State Instructional Practice Support Systems and the Policies that Support Them

Teachers are the single most important school-based influence on student achievement. State policymakers must, therefore, design coherent systems of supports that guide teachers' instructional practice, especially in this era of rigorous college- and career- readiness (CCR) standards for all students, including English language learners (ELL) and students with disabilities (SWD).

Though in many cases local education agencies have the authority to select or design and implement their own teacher preparation, curricular, professional development models, state education agencies (SEAs) outline the broad parameters of these support systems and provide supplementary guidance or resources. In this interactive map series, we compare how SEAs influence instructional practice through these three domains. Our organizing framework is the policy attributes theory which hypothesizes that there are five components to successful policy implementation: specificity, consistency, authority, power, and stability. See the Specific Rating Key on each map for details on how we determine the rating scale for individual attributes.

Notes on Methodology:

  1. We asked all 50 states and D.C. to verify the information in the map series, giving each state one month to review the information and respond with edits. We specified that we would follow up with them three times and if we do not hear back by the deadline, we would take their silence as approval of the data. Thirty-one states out of 51 responded to our requests. If your state requires corrections, please email us at gse-csail@gse.upenn.edu.
  2. The information populating this series come from the National Council of Teacher Quality (2017) database and from each state education agency's official website.

Common Acronyms:

ELA: English Language ArtsLEP: Limited English ProficiencyESL: English as a Second LanguageRtI: Response to Intervention
MTSS: Multi-Tiered System of SupportsWIDA: World-class Instructional Design and AssessmentELPA21: English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century 

Feature:

Consistency

The extent to which teacher preparation ELA requirements are aligned to literacy CCR standards

Consistency Rating Key
Feature:

Authority

The extent to which teachers are required to demonstrate content expertise in ELA and math in order to graduate from their preparation program

Authority Rating Key
Feature:

Power

Whether states reward or sanction teacher preparation programs based on their effectiveness

Power Rating Key
Feature:

Stability

The extent to which teacher preparation programs have changed from 2011 to 2017

Stability Rating Key
Feature:

Consistency

Whether states have ELA and math curriculum frameworks that are aligned to their standards

Consistency Rating Key
Feature:

Specificity

The extent to which states have specific curricular resources (e.g., lesson plans, unit plans, pacing guides) that detail expectations for teachers implementing the ELA and math standards

Specificity Rating Key
Feature:

Authority

The extent to which states require ELA and math curricular materials and support the implementation of these resources with additional PD

Authority Rating Key
Feature:

Stability

Whether ELA and math standards or curricular frameworks have changed from 2012 to 2018

Stability Rating Key
Feature:

Consistency

The extent to which states have IEP resources aligned to the CCR standards

Consistency Rating Key
Feature:

Specificity

The extent to which states have specific curriculum, or program models, or instructional tools to support the teaching of SWDs in general education in general education settings

Specificity Rating Key
Feature:

Authority

Whether states partner with national or local organizations with SWD expertise to provide additional instructional supports for teachers

Authority Rating Key
Feature:

Stability

Whether instructional supports or policies for SWDs have changed from 2012 to 2018

Stability Rating Key
Feature:

Consistency

The extent to which states have English Language Proficiency (ELP) or English Language Development (ELD) standards aligned to the ELA standards

Consistency Rating Key
Feature:

Specificity

The extent to which states have specific curriculum, program models or instructional tools to support the teaching of ELLs

Specificity Rating Key
Feature:

Authority

Whether states partner with national or local organizations with ELL expertise to provide additional instructional supports for teachers

Authority Rating Key
Feature:

Stability

Whether instructional supports or policies for ELLs have changed from 2012 to 2018

Stability Rating Key
Feature:

Consistency

Whether professional learning standards are aligned to CCR standards

Consistency Rating Key
Feature:

Specificity

The extent to which state PD programs for teachers help them understand the standards, or provide them with tools to unpack the standards

Specificity Rating Key
Feature:

Authority

The extent to which the state designs/offers PD for teachers related to understanding and implementing the standards

Authority Rating Key
Feature:

Power

The extent to which the state holds its teachers accountable for completing PD activities to renew teaching license.

Power Rating Key