The Path to Instructional Excellence and Equitable Outcomes

The Path to Instructional Excellence and Equitable Outcomes explores District of Columbia Public Schools’ innovative approach to supporting teaching instruction, called Learning Together to Advance our Practice, or LEAP. LEAP is based on research that has found the most effective professional learning is school-based and content-specific, grounded in the instructional materials and strategies that teachers Read more about The Path to Instructional Excellence and Equitable Outcomes[…]

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Principal Pipelines: A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way for Districts to Improve Schools

Rand has released a new report on The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative (PPI). Students performed up to 6 points above the median percentile on state tests in schools that implemented the program, which is aimed at improving school leaders. Research across the decades has confirmed that effective school leadership is associated with better outcomes Read more about Principal Pipelines: A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way for Districts to Improve Schools[…]

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Attendance Activities Year-Long Planning Calendar

Attendance Works has developed year-long planning calendars for districts and schools seeking to improve student attendance. The calendars include example activities to do before the start of class (July-August) through year end (May-June). Activities are provided for staff, Tier 1 (universal) intervention, Tier 2 (targeted) intervention, and Tier 3 (intensive) intervention. The calendars can be Read more about Attendance Activities Year-Long Planning Calendar[…]

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Selecting Evidence-based Practices to Improve Schools

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires the use of evidence-based practices to improve outcomes at low-performing schools-but how can education leaders and policymakers make sure they are choosing the right ones? A new AIR guide provides concrete action steps and resources that state and district leaders can use to ensure they choose the right Read more about Selecting Evidence-based Practices to Improve Schools[…]

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Reimagining the Teaching Profession for the 21st Century

In a new issue brief, iNACOL outlines five key opportunities for state policymakers to transform the teaching profession to enable it to support the shift toward student-centered learning models in K-12 education. Modernizing the Teaching Workforce for Learner-Centered, Competency-Based, Equity-Oriented Education: State Policy Recommendations makes five recommendations to leverage the unique role of state policymaking: Read more about Reimagining the Teaching Profession for the 21st Century[…]

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What social and emotional learning needs to succeed and survive

Writing for AEI, Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Frederick M. Hess explore what is needed to make social and emotional learning (SEL) thrive in today’s schools. The report offers seven suggestions for SEL advocates and funders as they seek to deliver on SEL’s promise and avoid its pitfalls. Suggestions include: Slow down and focus on Read more about What social and emotional learning needs to succeed and survive[…]

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Real Strategies from Real Districts

Education Resource Strategies (ERS) has developed detailed profiles of eight school systems that have transformed how the central office supports schools and have seen student results. The new Districts at Work series looks specifically at how districts achieved their strategic priorities through: A clear theory of action that included both school-level changes and central office Read more about Real Strategies from Real Districts[…]

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To Improve Rural Schools, Focus on their Strengths

Writing for Education Next, authors Michael Q. McShane and Andy Smarick explore the challenges facing rural education as well as recommendations for a path forward. Excerpts of their piece appear below: A consistent criticism of education reform is that much of the agenda has been based on what some call a “deficit mindset.” That is, Read more about To Improve Rural Schools, Focus on their Strengths[…]

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How to Innovate: Options for School Districts

School district leaders know that standardized tests are a narrow view of learning outcomes. Many want to embrace a broader view of career and citizenship readiness, and want to engage young people in active learning to promote these important outcomes-but these changes come with a variety of challenges.   Typical school district dilemmas include: * Read more about How to Innovate: Options for School Districts[…]

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From Great Materials to Great Instruction

Instruction Partners, an organization that works with small school systems to strengthen instruction and accelerate student learning, has been working to understand what differentiates better outcomes in school reform projects. Up until now, research has held few practical answers about what specific actions could result in better implementation quality. Instruction Partners engaged in a two-year Read more about From Great Materials to Great Instruction[…]

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March Issue Brief – Brain Based Teaching

As scientists learn more about how the human brain works, educators must stay abreast of discoveries to align teaching practices with new understandings of human learning. Brain science helps us understand how to build on students’ culture and experience to improve learning and underscores the importance of emotion and relationships to the learning process. Knowing Read more about March Issue Brief – Brain Based Teaching[…]

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4 Cornerstones of Professional Learning

Stephanie Hirsh, who will be retiring from Learning Forward this June, has laid out four critical elements for educators to ensure professional learning improves results for all students. 4 Cornerstones of Professional Learning, centered on a foundation of the Standards for Professional Learning, shares research, evidence from practice, and reflections from Stephanie Hirsh’s career at Read more about 4 Cornerstones of Professional Learning[…]

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Thinking About Classroom Practice: Five Ideas for Education Reformers

Recently in Fordham’s Flypaper, Robert Pondiscio reflected a new direction for education reform: a focus on instructional practice. He writes: Shifting ed reform’s focus to improving practice is an acknowledgment that underperformance is not a failure of will, but a lack of capacity. It’s a talent-development and human capital-strategy, not an accountability play. Forcing changes Read more about Thinking About Classroom Practice: Five Ideas for Education Reformers[…]

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How Do You Build Continuously Improving Systems of Schools?

Over the last 20 years, eight U.S. cities have seen more students attending more effective schools at a faster pace than other urban areas. In Oakland, D.C., Denver, New Orleans, New York City, Newark, Camden, and Chicago, education leaders have increased the number of high-performing schools and set up systems that continuously improve. Bellwether Education’s Read more about How Do You Build Continuously Improving Systems of Schools?[…]

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CASEL Releases Comprehensive Guide to Help Schools Implement SEL

The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) launched The CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL that provides an interactive planner, step-by-step guidance, field-tested tools, and continuous improvement processes to help educators implement social and emotional learning (SEL) in their schools. The free, online resource helps school teams coordinate and build on their evidence-based practices Read more about CASEL Releases Comprehensive Guide to Help Schools Implement SEL[…]

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How to get Schools to Use Practices that Work

Writing for the Fordham Institute’s Flypaper blog, Michael Petrilli recently explored ways to encourage educators to implement evidence-based practices. He asks:  How might we dramatically increase the chances that our schools scale up the most effective practices, resulting in significantly better outcomes for students? Petrilli offers the following ideas: There are six plausible approaches that Read more about How to get Schools to Use Practices that Work[…]

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