The Shortcomings of Efficiency in Education

Andy Smarick, writing for AEI, has penned a piece on the shortcomings of efficiency as an educational goal. Excerpts from his article appear below: There are very good reasons to resist (or at least be skeptical of) efforts to drive “efficiency” in public education. One of the biggest reasons is that any attempt to maximize Read more about The Shortcomings of Efficiency in Education[…]

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Teachers Supporting Teachers: State Policies for Non-Classroom-Based Instructors

The Center on Great Teachers and Leaders has released a new Ask the Team Brief, Teachers Supporting Teachers: State Policies for Non-Classroom-Based Instructors. Across the United States, non-classroom-based positions have been added in districts and schools to provide instructional support to teachers. They go by various names–coach, mentor, teacher leader–but typically they help classroom teachers Read more about Teachers Supporting Teachers: State Policies for Non-Classroom-Based Instructors[…]

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New Studies Suggest Choice of Curriculum and Textbooks Can Make a Big Difference for Students

Matt Barnum of The 74  recently reviewed research on the importance of curricular materials for student achievement. Excerpts from his article appear below: The idea that schools can get better simply by improving the content of what they teach may seem at once novel and obvious in an education policy debate dominated by heated battles Read more about New Studies Suggest Choice of Curriculum and Textbooks Can Make a Big Difference for Students[…]

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“Letters To A Young Education Reformer”

How best to reform K-12 education in America is the subject of passionate debate. Lagging test scores, dispiriting classroom environments, and growing fears about our nation’s international competitiveness have inspired a new cadre of reformers searching for ways to modernize and transform the US education system. At the same time, reform efforts-from Common Core and Read more about “Letters To A Young Education Reformer”[…]

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May Issue Brief: Professional Learning

Recent research reveals that although districts spend large amounts of money on professional development, PD has a poor reputation for actually improving instructional practice, and research shows that current approaches are not having the desired effect on teacher practice or student achievement. In the May issue brief from Core Education, we offer resources that provide Read more about May Issue Brief: Professional Learning[…]

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Early Results in California’s CORE Districts

As states and districts work to develop new accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act, six California districts who received federal waivers under the Obama administration are getting the first hints of how more holistic accountability systems might work. Researchers and district officials discussed the first evaluations of the California Office to Reform Education, Read more about Early Results in California’s CORE Districts[…]

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Professional Development Activities of U.S. Public School Teachers

A new report from the National Center for Education Statistics provides a snapshot of teacher professional development among U.S. public school teachers. The report uses data collected through the 2011–12 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) Public School Teacher Questionnaire. This report relies on data provided by public school teachers about their professional development activities. The Read more about Professional Development Activities of U.S. Public School Teachers[…]

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Changes in the Teaching Workforce over 25 Years

Between 1987 and 2012, the teacher workforce in America’s schools grew by 46 percent and became more racially and ethnically diverse, according to a new report. The National Center for Education Statistics in the Institute of Education Sciences released the new statistical analysis report, entitled A Quarter Century of Changes in the Elementary and Secondary Read more about Changes in the Teaching Workforce over 25 Years[…]

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Five Unexpected Places where You can Learn to Be a Better Teacher

If you ever attend an amateur comedy contest, you’ll notice that beginning comics face some of the same classroom-management-style issues that pop up in an inexperienced teacher’s classroom. As with teaching, experienced comics can make “owning the room” look easy. That’s because they’ve had years to develop their material and practice fundamental skills like timing Read more about Five Unexpected Places where You can Learn to Be a Better Teacher[…]

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Igniting the Learning Engine

Igniting the Learning Engine, a new report from Education Resource Strategies, examines how leaders in four school systems have successfully re-organized resources to create the type of effective, job-embedded professional learning that teachers are asking for. The report describes three inter-related elements that these systems have in common: (a) Rigorous, comprehensive curricula and assessments aligned Read more about Igniting the Learning Engine[…]

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Practice What You Teach: Connecting Curriculum and Professional Learning in Schools

A new report by Ross Wiener and Susan Pimentel of the Aspen Institute makes the case for integrating curriculum into professional learning so teachers can focus on creating engaging learning environments, responding to the needs of their students, and continuously improving their craft. Practice What You Teach: Connecting Curriculum and Professional Learning in Schools  highlights Read more about Practice What You Teach: Connecting Curriculum and Professional Learning in Schools[…]

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Key Takeaways: State Accountability Plans Under ESSA

Twelve states and the District of Columbia have submitted plans for implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. These states include Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Vermont. The U.S. Department of Education has already informed two of the states, Maine and Massachusetts, Read more about Key Takeaways: State Accountability Plans Under ESSA[…]

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The Failure of the U.S. Education Research Establishment

Stanley Pogrow has produced a paper concluding that most education research is of little value to people in schools. Research validating programs to develop the reading skills of students born into poverty, for example, validates programs that are not effective in practice, he says. Pogrow’s paper analyzes in easy-to-understand language the validity of the gold Read more about The Failure of the U.S. Education Research Establishment[…]

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Learning from Mixed Results: What’s Next for Teacher Professional Development?

Research from three studies has found that intensive, content-focused professional development (PD) improved teachers’ knowledge and some aspects of their practice, but did not improve student achievement. The studies are summarized by AIR in its brief, Does Content-Focused Teacher Professional Development Work? The PD examined in the three studies emphasized building teachers’ content knowledge and Read more about Learning from Mixed Results: What’s Next for Teacher Professional Development?[…]

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CASEL Guidance, Tools and Resources for SEL

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning  (CASEL) has published a vast set of online guidance and practical tools to help school districts and schools systemically implement practices that promote social and emotional learning (SEL). The SEL District Resource Center includes more than 500 resources that address priorities from setting a vision, to aligning Read more about CASEL Guidance, Tools and Resources for SEL[…]

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How State Assessments Can Foster 21st Century Learning

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) opens up new possibilities for more meaningful approaches to assessing student learning and teacher and school success. The law broadens the concept of student learning, requiring that assessments measure “higher order thinking skills and understanding,” and explicitly allowing the use of multiple assessments – including “portfolios, projects, or extended-performance Read more about How State Assessments Can Foster 21st Century Learning[…]

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