Our Latest Brief: Supporting Teachers’ Professional Learning During a Pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, ISA pivoted quickly from providing on-site coaching to virtual coaching for teachers and leaders in its partner schools. After a year and a half of offering virtual coaching supports to individual teachers and teacher teams, we wanted to learn about and from teachers’ experiences with ISA virtual coaching. To do so, we conducted teacher focus group discussions and a teacher survey during the spring of 2021. In this new brief, we focus on what teachers said about the quality of ISA virtual coaching and connections between their work with ISA coaches and improvements in student outcomes. Click here to read the brief.

Blog Post from Dr. Laura Hamilton: Supporting SEL, Mental Health, and the Nation’s Youth

Laura Hamilton, Ph.D. is associate vice president of research centers for ETS, overseeing the organization’s foundational research on a number of cross-cutting domains to help inform decision-making and advance the science and practice of learning and assessment. She was the co-recipient of CASEL’s 2020 Joseph E. Zins Award for Social and Emotional Learning Action Research, which is “presented to research leaders who have advanced SEL in schools and school districts in important and meaningful ways.”

In her post Hamilton writes about how all youth and adults can benefit from development of social and emotional competencies, just as they benefit from academic learning. Educators should avoid approaching SEL from a deficit perspective or using SEL as a set of strategies for addressing mental health or behavior problems. It’s also important that adults with the right expertise support these many dimensions of well-being, and for some mental health challenges, it will be important that students have access to trained providers of mental health services – certainly not a given and an area where there are clear disparities among schools. Click here to read the post.

ISA’s New Website: 30+ Years in the Making

Thanks for visiting our new website, which helps to frame the new ISA, more than 30 years after our founding in 1990. You will find information about our service lines, about our people, and about our research, which shows that we’ve had a significant impact on teaching, learning, and student achievement during those 30+ years.

Take a self-guided tour and then feel free to reach out if we can assist your school or district as it works to help students prepare for postsecondary options, careers, and life.

From FutureEd: What Congressional Covid Funding Means for K-12 Schools

This month we’d like to highlight a recent article from FutureEd, which is an independent, solution-oriented think tank at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.

In the article, What Congressional Covid Funding Means for K-12 Schools, FutureEd associate director Phyllis Jordan writes that beyond the Covid relief package, “the Biden Administration is proposing more than $100 billion for school facility repairs and construction in its nationwide infrastructure proposal. Biden’s $2 trillion plan also includes $12 billion for capital projects at community colleges and $25 billion to upgrade and expand access to child care facilities. K-12 schools would also benefit from money set aside to expand high-speed broadband infrastructure for all and to replace lead pipes, including those in 400,000 schools and child care facilities.”

It’s an incredibly comprehensive look at various federal funding streams and so worth a careful read. Click here to read it.