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How do program funds support educator effectiveness?

Conducting annual surveys of states and districts about the use of Title II, Part A funds

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Challenge

As one of the largest sources of federal education funds supporting educator development, the Title II, Part A program supports a wide range of activities at the state and district levels. Westat conducts annual surveys of states and districts about the use of Title II, Part A funds to collect and report this information for the U.S. Department of Education. These surveys ask about the main uses of funds and the use of funding flexibility options to transfer funds between designated federal programs.

Solutions

Westat conducts the annual surveys with all states, plus DC and Puerto Rico, and a nationally representative sample of over 5,000 school districts. The district sample is large enough to produce state-representative estimates and also includes a nationally representative sample of 500 charter school districts. Westat produces annual reports that summarize survey results across districts and states. The reports examine how district results differ by enrollment size, type (regular and charter), and locality (urban, rural, and suburban) to see how districts may use funds in different ways.

Westat also reviews performance data reported to the U.S. Department of Education by states related to teacher quality, including information about emergency or provisional credentials and teaching out of field, and provides feedback to improve the completeness and accuracy of data reported. Westat then uses the state data to calculate program indicators for the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), examining differences in measures of teacher quality by district poverty level.

Results

Professional development (PD) is one of the most common uses of funds reported by districts, and the surveys collect information about the types and topics of PD that districts support for teachers and principals using program funds. The Title II, Part A program encourages districts to provide “high-quality, personalized professional development that is evidence-based.” The district survey also asks about strategies used to recruit, hire, and retain educators and about efforts to examine the equitable distribution of effective teachers for low-income or minority students.  

Annual reports are available on the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education website.

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