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Title II Part A: Teacher and Principal Quality,
Training & Recruiting

Program Overview

The purposes of the Title II Part A program are 1) to increase academic achievement of all students through strategies such as improving teacher and principal quality and increasing the number of highly qualified teachers in the classroom; and 2) hold school districts and schools accountable for improvements in student academic achievement. Four major themes emerge:

  • High quality, sustained, intensive, and class-room focused professional development
  • "Highly qualified” teachers and principals
  • Professional development aligned with state standards
  • Professional development based on scientifically-based research

Priority of Funding

Districts must target funds to schools within the district that have the lowest proportion of highly qualified teachers, have the largest average class size, or are identified for school improvement under Title I.

Accountability

School districts must make progress toward meeting the State’s annual measurable objectives for increasing the number of highly qualified teachers it employs. If a school district fails for two consecutive years to make progress toward meeting the annual objectives, the school district must develop an improvement plan. The improvement plan must be designed to help the school district meet the State’s annual measurable objectives for increasing the percentage of highly qualified teachers and must address issues that prevented the district from meeting those objectives.

During the development of the improvement plan and throughout its implementation, the State must provide technical assistance to the districts and the schools within the district.

If after the third year of the plan the State develops under Title I Section 1119 for increasing the percentage of highly qualified teachers, the school district has failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for three consecutive years, the State must enter into an agreement with the school district on its use of the Title II Part A funds under which the State will

  • Develop, in conjunction with the school district, teachers, and principals, professional development strategies and activities based on scientifically based research that the school district will use to meet the State’s annual measurable objectives for improving teacher quality;
  • Require the school district to use these professional development strategies and activities; and
  • Prohibit school districts from using Title I Part A funds to fund any new paraprofessionals, except under certain limited instances.

While developing professional development strategies and activities, funds must be provided directly to one or more schools served by the district. These funds are to be taken from the school district’s Title II Part A allocation and must be used to enable teachers at these schools to choose professional development activities that are coordinated with other reform efforts at the schools.

Needs Assessment

The needs assessment must take into account the following:

  • The activities that school districts must conduct in order to give teachers the means to provide all students the opportunity to meet challenging State content and academic achievement standards; and
  • The activities that school districts must conduct in order to give principals the instructional leadership skills to help teachers provide all students with the opportunity to meet challenging State content and academic achievement standards.

A school district’s teachers must be involved in conducting needs assessments. Districts should use a variety of sources of information to review through a needs assessment, including student achievement data; information about numbers of teachers (disaggregated by subject taught and grade level) who lack full teacher certification or licensure; assessments by administrators and mentor teachers who evaluate teacher and student performance; and teacher self-evaluations.

Click here for more information on needs assessments.

High Quality Professional Development

The term “professional development” —

  • includes activities that —
    • improve and increase teachers' knowledge of the academic subjects the teachers teach and enable teachers to become highly qualified;
    • are an integral part of broad schoolwide and districtwide educational improvement plans;
    • give teachers, principals, and administrators the knowledge and skills to provide students with the opportunity to meet challenging State academic content standards and student academic achievement standards;
    • improve classroom management skills;
    • are high quality, sustained, intensive, and classroom-focused in order to have a positive and lasting impact on classroom instruction and the teacher's performance in the classroom; and are not 1-day or short-term workshops or conferences;
    • support the recruiting, hiring, and training of highly qualified teachers, including teachers who became highly qualified through State and local alternative routes to certification;
    • advance teacher understanding of effective instructional strategies that are —
      • based on scientifically-based research (except that this subclause shall not apply to activities carried out under part D of Title II); and
      • strategies for improving student academic achievement or substantially increasing the knowledge and teaching skills of teachers; and
    • are aligned with and directly related to —
      • State academic content standards, student academic achievement standards, and assessments; and
      • the curricula and programs tied to the standards described in subclause (I) except that this subclause shall not apply to activities described in clauses (ii) and (iii) of section 2123(3)(B);
    • are developed with extensive participation of teachers, principals, parents, and administrators of schools to be served under this Act;
    • are designed to give teachers of limited English proficient children, and other teachers and instructional staff, the knowledge and skills to provide instruction and appropriate language and academic support services to those children, including the appropriate use of curricula and assessments;
    • to the extent appropriate, provide training for teachers and principals in the use of technology so that technology and technology applications are effectively used in the classroom to improve teaching and learning in the curricula and core academic subjects in which the teachers teach;
    • as a whole, are regularly evaluated for their impact on increased teacher effectiveness and improved student academic achievement, with the findings of the evaluations used to improve the quality of professional development;
    • provide instruction in methods of teaching children with special needs;
    • include instruction in the use of data and assessments to inform and instruct classroom practice; and
    • include instruction in ways that teachers, principals, pupil services personnel, and school administrators may work more effectively with parents; and
  • may include activities that —
    • involve the forming of partnerships with institutions of higher education to establish school-based teacher training programs that provide prospective teachers and beginning teachers with an opportunity to work under the guidance of experienced teachers and college faculty;
    • create programs to enable paraprofessionals (assisting teachers employed by a local educational agency receiving assistance under part A of Title I) to obtain the education necessary for those paraprofessionals to become certified and licensed teachers; and
    • provide follow-up training to teachers who have participated in activities described above that are designed to ensure that the knowledge and skills learned by the teachers are implemented in the classroom.

