Professional Development

Competition Looks for Best Ideas To Implement ESSA

A competition has been launched to retrieve the best ideas educators have to make use of funds provided for professional learning by the federal government's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

ESSA is a law passed in December 2015 that replaces the No Child Left Behind Act and dictates the federal government's impact on K-12 education. The hope is that teachers who understand their learning needs, those of their students and effective professional learning can create systems that improve teaching.

Teams, consisting of three to five teachers each, can submit applications for the Agents for Learning Competition until June 10. A Q&A session on the application procedure will be held May 25 and there will be two webinars before June 10 to help teachers understand ESSA.

The first webinar, set for April 27, will be titled "ESSA 101 for Educators" and the second, May 11, will be called "A Deep Dive Into Professional Learning for ESSA."

Reviewers will read the applications and select finalists who will travel to Chicago July 21-22 to present their plans to a panel of judges. Competition sponsors, Learning Forward and the National Commission on Teaching & America's Future (NCTAF), will webcast the presentation and distribute the finalists' plans to serve as models for educators around the country.

Finalists will be eligible for prizes, awards and recognition.

"This competition provides a national platform for teachers' voices to be included in the broader ESSA conversation," said NCTAF President Melinda George. "As we think about developing effective professional learning systems that meet teachers' needs to ensure that the conditions are in place for great teaching for every student, it is imperative that teachers have agency in this process."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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