U.S. Education Policy Reform

The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) may bring about changes that affect the way schools operate and even how student achievement is assessed. These changes may also impact the choices a parent may have among schools in a particular location. Some changes already underway can affect school choices. School Liaisons should be aware of these changes and be prepared to explain them to the parents of military-connected children. Here are some important policies being implemented:

New Teacher Evaluation Methods

More than a dozen states are developing new methods for evaluating teacher effectiveness. These measures will provide information on the extent to which schools have employed teachers who are effective in improving student learning, and these measures can be used to compare schools. Parents can take the level of teacher effectiveness into consideration when choosing a school for their children. School Liaisons should be aware of the new policies and practices to make available the most current information about teacher effectiveness within schools.

Expansion of Charter Schools

The Obama administration’s Race to the Top program encourages many states to lift previously enacted caps on the number of charter schools allowable within the state in order to create more available charter schools. At the same time, the administration has also encouraged districts to replace low-performing schools with charter schools. For military-connected students located in low-performing school districts, such reforms could provide additional and/or higher-quality options in the near future.