EDUCATOR SUPPORT . Much work was done in 2016 to invest in and support educator success . In January , Governor Haslam proposed a $ 35 billion state budget for 2016-17 . 23 This proposed budget ( SB 2565 / HB 2574 ) passed , providing Tennessee ’ s largest investment in public education without a tax increase . The budget included increased funds for teacher salaries , as well as a commitment to pay for all 12 months of teachers ’ health insurance . Previously , the state funded only 11 months .
Support for educator success in 2016 also included expanded work in professional learning . Tennessee ’ s peer learning program , called the Instructional Partnership Initiative ( IPI ), uses teacher evaluation data from observations to pair teachers with one another , providing principals with tools and resources to create collaborative teacher relationships focused on specific areas of instructional need . Launched in 2013 – 14 as a pilot , IPI started with 16 schools in Jackson-Madison County . In 2014- 15 , the pilot expanded to 93 schools across the state , randomly assigned to compare outcomes of teachers participating in the program to those of teachers who did not participate . TDOE researchers found IPI had significant effects on student scores in reading and math , and teachers participating in the program improved their TVAAS scores by one level , on average . IPI also increased positive morale among participants . 24 As of the 2016-17 school year , over 1,550 teachers in 114 schools in 48 districts were participating in IPI . Instructional coaches across eight TDOE Centers of Regional Excellence ( CORE ) offices are working to inform school leaders and teachers about the program and how it can help meet the specific needs of their teachers . As more educators learn about IPI , more schools are implementing this professional learning strategy . In participating schools , TDOE continues to monitor program implementation and impact on both teaching and learning . IPI is an example of how Tennessee is using evidence-based strategies to empower teachers to learn from one another and improve in their craft .
RTI 2 . Teachers work closely with their peers to identify strategies to support struggling students . Response to Instruction and Intervention ( RTI 2 ) provides a framework for educators to approach targeted supports for students . In place since 2014-15 in elementary schools and since 2015-16 in middle schools , most teachers reported their schools were at full implementation in many important areas of RTI 2 practice , including providing daily time for intervention or enrichment and having a data team within their schools focused on RTI 2 . 25 Teachers are also seeing the benefits of implementation , with 65 percent either agreeing or strongly agreeing that their students will benefit from the RTI 2 framework . 26 In 2016-17 , high schools began implementation of RTI 2 .
In September 2016 , TDOE released a report analyzing schools with a majority of teachers reporting full implementation in five key RTI 2 readiness areas . TDOE researchers identified four areas where schools are excelling . 27 They also found that schools with students making the greatest gains in RTI 2 reported using multiple data sources to make decisions about students , including screening and progress monitoring for RTI 2 . These schools also built strong RTI 2 - focused teams , used their time and space strategically to provide intervention opportunities , and had principals who emphasized RTI 2 as a collective goal . 28 These successful strategies are important points of guidance for best practices .
TEACHER LEADERSHIP . Momentum grew in 2016 to empower teachers as leaders in their schools , districts , and communities . Research shows teacher leadership supports strategies and behaviors with strong links to increased student achievement . 29 Furthermore , research has shown that schools using a “ collective leadership ” model – with leadership distributed across staff at a school , instead of concentrated on the principal alone — demonstrate stronger influence on student achievement than individual leadership approaches . 30
GOALS OF THE TENNESSEE TEACHER LEADERSHIP COLLABORATIVE
Ensure teacher leadership efforts are coordinated and have impact
Expand the role of teacher leadership in attracting , retaining , and supporting highly effective educators
Amplify educator voice and support empowered educators
Identify and expand access to teacher leadership opportunities in Tennessee
Prioritize teacher leadership as a sustainable statewide strategy