Momentum : A Newsletter of the ARCC              March 2017 
Greetings!
In the spirit of spring, we bring you stories in this issue about the growth resulting from work led by several states in the Appalachian region. To encourage your efforts related to planning for implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, we offer several resources. Finally, we share highlights from evaluation of our own work serving state education agencies. As the season of renewal unfolds, we wish you continued growth and the joy of experiencing the fruit of your labors on behalf of teaching and learning!

Early Learning in West Virginia Meets National Benchmarks

West Virginia has met all 10 benchmarks for pre-kindergarten quality established by the National Institute for Early Education Research, one of only six states to do so. This achievement is one outcome of years of effort by the state to create a plan for third grade literacy, help counties promote early learning, and develop pre-kindergarten programs statewide . The Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center (ARCC) staff have helped the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) organize its work with a logic model to measure outcomes, assisted the advisory council and its committees, and supported the department's work with stakeholders who serve young children, including local school districts.
 
" This is the first time that there was a comprehensive birth to third-grade plan that had a logic model, tackled all the comprehensiveness, and really focused on capacity building at the core. I think it's paying off in spades." Clayton Burch, Chief Academic Officer, Division of Teaching and Learning, WVDE. 

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Tennessee Embarks on Coaching Network to Improve Reading

Tennessee's Read to be Ready Coaching Network reflects a new partnership between the state and its districts designed to improve K-3 reading instruction. Every region of the state will have at least one reading coach consultant who will provide training to the District Read to be Ready Coaches, whose role is to lead professional learning opportunities in reading for teachers in his or her school district. Research shows significant correlations between student gains in reading achievement and teachers who receive coaching in reading. The ARCC is providing information and consultation to the Tennessee Department of Education on the implementation of the coaching network. Visit the Read to be Ready Coaching Network to learn more.

First ARCC Video on ESSA Now Posted 

The first of ARCC's three-episode series on the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), is now posted on the ARCC YouTube channel. It  introduces the law and its major provisions and situates it in the history of government engagement in education.

While many programs and requirements were eliminated under ESSA, there are provisions in the new law that replace or redefine those areas with a focus on more local control and flexibility. For example, states must still adopt challenging academic standards, but the federal government is not allowed to prescribe or incentivize certain state academic standards.  -Jobi Lawrence, ICF Consultant
Annual ARCC Evaluation Reports Positive Results

Every year the ARCC conducts a comprehensive evaluation to assess its performance in building the capacity of state education agencies to serve the schools, students, and educators of the region. This past year more than 90% of respondents to the ARCC client survey indicated that its services were relevant, useful, and of high quality. Carrying out the evaluation plan continues to provide timely, credible, and actionable information that ARCC staff use to improve and modify initiatives.
 
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Webinars & Publications

Interested in school choice options or the role of state boards of education in public charter schooling? Concerned about college and career readiness under ESSA? Learn more about resources on these and other topics. 

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