About the SHEEO Collaborative
In 1994, State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) and the K-16 professional development coordinators in the state agencies formed a national network to support the administrators of the Eisenhower Professional Development Program. The SHEEO/Eisenhower Higher Education Coordinators Network, as it was then known, was created to promote and foster interstate sharing and the dissemination of innovative and successful teacher professional development programs in the states.
When President Bush's "No Child Left Behind Act" (NCLB) eliminated the Eisenhower Professional Development Program in 2001, SHEEO worked with the state coordinators and the Congress to urge successfully that the SAHE grants continue to be funded through Title II A, Subpart 3 of the new legislation. With the approval of NCLB in 2002, the Eisenhower Network changed its name to become the SHEEO K-16 Professional Development Collaborative.
In its current form, the Collaborative is the group of individuals from each state, district or territory with primary administrative responsibility for the Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) State Agencies of Higher Education (SAHE) Partnership grants through NCLB. Though re-established under new legislation, the Collaborative continues its mission to fund, assist and administer top quality professional development programs to meet areas of need in the states and nationally.
SHEEO Collaborative Activities
The goal of SHEEO in supporting the Collaborative is to assist state efforts in providing high quality teacher professional development programs through Title II A, Subpart 3 of NCLB.
This assistance includes:
- Maintaining the SHEEO K-16 Teacher Professional Development Collaborative website, which includes:
- A Directory of Higher Education Program Coordinators, including contact information for the program coordinators for each state
- Links to national, regional and state program-related websites
- Maintaining the SHEEO K-16 Teacher Professional Development Collaborative listserv, through which state program administrators can exchange information and elicit advice and assistance
- Notifying members of resources, including publications and legislation, related to professional development programs and teacher quality efforts
- Distributing, collecting, and reporting aggregate national data on Collaborative grant program activities through the SHEEO Collaborative Data Survey (SCDS)
- Providing ongoing advocacy support for state level teacher quality efforts and initiatives
- Organizing and supporting a yearly convening of state program administrators, the SHEEO K-16 Teacher Professional Development Collaborative Meeting, in conjunction with SHEEO’s annual Professional Development Conference
- Providing an opportunity for SAHE directors to meet and discuss emerging issues within the Department of Education’s annual Title II meeting for SAHEs and SEAs
- Organizing and supporting additional meetings (as necessary, appropriate, and to the extent feasible) for state program administrators with Department of Education staff and representatives from national education organizations
About the SAHE Grants Program
Quality teachers are the greatest single determinant of student achievement. When schools and districts are held accountable for student performance, it is the teachers that are ultimately responsible for raising achievement levels. Just like practitioners in other professions, teacher need to deepen their knowledge and improve their skills over the course of their careers to stay at the top of their game. Teacher professional development has always been key to consistent improvement in performance over the career of a teaching professional. In today’s era of high performance expectations for all students and increased accountability for results, the need for quality teacher professional development has never been greater.
In response to this need, the federal government has supported professional development for elementary and secondary school teachers through various mechanisms for more than twenty years. Following the Nation at Risk report, the Eisenhower Mathematics and Science Education Program was created in 1984 and was continued as the Eisenhower Professional Development Program in 1994. While No Child Left Behind in 2001 eliminated the Eisenhower Professional Development Program, it continued (in Title II A, subpart 3) one aspect of the Eisenhower program found to be unusually effective by external evaluators – teacher professional development grant programs administered by state agencies of higher education (SAHEs).
Title II, Part A of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act combines funding from the Eisenhower program with funding from other teacher quality-related programs (e.g. Class-Size Reduction) to create a single pool of funds for teacher professional development. The purpose of the Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) programs under NCLB is to increase the academic achievement of all students by helping schools and districts improve teacher and principal quality and ensure that all teachers are highly qualified. The focus of the program was expanded to include professional development for paraprofessionals and principals as well as teachers, and to support programs outside of math and science.
Under the SAHE Partnership grants, state agencies of higher education are granted funds on a formula basis. Currently, two and a half percent of the funds appropriated for this purpose support grant programs administered by SAHEs, with the rest allocated to grant programs administered by State (K-12) Education Agencies (SEAs). SAHEs use these federal dollars to provide grants to colleges and universities to deliver high-quality professional development programs to elementary and secondary school teachers. SAHE program grants are made available on a competitive basis to partnerships consisting of, at minimum, a high-need local education agency (LEA), a school of arts and sciences, and an institution of higher education (IHE) and the division of that institution that prepares teachers and principals.
Activities Supported by the SAHE Grants Program
The state higher education K-16 professional development grants support intensive, content-focused summer and school-year professional development programs and the development of curriculum resources that are shared among many teachers. Across the country, programs are being developed to improve teaching and learning in the classrooms, promote systemic reform in K-12 and postsecondary education, support innovation and change in teacher education programs, and provide opportunities for school-college collaboration. The program is especially effective in building partnerships between higher education faculty and local school teachers.
Over the years, State Higher Education Agency grant programs in the 52 U.S. states, districts and territories have focused on various aspects of teacher professional development, including:
- helping beginning teachers become more proficient,
- improving middle school mathematics instruction,
- increasing the success of minority students in math and science,
- aligning professional development with standards-based school reform (most recently, the common core state standards), and
- helping teachers use technology in the classroom.
Although a systematic evaluation of these programs has not been completed since the 2001 reauthorization, the state higher education agency grants were continued in No Child Left Behind due to highly favorable external evaluations of their work through the Eisenhower teacher development programs.
The U.S. Department of Education makes funding allocations each year for the Title II programs. The SAHE portion of the program funds are 2.5% of the total funds allocated to the program. This amount is then divided among the 52 states, districts, and territories. The following documents provide information about individual state allocations, allowing comparisons in allocation amounts within and between states over time.
SHEEO Collaborative members pay dues to sustain the activities of the Collaborative. These dues are based on a tiered scale corresponding to the amount of funds provided to the state through the Title II program. The document below describes the current SHEEO dues structure.
Periodically, SHEEO has written statements to Congress in support of the Collaborative to ensure that funding for this vital program is continued. During the creation of the 2001 NCLB legislation, SHEEO hired a lobbyist to make the case for this program to Congress. As a result, while the Eisenhower program was eliminated, the higher education teacher quality partnership grants were continued through Title II, Part A, Subpart 3. Below are the statements prepared by SHEEO in support of the Collaborative grant program in 2001 (NCLB), 2007 and 2010 (NCLB reauthorization).
- 2010 SHEEO Statements
- - Title II, Part A - One-Pager
- - Teacher Professional Development by State Higher Education Agencies
- - Recommendations on Teacher and School Leader Preparation
- - Letter to Chariman Miller
- 2007 SHEEO Statement
- 2001 SHEEO Statement