When Students Create their own Curriculum: The Big Picture Learning Model

Dozens of schools around the U.S. are opting to ditch the traditional school structure altogether to motivate teens in new ways–and it seems to be working. They are using the Big Picture Learning model. Big Picture’s model is now used in more than 60 schools across the U.S. In Vermont, it’s also a precursor to a[…]


7 Things Education Leaders Should Do Right Now

Recently, Tom Vander Ark from Getting Smart published an insightful to-do list for education leaders. Vander Ark states, “Being an education leader is complicated and challenging. The politics are personal and multilayered. It can be the best and worst job in the world at the same time. But there is no role where an individual[…]


Free Instructional Leadership Series from Discovery Education

Discovery Education, a leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, invites superintendents and curriculum leaders to attend a unique new series of professional learning events exploring critical topics in education leadership. This series, which launches on January 28 in Hershey, PA, will explore critical topics in education including equity, personalized learning,[…]


Principal Supervisor Professional Standards

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has released new standards that provide a clear, practical definition of what the supervisors of school principals should know and be able to do to improve the effectiveness of principals. With support from The Wallace Foundation, a team of educators from across the nation has spent more[…]


The Relationship between Principal Characteristics and Student Achievement

Is a principal’s educational experience, professional behavior, or leadership style related to increased student learning? This systematic review of the literature conducted by Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast with support from the Institutes of Education Sciences answers these questions. The research team identified 52 peer-reviewed studies that met the review criteria, including: One experimental study that[…]

Transforming Education

Recent Paper highlights Non-Cognitive Skills

A new working paper from Transforming Education highlights important findings regarding non-cognitive skills, specifically self-control and social competence in students. The paper is organized around nine “headlines;” these are conclusions that the authors suggest are justified by the research literature. These headlines concern the relationship of non-cognitive skills to academics, careers, and general well-being. The[…]

jobs for the future paper

Deeper Teaching: Students at the Center of Learning

Most high school students are accustomed to learning in two ways: by listening to the teacher and by reading books and other texts. These familiar ways of learning work for them so long as their teachers demand only that they grasp and remember the given content. However, if the goal is to help students learn[…]

follow through

Implementation is the New Innovation

With the Obama administration’s signature education initiative, Race to the Top, concluded, states and districts should resist the temptation to try new reforms and should focus on improving implementation of the initiatives adopted to increase student success and close achievement gaps. A new report by Education First, a national education policy organization that worked closely[…]


State of the States 2015: Evaluating Teaching, Leading, Learning

A new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) examines the policy landscape of teacher and principal evaluations, as well as various states’ successes in using evaluations to inform teacher practice and administrative decisions. As of 2015, twenty-seven states require annual evaluations for all teachers, and forty-five require annual evaluations for all new,[…]


Continued Progress: Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning

The Gates Foundation and Rand Corporation have partnered to create a report focused on personalized learning approaches to education. This report, Continued Progress: Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning, examines achievement in 62 public charter and district schools that are pursuing a variety of personalized learning practices, and examines implementation details in 32 of those schools.[…]


School System 20/20 Assessments and Metrics

School System 20/20 from Education Resource Strategies presents the first version of School System 20/20 Assessments and Metrics, a detailed set of key questions and metrics used to create the Lawrence case study, and designed to help school systems understand whether their policies, structures, and practices create the conditions for improving student performance at scale.[…]


New Educational Leadership Standards seek to Increase Student Achievement

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA) have recently released new standards for educational leaders. This project started last year with the intent to update the 2008 standards. The standards, now known as the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (formerly ISLLC), were designed to ensure[…]


State of the States Report says Gifted and Talented Children are Overlooked

A recent survey and report conducted on the State of the State in Gifted Education by both the National Association for Gifted Children and the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted released some surprising information on the (sometimes inadequate) plans, laws, and services in place for gifted and talented children across the[…]


Student Voice: A way for Students to make their Voices Heard

              A new group called Student Voice has set out to collect data and advocate for students to help improve the situation students are facing in schools. Student Voice is a nationwide group that is obtaining feedback and tackling issues important to students. Student Voice National Field Director Andrew Brennen is encouraging students to[…]


High School Accountability Systems

In “Mind the Gap: The Case for Re-Imagining the Way States Judge High School Quality”, Chad Aldeman argues that new, more multidimensional ways of judging high school quality are essential. Current state and federal policies on high schools tend to reward schools that perform well on measures like test scores and graduation rates while forcing[…]

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Don’t Quit on Me: The Power of Relationships for High School Graduation

Don’t Quit on Me: What Young People Who Left School Say about the Power of Relationships examines, from the perspective of young people themselves, the roles that relationships with adults and peers play in decisions about staying in, leaving, and returning to high school. Building on previous studies, including last year’s Don’t Call Them Dropouts,[…]