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The County ESAs assist districts and charter schools in acquiring nationally researched, scientifically-based best practices in school and instructional improvement that complement the ADE’s Standards and Rubrics for School Improvement as well as address the highly qualified teacher requirements outlined in NCLB. ESAs serve the entire K–12 educational system and ensure statewide capacity to deliver high-quality professional development programs that meet the identified county needs of teachers, principals, and students.  The County ESAs implement professional development plans and activities that reflect nationally recognized strategies and those defined in NCLB, Section 9101(34) for high quality professional development.

State administered professional development programs that target teachers in district and charter schools not making AYP

To participate in the programs below, Arizona grants “competitive priorities” (additional points in a rubric based application for participation process) or “absolute priorities” (participation limited to those for whom the priority is granted) to teachers in district and charter schools not making AYP.

What Works in Schools conference – Absolute Priority to teams from Title I Schools not making AYP

New in 2005-06, school teams were able to collaborate with Dr. Robert Marzano, staff from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Cadre Members (Bea McGarvey and Debra Pickering) and staff from the Arizona Department of Education, to assist in identifying the school level, teacher level, and student level factors that impact student achievement and how to incorporate these factors as they developed goals and wrote their Arizona School Improvement Plan (ASIP). A similar opportunity will be available in 2006-07.

Best Practices Academies - Absolute Priority to teachers from Title I district and charter schools identified as not making adequate yearly progress and teachers from schools identified as underperforming on the state measure.

The Academies provide a concentrated focus on Solution Team findings, requests from ASSIST Coaches and Title I School and LEA Improvement Specialists, as well as requests from the field, and student achievement data.  All schools not making AYP and those schools identified as “Underperforming” by AZLEARNS are provided the opportunity to attend two Best Practices Academies per year at no cost, including travel reimbursements. Title I schools identified as not making AYP but not identified as underperforming on the state measures also receive priority and use their Title I School Improvement Grant to offset the cost of attending the academies.  Over 51 academies have been offered since 2004, with over 4,500 educators attending these events.  All academies address the necessary concepts and strategies to strengthen the skills and knowledge of teachers already working in high-poverty, low-performing schools.  

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