Areas of Focus

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Implementation Center maintains the following focus areas:

NCLB Highly Qualified Teacher Provision
The NCLB Implementation Center works with school districts to assist them in building systemic capacity to ensure that all teachers are highly qualified as set forth by the No Child Left Behind Act.

In 2004–05, the NCLB Implementation Center worked with three school districts in Illinois to develop short-term plans to meet the highly qualified teacher provision of the No Child Left Behind Act. In addition, long-term plans were developed to improve teacher support, recruitment, and retention efforts.

Instructional Leadership
The NCLB Implementation Center works to strengthen teacher and school administrator leadership through instructional leadership practices and strategies.

The NCLB Implementation Center's approach to developing systemic capacity of instructional leadership cuts across content areas by focusing on data-driven decision making, results-based professional development, and cultural proficiency. Figure 1 illustrates the relationships between instructional leadership and each area.

Figure 1. Instructional Leadership Development

Leadership Development Flowchart.

Professional Development
The NCLB Implementation Center provides school districts with high-quality professional development and helps districts design an ongoing professional development plan.

Available to participating districts are services, such as job-embedded professional development and a data system to track professional development, as well as tools, such as the High-Quality Teaching Online Professional Plan (HiTOPP). HiTOPP is a suite of tools that includes the following: (1) High-Quality Teaching Online Portfolio, (2) Teacher Classroom Observation Tool, (3) Individual Teacher Online Professional Development Plan, and (4) Porter Center Comprehensive Professional Development Planning Tool.

Hard-to-Staff Schools
The NCLB Implementation Center works with school districts that contain schools defined as "hard-to-staff."

Hard-to-staff schools are those that serve a high percentage of low-poverty and/or minority students; have a difficult time attracting and retaining well-qualified teachers and principals; have a significantly higher proportion of teachers who have temporary or emergency certification, who teach in fields for which they lack strong subject-matter preparation ("out-of-field"), or who are in the first year or two of their teaching careers; and have lower graduation rates. For more information on the latest research, policies, and initiatives on hard-to-staff schools, visit the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality.

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