The Aspen Education and Society Program Digital Resource Library

State Policy

Leading for Equity: Opportunities for State Education Chiefs

Leading for Equity outlines 10 commitments state chiefs and their state education agencies can make to advance educational equity for all students, regardless of background.

Explore the commitments here

Standards This Time, With Feeling: Integrating Social and Emotional Development and CCR Standards

This Time, With Feeling presents an approach to defining social and emotional development (SED), provides a summary of the research on SED, and illustrates the connection between college- and career-readiness standards and expectations and SED.

Download the primer »

Federal Education Policy Advancing Equity through ESSA: Strategies for State Leaders

This framework is designed to help states make the most of this important opportunity. This framework examines eight equity priorities that states already are pursuing and identifies multiple provisions in ESSA that states can use to address each priority.

Download the framework. »

State Policy Roles and Responsibilities of the State Education Agency

Roles and Responsibilities of the State Education Agency challenges state chiefs and their leadership teams to consider their local context and capacity in determining essential, possible, and unsuitable roles for their agency. Coming out of a period of historic state involvement in education policy, this discussion guide helps state leaders consider what roles and responsibilities they can realistically shoulder long-term.

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State Policy Engaging State Legislators: Lessons for the Education Sector

This report distills the learnings from focus groups, in-depth interviews, and a two-day symposium with over 50 state legislative leaders and explores how they get their information, what matters most to them, and how groups that work with state legislators can engage them most effectively. As state legislators work to get education policy right, make sure you have the inside track on how they work and what they need to be effective.

Download the report. »

Common Core Tools Core Ready Schools

Core Ready Schools is a tool designed to assist you in benchmarking implementation efforts in your school against a comprehensive roadmap for fully implementing the Common Core State Standards (or your state’s college- and career-ready standards).

Visit Core Ready Schools »

State Policy State Education Policy Checklist

This resource, co-developed with the Council of Chief State School Officers, Education Commission of the States, and the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, offers a clear framework for state legislators to aid the development of new education policies.

Download the checklist »

Infographic The Complexity of Procurement for Instructional Materials

This infographic explains the variables involved in the procurement process and what it means for students.

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Infographic Where Does It All Go? Uses of Federal Education Funding

This infographic shows how federal education funding flows to districts and schools and the role of compliance requirements and regulations.

Download the infographic »

Common Core Tools College- and Career-Ready Standards Benchmarking Implementation

Co-developed with Achieve, these four tools can help state leaders to monitor implementation of their college- and career-ready standards.
1. School-Level Indicators of Implementation
2. Model School-Level Indicators of Implementation Survey
3. Local Education Agency (LEA) Feedback Survey
4. Survey Guidance

Access the tools »

Teacher Leadership Leading from the Front of the Classroom

Designed to empower teachers to lead from the front of the classroom, this paper outlines key phases that system administrators will need to consider as they build teacher leadership systems. Three case studies provide examples of the process.

Download the Roadmap »

Download the Case Studies »

Federal Policy Leveraging Learning

How can federal policy make education research more timely and relevant for the field without sacrificing rigor? What is the future of the federal investment in education research?

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Professional Learning Instructional Leadership Teams and Looking at Student Work

This professional learning module is designed to assist teachers, schools, and districts implementing the CCSS in understanding how to better leverage collaborative, instructional leadership teams (ILTs) and how to examine data by looking at student work (LASW).

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Professional Learning Tools for Teachers: Academic Writing

The fourth installment of the Tools for Teachers series of Common Core-aligned professional learning modules helps educators unlock the potential of academic writing to elevate student achievement.

Download New Module »

Download Modules 1-3 »

Beyond Buy-In Partnering with Practitioners for Teacher Evaluation in Denver

Beyond Buy In investigates how Denver's approach to a new educator effectiveness system unfolded and how it can inform the work of other system leaders nationwide.

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State Policy Teaching to the Core: Integrating Common Core and Teacher Effectiveness

Ten practical system suggestions to state leaders on how to ensure teaching at a high level by integrating teacher effectiveness and the Common Core work into a transformative whole.

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Evaluating Evaluation The Power of Teacher Surveys

To convert teacher evaluation information into more effective teaching, educators need to embrace a culture of ongoing, two-way feedback and a commitment to continuous improvement. Ross Wiener and Kasia Lundy explain how teacher surveys can advance this work.

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Teacher Leadership Teacher Leadership: Finding a New Way

Distributing leadership to top teachers can elevate both the profession and student learning. Finding a New Way outlines how to create a vision for, launch, and learn from teacher leadership systems.

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Implementing the Common Core A Primer on Close Reading of Text

The emphasis on close reading in the Common Core necessitates new instructional strategies for literacy. This overview of the practice and implications of close reading provides actionable advice for practitioners and policymakers as they seek to elevate literacy instruction for all students.

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Putting the Pieces in Place Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools' Teacher Evaluation System

The two top priorities in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools' Strategic Plan 2014 Teaching Our Way to the Top are: focusing on equitable instruction district-wide, and creating a performance-oriented culture based on continuous improvement and accountability for results. See what they've learned from implementing this work.

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Building It Together The Design and Implementation of Hillsborough County Public Schools' Teacher Evaluation System

Hillsborough County Public Schools has launched a teacher evaluation system that has attracted attention from educators and policy makers across the country. Centralized, collaborative, communications-driven and adaptable are key characteristics of Hillsborough's approach. The system consists of two main components: observation of instruction and teachers' value-added scores, based on student test results.

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Means to an End A Guide to Developing Teacher Evaluation Systems

Teacher evaluation has emerged as a key strategy for improving student outcomes in public education. This guide is designed to help school systems and states design evaluation systems that support teacher growth and development. This focus is critically important because early work in leading districts suggests that the overwhelming majority of teachers fall in the middle range of the performance continuum. For these teachers, supporting improvement is critical.

Download Means to an End »

Download Templates »

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