Categories for Quality Leadership

Impact of School Improvement Grants

February 3, 2017

School Improvement Grants: Implementation and Effectiveness

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) recently released a summary report of the impact of School Improvement Grants (SIG). The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided states and school districts with $3 Billion for SIG. By accepting SIG grants states agreed to implement one of four interventions to improve the lowest performing schools: transformation, turnaround, restart, or closure. The goals of SIG were to improve practices in four main areas: (1) adopting comprehensive instructional reform strategies, (2) developing and increasing teacher and principal effectiveness, (3) increasing learning time and creating community-oriented schools, and (4) having operational flexibility and receiving support. The report finds minimal positive effects from the grants and no evidence that SIG had significant impacts on math and reading scores, graduation rates, or increased college enrollment.

Citation: Dragoset, L., Thomas, J., Herrmann, M., Deke, J., James-Burdumy, S., Graczewski, C., … & Giffin, J. (2017). School Improvement Grants: Implementation and Effectiveness (No. 76bce3f4bb0944f29a481fae0dbc7cdb). Mathematica Policy Research.

https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20174013/

 


 

Better All the Time: High Performance Coaching for Educators

December 15, 2014

In a recent article in The New Yorker, James Surowiecki makes the argument that high performance coaching for athletes and classical musicians has become the standard for these professions and posits that it should be for educators as well. His position is that coaching is the best way to assure that teachers know the right things to do and continue to do them.

http://nyr.kr/1rS48gN

Surowiecki, J. (Nov. 10, 2014) Better all the time. The New Yorker.

 


 

How Important are School Superintendents

October 29, 2014

A report by the Brown Center on Education Policy released in September 2014 finds that school superintendents are around for only a short time and have very little impact when it comes to improving student performance.  Read More…

 


 

Can Traditional Public Schools Replicate Successful Charter Models

September 25, 2014

This op-ed piece by Daniel Willingham examines recent research conducted by Roland Fryer. The study, Injecting Charter School Best Practices into Traditional Public Schools: Evidence from Field Experiments, reviews attempts to implement in public schools the lessons that Fryer learned about what makes effective charter schools (Dobbie & Fryer, 2011). The study concluded that the interventions did not produce significant improvement in student performance.

Willingham’s article makes several very critical observations. The first is the importance of disseminating results of studies that fail to produce the projected effects. This is fundamental to a vibrant evidence-based model of education: understanding what works and, equally important, what does not work. Unfortunately, educators and universities do not place the same value on negative results as on positive results. Willingham makes this point when he asks the critical questions, what went wrong and why did the study fail to arrive at the hypothesized results? Too often, educators reject a practice out of hand as a consequence of a particular study when the important lesson might lie elsewhere, perhaps in a poorly designed practice or a failure to implement the practice as designed.

http://www.realcleareducation.com/articles/2014/07/24/can_traditional_public_schools_replicate_successful_charter_models_a_different_take_1064.html

http://www.danielwillingham.com/daniel-willingham-science-and-education-blog

 


 

Us Department Of Education Releases School Discipline Guidelines

February 5, 2014

On January 8, 2014, The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) released a school discipline package to assist educators in developing a course of action to deal with the increasing need to successfully handle discipline and safety issues in schools. The report includes Read More…