Data matters, but only if it leads to effective teaching action

Recently, The Hechinger Report published an article that reviewed research showing that data analysis has not significantly improved student outcomes since the No Child Left Behind Act ramped up national data collection. Data — even high quality data— is of no value if it isn’t used effectively. In a response piece, Chris Minnich explains that Read more about Data matters, but only if it leads to effective teaching action[…]

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Continuous Improvement in Education Settings: A Literature Review

Over the last decade, educators have become increasingly interested in continuous improvement (CI) as a strategy for reform. CI requires practitioners to engage in iterative cycles of inquiry by defining local problems of practice, testing potential interventions, studying the results, and improving upon those interventions. This method of improvement stands in contrast to approaches focused Read more about Continuous Improvement in Education Settings: A Literature Review[…]

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Transforming Education into a Learning System: Reflections on the Pandemic

In a new brief, Carnegie Corporation of New York and EducationCounsel explore how the American education system responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying gaps (missed opportunities and systemic shortcomings that deepened the challenges our schools faced) and bright spots (existing and new efforts where learning system approaches supported more effective action). Drawing on those lessons, Read more about Transforming Education into a Learning System: Reflections on the Pandemic[…]

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Time to Lead: An Illustrative Look at how Elementary School Principals Spend their Workweek

Principals can improve their teachers’ classroom practice, either directly or indirectly by arranging resources, to support improvement. However, there is limited information about how principals spend their time. A snapshot from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) provides insights on workday time allocations for principals in 100 schools. Key findings in the snapshot include the Read more about Time to Lead: An Illustrative Look at how Elementary School Principals Spend their Workweek[…]

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Continuous Improvement in Schools Workbook

The COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on students from historically marginalized communities underscore the value of continuous improvement (CI) as a framework for understanding the depth of unfinished learning and responding to it in an urgent, data-driven, and adaptive manner. Working alongside school-based teams, Bellwether has developed a refined and balanced approach to the Read more about Continuous Improvement in Schools Workbook[…]

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The K–12 Improvement Imperative

Writing for the Christensen Institute, authors Thomas Arnett and Bob Moesta present the findings of a study designed to help the proponents of continuous improvement approaches better understand how context shapes choices about how to improve.  Every principal and superintendent accepts their role knowing that they will be expected to make their schools better. For Read more about The K–12 Improvement Imperative[…]

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REL West Resources on Independent Learning

During the current COVID-19 global health crisis and shift to distance learning, students are being asked to do more independent work—reading, writing, and problem solving—outside of their time in class. School and district leaders in the West have expressed a need for teachers to have access to user-friendly, research-based guidance on effective ways to design Read more about REL West Resources on Independent Learning[…]

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Study Finds that Habit Formation Could Block Teacher Improvement

For teachers, the development of habits is a necessary concession to the unpredictable nature of their job. Morning assignments, class transitions, even behavior management need to be governed by routines that are as predictable for kids as they are effective for adults. But according to new research, these habits may be responsible for the slowing Read more about Study Finds that Habit Formation Could Block Teacher Improvement[…]

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Apprenticeship Programs Are Rapidly Growing in New Industries

Between 2013 and 2018, the number of apprenticeship programs in the U.S. more than doubled, and the U.S. Department of Labor reports that the return on investment of apprenticeship programs is 147%. Although apprenticeships have long been viewed as for blue-collar industries, tech companies and small businesses in a variety of industries are increasingly adopting Read more about Apprenticeship Programs Are Rapidly Growing in New Industries[…]

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Imparting Wisdom: HBCU Lessons for K-12 Education

UNCF has released a new report, Imparting Wisdom: HBCU Lessons for K-12 Education, which details historically black colleges and universities’ (HBCUs) longstanding efforts to provide quality educational experiences for their students and how their success may be translated in K-12 schools.  For decades, public education has implemented reforms specifically targeting students of color, but the Read more about Imparting Wisdom: HBCU Lessons for K-12 Education[…]

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The Science of Talking in Class

Writing for The Hechinger Report, Jill Barshay recently reviewed research on how to guide students in productive discussions and group work. Excerpts from the piece appear below:  A team of U.K. researchers collected all the studies they could find on peer interaction, in which children are either discussing or collaborating on an assignment together in Read more about The Science of Talking in Class[…]

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Scientific research on how to teach critical thinking contradicts education trends

Recently for The Hechinger Report, Jill Barshay provided an overview of scientific research that finds that content knowledge is crucial to effective critical thinking. Portions of the piece appear below: Critical thinking is all the rage in education. Schools brag that they teach it on their websites and in open houses to impress parents. Some Read more about Scientific research on how to teach critical thinking contradicts education trends[…]

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DC Public Schools release scores showing four years of steady gains

FutureEd has published a piece about how changes to curriculum and instruction in DC have made a difference:  During five and a half years as chief of teaching and learning at the District of Columbia Public Schools, Brian Pick led one of the nation’s most comprehensive—and successful—overhauls of a school district instructional system. Pick introduced Read more about DC Public Schools release scores showing four years of steady gains[…]

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Tools to Evaluate whether Instructional Materials meet English Learners’ Needs

Learning Forward has released a set of instructional tools that will help education practitioners determine if instructional materials meet the needs of English learners. The tools are intended for those developing, procuring, or using instructional materials and for those who want to create better learning conditions and academic outcomes for English learners.  One set of Read more about Tools to Evaluate whether Instructional Materials meet English Learners’ Needs[…]

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Choosing Wisely: How States Can Help Districts Adopt High-Quality Instructional Materials

Chiefs for Change, a bipartisan network of state and district education chiefs, released a report showing that many states, tacitly or explicitly, promote the use of low-quality K-12 instructional materials. In the most recent review cycles, some states did not approve even a single highly rated curriculum for school districts to use — despite research Read more about Choosing Wisely: How States Can Help Districts Adopt High-Quality Instructional Materials[…]

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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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