Leading Educators Responds to Improving Student Achievement Agenda for 2024
Federal efforts will provide catalytic support for our nation’s educators and students
NEW ORLEANS, LA. (January 31, 2024) – This month, the Biden-Harris Administration announced its Improving Student Achievement Agenda for 2024, a commitment to using all available tools—including accountability, reporting, grants, and technical assistance—to intensify the adoption of three evidence-based strategies that improve student learning: (1) increasing student attendance; (2) providing high-dosage tutoring; and (3) increasing summer learning and extended or afterschool learning time.
As partners to public school systems that collectively serve more than 2 million of our country’s young people, we see these efforts as an important rallying cry when communities continue to face significant challenges brought on by the global pandemic, historical inequity, and a changing world. These federal efforts will provide catalytic support for our nation’s educators and students, and we applaud the administration’s emphasis on evidence-based strategies.
For our country and our communities at large, the work cannot stop there. Even more is needed to ensure every student has a fair chance to build a fulfilling and secure future. These federal efforts can increase the quantity of instructional time, and yet, we cannot lose sight of ensuring that the quality of instruction improves as well. That charge is at the heart of our mission.
Today, too few students have consistent access to instructional materials, tasks, and teaching that live up to their own full potential.
- Effective learning acceleration relies on teachers having deep subject-area knowledge and using standards-aligned instructional practices, but teacher preparation programs and traditional professional development do not adequately address these competencies. Robust curriculum-based professional learning matters more now than ever.
- Equitable improvement also demands coherence and sustainability in system-level strategy. This is especially difficult to maintain amid historic leadership turnover. We encourage school system leaders to articulate a clear, multi-year vision for improvement, common and specific improvement goals, aligned roles and responsibilities, and measuring success.
- Finally, ESSER presents a historic opportunity to build for the future. School systems should prioritize initiatives that meet a high evidence threshold and that will result in durable capacity. We have seen partners from Chicago to Charleston prove that significant acceleration is possible within a comprehensive and appropriately resourced strategy for improvement. Chicago’s successes were made possible by the support of a federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grant, underscoring the catalytic value of federal funds can generate.
We share the department’s commitment to lifting up promising evidence-based practices, and we aim to be a partner by sharing our own research and learning. More work to understand how professional support for educators drives student achievement, such as the research done by the Research Partnership for Professional Learning, should be a top priority for the field.
The future is changing rapidly, and we know it also promises students new opportunities not seen by past generations. If educators are positioned to help students develop the knowledge, sense of self, care for others, and confidence to solve complex challenges, they can access opportunity and create a better world. We will continue to help school systems deliver on that promise.
About Leading Educators
Leading Educators is a national education nonprofit that helps school systems leverage research on how students learn, what teachers need to excel, and how systems improve to nurture excellence in every classroom.
We partner with leaders to offer a range of contextualized supports, including strategic advising, ongoing curriculum-based professional learning design and implementation, and coaching to spark transformation at scale. By building on strengths and bolstering the conditions for educators to succeed, we ensure that transformational leadership, practices, and results endure without us. Learn more at leadingeducators.org.
Adan Garcia, Director of Communications