one-sixth of all students attend public schools in school districts where average test scores are more than one grade level below the national average; while one-sixth attend schools in districts that are one grade level above the average. Within districts, they also found achievement gaps were larger in districts where black and Hispanic students attend higher poverty schools than their white peers.

Nation’s Report Card 2015: Mathematics & Reading at Grade 12, NAEP

NAEP released the 2015 test scores for math and reading for students in grade 12. They found that the scores of students performing at the 10th and 25th percentiles were lower in 2015 compared to 2013. They also found that the percentage of 12th grade students performing at or above “proficient” was not significantly different in 2015 compared to 2013, but the percentage of students performing “below basic” was higher in 2015 compared to 2013.

Make Assessment Work for All Students: Multiple Measures Matter, NWEA and Gallup

In partnership with Gallup, the Northwest Evaluation Association surveyed parents, teachers, principals, and students their opinions about assessments and what they know about the new education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The survey found that parents value tests given by their child’s teacher, and teachers prefer multiple assessments rather than a single state test. All groups reported confusion and distrust of the state tests. Principals’ most preferred formative assessments and tests were designed by teachers to evaluate learning progress. Principals were skeptical that policymakers in their states understood the purpose of assessments and were neutral on the effect ESSA would have in their schools.

About the Author

Sophie Papavizas is the Advocacy Coordinator at NASSP.

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