The U.S. Education Department delegation to the International Summit on the Teaching Profession in Amsterdam just committed to three new initiatives involving teacher evaluation, the Common Core State Standards and equity in education.

The Education Department has yet to set out a firm agenda for the second term of the Obama administration, beyond a commitment to stepping up efforts on early childhood education.

Department officials just attended the summit in the Netherlands, where the focus was the quality of teachers. Here is the text of an e-mail that Joanne Weiss, the chief of staff to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, sent to a number of people, with news of the U.S. promises made at the summit this week:

Here are the 3 commitments we made at the 2013 ISTP (and a little additional commentary!):
1. Develop multiple indicators of student learning that can be used to improve practice. (Note:  The goal is to document a variety of indicators that can serve as models for the field, beyond and/or standing next to standardized assessment.)


2. Actively support the implementation of common core state standards through an emphasis on more effective use of time and professional collaboration, and on better curriculum and resources. (Note: We decided that our next LMC [Labor Management Collaboration] conference will focus on this. However there are likely other things we need to do as well — especially if our goal is to build real capacity for professional collaboration/communities of practice.)


3. As a critical component of improving equity, work together to roll out a strong plan for early childhood education. (Note: We all agree on this one — we need to put resources behind doing it together.)