We’ve all likely heard someone say, “I’m bad at math,” or even “I hate math.” In the United States, math is too often considered a subject that either comes naturally or doesn’t — there are “math people,” and everyone else can expect to struggle with it. If you stop and think, though, this makes as much sense as saying we’re all naturally good (or bad) at sports, or music, or writing. It’s true that becoming skilled in any of these areas may come more easily to some people than others, but we generally understand that no one becomes expert at baseball without learning the game and spending a lot of time practicing.
This report documents the continued progress of SREB states in preparing early grades students for success in the middle grades and beyond. It analyzes scores on state assessments and the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) and relates what states are doing to improve early grades reading instruction. It also presents intervention policies in SREB states and effective ways to meet the needs of students not yet achieving at grade level.
In the face of teacher shortages, state leaders have an opportunity to explore ways of remaking the teaching profession from the inside out, rather than relying solely on short-term solutions. One strategy for addressing this pervasive problem involves implementing teacher leadership and mentorship initiatives. This brief highlights how education leaders in six states used three levers – certification, pay and recognition – to identify, deploy and retain teacher leaders.
SREB conducted research on how states create performance accountability systems for teacher education programs. This brief describes how states go about developing performance measures and creating public report cards. The document’s appendix includes program accountability profiles for all SREB states and nine additional states.
All SREB states provide alternative routes to teacher certification, however the strategies for approving nontraditional pathways vary from state to state. This brief provides 10 examples of alternative certification programs in eight SREB states and includes recommendations policymakers should consider when designing or approving alternative certification programs.
Another school year has started, and nearly every state in the SREB region is facing major human capital challenges including teacher shortages. Schools now face shortages not only in STEM courses and special education but in most subject areas.
Most SREB states have one definition for college and career readiness while some states define college readiness and career readiness separately. As states continue to focus on postsecondary preparedness for their students, SREB encourages states to consider revisiting their definitions over time to ensure the definition, goals and policies are aligned and relevant.
See below for a look at each state’s college and career readiness definitions. (Updated August 2019)
Defining Readiness in SREB States
By 2025, two out of every three jobs will require some education beyond high school. Yet far too many students are graduating from high school without the knowledge and skills they need to earn a credential or degree.
Readiness is central to SREB’s core mission of helping states increase educational attainment and grow their economies.
SREB offers policymakers detailed data on policies and how states are using them to improve achievement. And we serve districts and schools with career pathways, curricula and professional learning to help educators prepare students for what comes next in their lives.
Students need learning experiences connected with the world of work to equip them to enter the workforce and secure good jobs. This report provides an overview of funding for career and technical education and a detailed look at CTE funding models in Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia. Produced by SREB for the Kentucky Career and Technical Education Task Force, it also offers considerations for actions to improve CTE.