June 14, 2017
Creating Supportive School Cultures for Beginning Teachers: Mitigating the Cultural Contextual Factors
This systematic literature review examines factors that affect new teachers as they become employed. It suggests that new teachers experience significant stress as they transition from teacher preparation programs to everyday teaching. The pressures experienced by novice instructors are evidenced by high rates of turnover during the first 5 years of teaching. This initial period entails a steep learning curve as new teachers try to match and adjust what they learned in pre-service training with the unique cultural practices of their new placements. To mitigate the challenges new teachers face, schools have implemented an array of practices subsumed under the heading “teacher induction.” Unfortunately, the literature review finds that the lack of standardization of practices including mentoring to coaching has reduced the overall impact of teacher induction and the ability of schools to effectively align the education philosophy and cultural values of new teachers with the strategies, procedures, needs, and resources of the schools where the new teachers are beginning their careers.
Citation: Kutsyuruba, B, Walker, K. D., and Gooden, L., (2017). Creating supportive school cultures for beginning teachers: Mitigating the cultural contextual factors. International Journal of Educational Organization and Leadership, 24(2), 1–18.
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.
July 11, 2016
Adequate yearly progress reports by state –
http://www.schoolsmatter.info Read More…
December 19, 2014
In this paper, Addison makes the argument that performance architecture is a framework that allows someone to assess all features of an organization so that the parts of the system can be aligned to support an innovation. Read More…
December 16, 2014
The School Leaders Network has released a new report exploring the costs of principal turnover. Read More…
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.
Surowiecki, J. (Nov. 10, 2014) Better all the time. The New Yorker.
November 18, 2014
Two recent opinion pieces, that appeared on the Thomas Fordham Institute web site, offer a look at issues regarding principal preparation. Read More…
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…
October 2, 2014
West Ed has a new wed site to support educators cope with the demand for providing effective instruction under the guidelines of Common Core. Read More…
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.