At the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Moving Forward Conference on November 16th, 2011, in Phoenix, AZ, ERS Executive Director Karen Hawley Miles said that state action is necessary to support districts’ transformation of their resources to meet the rapidly changing demands of educating our youth, especially in these tough economic times. During her presentation to representatives from 17 states, she focused on how states can effectively work with districts on teacher compensation, job structure, and professional development. Instead of dictating inputs, which often cripple the ability of school district to address the unique needs of their students, states should take a more supportive role that allows them to influence outcomes while allowing districts the flexibility to achieve success within the specific needs of their district. Afterwards, ERS Director Regis Shields led breakout sessions where the state representatives shared practices and brainstormed state actions that could affect the teaching effectiveness in their states. State representatives had a lively discussion of their current projects, and agreed that a combination of state roles was needed to drive successful outcomes. Those actions fell in to six groups of state roles that are defined below.
State Roles to Influence District Policy: