Researchers Peek into the Black Box of the Classroom

Writing for Ed Excellence, Michael Petrilli has summarized some of the biggest problems with educational research and has proposed three promising pathways forward. Excerpts from his piece appear below: Whereas the world outside of our schools has been transformed by information technology, the data we collect on classroom practices is somewhere between nonexistent and laughably Read more about Researchers Peek into the Black Box of the Classroom[…]

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New Tools and Resources for Reimagining Teacher Preparation

For the past two years, Education First has facilitated a community of practice of five teacher preparation technical assistance centers–Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, National Center for Teacher Residencies, TeacherSquared, TeachingWorks and University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Prep–working to reimagine the way teachers are prepared for the classroom. As part of Read more about New Tools and Resources for Reimagining Teacher Preparation[…]

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Education Data 101

The Data Quality Campaign has released Education Data 101, a primer on the most important concepts and research related to education data. The purpose of this publication is to bring policymakers up to speed, but it also provides a nice summary of talking points for anyone involved in education. The publication focuses on eight pressing Read more about Education Data 101[…]

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A Student Agency Game Plan – How to Use Data to Bridge Choice and Accountability

Writing for EdSurge, Winnie O’Leary offers an overview of how to utilize data to build student agency while also holding students accountable. Excerpts from the piece appear below: A few years ago, Harvard’s Achievement Gap Institute conducted a study on teaching and student agency. The study recognized agency as potentially “…as important an outcome of Read more about A Student Agency Game Plan – How to Use Data to Bridge Choice and Accountability[…]

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Data Equity Walk Toolkit: A New Approach to Community Engagement

The Education Trust-West has launched a new tool for advocates to use when discussing educational equity with parents, educators, students, and other community members. This new tool provides presentation materials, a video, logistical recommendations, and a facilitation guide so that advocates across the country can lead Data Equity Walks. Data Equity Walks are 45-90 minute Read more about Data Equity Walk Toolkit: A New Approach to Community Engagement[…]

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The Fog of “College Readiness”

Chester E. Finn, Jr., distinguished senior fellow and president emeritus at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, recently reflected on the illusion of college readiness for National Affairs. Excerpts from his piece appear below: Our K-12 education system has a transparency problem, and our higher-education system is complicit. While some American parents have a decent sense Read more about The Fog of “College Readiness”[…]

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Show me the Data: State Report Cards Must Answer Questions and Inform Action

States create annual aggregate report cards for the public about education statewide. But can people easily find and understand these reports? In many cases, the answer is no. In summer 2016, the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) set out to discover what information it could easily find on state report cards from all 50 states and Read more about Show me the Data: State Report Cards Must Answer Questions and Inform Action[…]

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Guides Offer Educators Help Designing, Administering, and Analyzing Surveys

Survey data can be an effective way to gather data that informs instruction or programmatic decisions. But some educators do not have the training or experience needed to design surveys or analyze the data that surveys can provide. Three research alliances in the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northeast and Islands region asked the REL to Read more about Guides Offer Educators Help Designing, Administering, and Analyzing Surveys[…]

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Collaborative Inquiry in MNPS

Each month in Core Education’s issue brief, we post a call for commentary. We always enjoy hearing great ideas from our readers! Recently, we had the pleasure of speaking with Margie Johnson of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) about an innovative approach to collaborative inquiry that the district is implementing. Through a partnership with REL Read more about Collaborative Inquiry in MNPS[…]

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Stanford Data Set Reveals Local Education Inequities

Sean Reardon and colleagues at the Graduate School of Education reviewed more than 200 million test scores to spotlight communities with the nation’s worst achievement gaps. The results show almost every school district enrolling large numbers of low-income students has an average academic performance significantly below the national grade-level average. Reardon and colleagues already have Read more about Stanford Data Set Reveals Local Education Inequities[…]

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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 Read more about What Defines a Good School?[…]

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Improving Observer Training: The Trends and Challenges

Observations of teacher performance are a critical component of most teacher evaluation systems, and, if done well, they can help teachers better understand and improve their practice. Yet, as critical as observations are to ensuring quality instruction, not much is known about how districts are training and supporting their observers. This report examines recent research Read more about Improving Observer Training: The Trends and Challenges[…]

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Improving Teacher Prep Data: Policy Statement from Deans for Impact

Deans for Impact recently looked at nearly two dozen educator preparation programs and found that only six have access to student achievement data connected to the teachers they prepared. Less than a third have access to other kinds of data about their graduates’ performance, like classroom observations. The organization, in a new policy agenda, says Read more about Improving Teacher Prep Data: Policy Statement from Deans for Impact[…]

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Education Week Releases Quality Counts 2016

The 2016 edition of Education Week’s Quality Counts report—Called to Account: New Directions in School Accountability—examines how new state and federal strategies are transforming the assessment of school performance and reshaping the consequences for poor results. In addition to the special focus on accountability, Quality Counts 2016 features the report’s hallmark report card on the Read more about Education Week Releases Quality Counts 2016[…]

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Aspen Institute Releases Checklist for Education Policymakers

In the last several years, state policymakers have enacted a dizzying array of new policies on education issues ranging from assessment and accountability to cursive-handwriting and citizenship exams. Within states, education policy-making isn’t led by one person or entity, but many — state legislatures, state education agencies, state and local boards of education, the governor, Read more about Aspen Institute Releases Checklist for Education Policymakers[…]

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NCTQ releases the 2015 State Teacher Policy Yearbook

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) recently released the 2015 report on State Teacher Policy. The report summarizes how the states are doing in developing policies that improve the teaching profession. The 2015 State Teacher Policy Yearbook provides a 360-degree analysis of every state law, rule, and regulation that shapes the teaching profession—from teacher Read more about NCTQ releases the 2015 State Teacher Policy Yearbook[…]

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