Core Academic Subject Areas

  • Every state that receives Title I funds must ensure that all teachers teaching in "core academic subjects" (see below) are highly qualified not later than the end of the 2005-06 school year.
  • This provision is not limited to school districts receiving Title I. Rather, it applies to all teachers in core academic subjects in any state that receives Title I funds.
  • Core academic subject areas are:
    • English
    • Reading or Language Arts
    • Mathematics
    • Science
    • Foreign Languages
    • Civics and Government
    • Economics
    • Arts
    • History
    • Geography

Authorized Activities

  • Developing and implementing mechanisms to assist schools to effectively recruit and retain highly qualified teachers, principals, and specialists in core academic areas.
  • Developing and implementing strategies and activities to recruit, hire, and retain highly qualified teachers and principals. These strategies may include (a) providing monetary incentives such as scholarships, signing bonuses, or differential pay for teachers in academic subjects or schools in which the LEA has shortages. (Note: Because the purpose of Title II Part A is to increase student academic achievement, programs that provide teachers and principals with merit pay, pay differential, and/or monetary bonuses should be linked to measurable increases in student academic achievement produced by the efforts of the teacher or principal); (b) reducing class size; (c) recruiting teachers to teach special needs children, and (d) recruiting qualified paraprofessionals and teachers from populations underrepresented in the teaching profession, and providing those paraprofessionals with alternative routes to obtaining teacher certification;
  • Providing professional development activities that improve the knowledge of teachers and principals and, in appropriate cases, paraprofessionals, in:
    • Content knowledge. Providing training in one or more of the core academic subjects that the teachers teach; and
    • Classroom practices. Providing training to improve teaching practices and student academic achievement through (a) effective instructional strategies, methods, and skills; (b) the use of challenging State academic content standards and student academic achievement standards in preparing students for the State assessments.
  • Providing professional development activities that improve the knowledge of teachers and principals and, in appropriate cases, paraprofessionals, regarding effective instructional practices that –
    • Involve collaborative groups of teachers and administrators;
    • Address the needs of students with different learning styles, particularly students with disabilities, students with special needs (including students who are gifted and talented), and students with limited English proficiency;
    • Provide training in improving student behavior in the classroom and identifying early and appropriate interventions to help students with special needs;
    • Provide training to enable teachers and principals to involve parents in their children’s education, especially parents of limited English proficient and immigrant children; and
    • Provide training on how to use data and assessments to improve classroom practice and student learning;
  • Developing and implementing initiatives to promote retention of highly qualified teachers and principals, particularly in schools with a high percentage of low-achieving students, including programs that provide teacher mentoring, induction, and support for new teachers and principals during their first three years; and financial incentives for teachers and principals with a record of helping students to achieve academic success;
  • Carrying out programs and activities that are designed to improve the quality of the teaching force, such as innovative professional development programs that focus on technology literacy, tenure reform, testing teachers in the academic subject in which teachers teach, and merit pay programs. (Note: Because the purpose of Title II Part A is to increase student academic achievement, programs that provide teachers and principals with merit pay, pay differential, and/or monetary bonuses should be linked to measurable increases in student academic achievement produced by the efforts of the teacher or principal);
  • Carrying out professional development programs that are designed to improve the quality of principals and superintendents, including the development and support of academies to help them become outstanding managers and educational leaders;
  • Hiring highly qualified teachers, including teachers who become highly qualified through State and local alternative routes to certification, and special education teachers, in order to reduce class size, particularly in the early grades; and
  • Carrying out teacher advancement initiatives that promote professional growth and emphasize multiple career paths (such as paths to becoming a mentor teacher, career teacher, or exemplary teacher) and pay differentiation. (Note: Because the purpose of Title II Part A is to increase student academic achievement, programs that provide teachers and principals with merit pay, pay differential, and/or monetary bonuses should be linked to measurable increases in student academic achievement produced by the efforts of the teacher or principal).
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North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
Kirsten Baesler, State Superintendent
600 E. Boulevard Avenue, Dept. 201
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505-0440
701/328-2260

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