The Evidence on Non-Cognitive Skills from California’s CORE Districts

Previously, this blog introduced readers to the work of California’s CORE Districts. Now preliminary evidence is out, and we are able to look more closely at the use of self-report surveys of non-cognitive skills as a potential element of school accountability systems. Analysis of data from the CORE field test indicates that the scales used[…]


Developing Excellent School Principals: Considerations for State Policy

Even though school principals have a powerful impact on teaching and student achievement, in general they remain relatively low priorities on crowded state education policy agendas. A new report recently released suggests a number of possible actions that state policymakers can consider to raise the profile of principals on policy agendas and ensure they are[…]

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Eyes on the Prize: System-Wide Goals to Drive Student Success

In the first of a series of research briefs focused on the biggest implementation challenges facing American education today, EDI looks at what data from the field can tell us about education leaders’ capacity to anchor their work in clear student outcome goals. Eyes on the prize: The capacity of education leaders to use system-wide[…]

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Making the Grade: A 50 State Analysis of Accountability Systems

Over the past 15 years, a national consensus has slowly coalesced around one of the most enduring and contentious debates in education circles: how to hold schools and districts accountable for improving outcomes. The Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, is in many ways the culmination of the movement towards more sophisticated accountability systems and[…]


Want to Fix Education? Give a Kid a Tutor

In the late 1970’s, education research was deemed a pseudoscience by many in the field due to a lack of clear data and results that pointed to effective practice. In response, researchers began designing field experiments to test the effectiveness of programs and practices. In recent years, as concern over U.S. educational performance has increased,[…]


A Policymaker’s Guide to School Leadership

Whether the goal is to enhance instruction, create a culture of excellence, or broaden education options for parents, it’s nearly impossible to improve schools without strong leaders. This is hardly news; much evidence has indicated the importance of effective principals for decades. Yet reform strategies have largely lacked a coherent plan to upgrade leadership, even[…]

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Policy Change is not the Only Path to School Reform

A recent opinion blog, written by Michael J. Petrilli, President of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, discusses the education sector’s exhaustion with policies on education reform. Mr. Petrilli writes: It strikes me, and several others with whom I’ve spoken in recent months, that education reform is at a turning point. It’s not just the new[…]


Lessons on Teacher Preparation

A group of leading teacher preparation program providers – Deans for Impact – released a set of policy recommendations calling for outcomes-based accountability and data-informed improvement in teacher preparation. Their recommendations are consistent with the following findings: Teacher preparation programs are disconnected from local labor market needs. There is no incentive for teacher education programs to slow the[…]

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ACSD Releases Teacher Impact Grants

ASCD has announced its Teacher Impact Grants program, which will provide direct grants to teacher leaders to fund initiatives that drive transformation for wider impact on improving student outcomes. The Teacher Impact Grants will enable teachers to have a greater impact on the quality of teaching in their classrooms, schools, and districts—and assume greater ownership of student[…]


Hard Thinking on Soft Skills

A recent report from Brookings explores the research behind and the challenges with schools taking up the responsibility of enhancing students’ soft skills. Below is a brief summary of the report and its recommendations: The nation’s PK-12 education ecosystem is poised to embrace programs intended to enhance soft skills. Soft skills are personal qualities other[…]

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A High School Student on Education Reform

Jonah Steele is a current high school student, writing on Medium about the current debate over education reform. He laments the fact that students do not seem to have any input, or at least are not taken seriously, in this debate. Mr. Steele states: Regardless of how many times you’ve watched a TED talk pop[…]


What Defines a Good School?

In a recent opinion piece in Education Week, David Gamberg, superintendent of both the Southold Union Free School District and the Greenport Union Free School District, reflects on what makes a good school. Below are excerpts from his piece: Words matter. Of course, brick and mortar are only a small part of the story. The[…]


Steps to Transform Schools into Leadership Machines

Great teachers matter-we all know that. But great principals matter nearly as much. When they lead a team of teacher-leaders in instructional excellence, student learning can soar. But then what? Can principals like these take their leadership to the next level and stay connected to teachers and students? In An Excellent Principal for Every School:[…]


Middle School Matters Field Guide

The George W. Bush Institute’s Middle School Matters initiative and The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at the University of Texas at Austin (MCPER) recently published the second edition of the “Middle School Matters Field Guide,” a collection of research-based principles, practices, and strategies deemed essential for middle school success. The updated field guide[…]


Getting Smart: 6 Entry Points for Deeper Learning

In a recent Getting Smart article, Bonnie Lathram and Tyler Nakatsu explore how educators can get started with Deeper Learning. They suggest six entry points: Be a maker As an educator, what artifacts are there that can showcase the “makers” that you and your students are? Bring your own talents to the work you are[…]