In 2003, NIET began work in Louisiana through a partnership with Louisiana Department of Education to support high-need schools and improve classroom instruction and student achievement. This work led to the approval of the NIET Teaching Standards Rubric as a statewide rubric for teacher observation and support. NIET also currently partners with 22 school districts and four charter management organizations, in total representing 298 high-need schools.
Creating a comprehensive approach to school success
NIET's work focuses on high-need students and high-need schools, with improvement extending districtwide. We support districts in creating a comprehensive approach to school success that is based on building school-based leadership teams, and training teacher leaders to lead weekly professional learning and provide classroom level coaching for teachers. School-level professional learning is integrated and aligned with district support, creating greater consistency and coherence for teachers.
This comprehensive approach looks different in each district based on their unique needs. For example, DeSoto Parish in northwest Louisiana has worked with NIET for more than a decade. As the district built the skills of teacher leaders and school leaders to guide school improvement, they continually evolved their practices. When the state required all students to take the ACT, DeSoto had in place school-level professional learning teams that were able to seamlessly integrate ACT coaches and connect the work of the ACT coaches to school goals. The result was the highest growth in ACT scores in the state.
More recently, when Louisiana introduced an initiative to support districts in selecting and implementing high-quality curricula (called Tier 1 curricula), the school-based structures in NIET partner schools and districts provided support for the rollout. Read more about Louisiana's effort to implement effective teaching practices aligned to the curricula.
Teacher candidates prepared for day one
Extending this work, NIET is collaborating with educator preparation programs at Southeastern Louisiana University and Louisiana State University-Alexandria. Universities are embedding the NIET Teaching Standards into coursework and field experiences for teacher candidates. Teacher candidates are placed in high-need schools with school-based support structures that provide weekly collaborative professional learning and individual classroom coaching. NIET's work with teacher preparation programs supports new candidates who choose to work in a high-need school and helps them be more effective on day one.