Education Drivers


Lesson planning is essential for effective teaching. It organizes the depth and breadth of daily lessons so they align with long-range goals as well as state and national standards. Effective teachers develop instructional objectives that establish measurable outcomes of what a learner will do as a result of instruction. Objectives must be organized around major themes that connect content and learning, leading to concepts and skills used in higher order thinking. Careful preparation is required to ensure that students have the prerequisite skills to master new lessons. Planning is needed to effectively sequence content in a logical order for learning that builds on past knowledge and skills needed in future lessons. Successful instruction requires teachers to procure resources in advance and allot sufficient time for students to master assignments. Effective teachers need to include previously mastered content in future lessons so that skills and knowledge are maintained. They must incorporate formative assessment in lessons to ensure that students are progressing and that enrichment and remediation opportunities are made available as necessary.

Data Mining

What teaching strategies make a difference in improving student performance?
This analysis looks at meta-analyses on teaching strategies that have the largest effect on student achievement.
States, J. (2011). What teaching strategies make a difference in improving student performance? Retrieved from what-teaching-strategies-make.
Why Money Matters for Improving Education

This article explore the relationship between per pupil spending and learning, particularly in developing countries that spend much lower levels in education than do OECD countries. Their findings suggest that, when education systems spend above $8,000, the association between student learning and per student spending is no longer statistically significant. Therefore, they find a threshold effect after this level of resources is met, indicating a declining relationship between resources and achievement at high levels of expenditure (consistent with other recent literature). There is a positive relationship between student learning and per pupil expenditure among the low-spending countries (below $8,000 per student), but a flat relationship among high-spending countries. 

 Vegas, E. (2016).Why Money Matters for Improving Education. Brooking Institutions. Retrieved from

The Comparative Costs and Benefits of Programs to Reduce Crime

This report describes the “bottom-line” economics of programs that try to reduce crime. This report also provides a snapshot of the Institute’s cost-benefit findings as of May 2001. 

Aos, S., Phipps, P., Barnoski, R., Leib, R. The comparative costs and benefits of programs to reduce crime: a review of national research findings with implications for Washington StateWashington State Institute for Public PolicyOlympia (WA)1999

Comparing Closed For-Profit Colleges to Public College Sector

This research compare for-profit college networks with the public sector. The author emphasize economic criteria for evaluating colleges and the need to consider many such criteria to make a valid comparison. In conclusion, public colleges are much cheaper than for-profit colleges. From a student perspective, this difference would have to be offset by a much superior performance of for-profit colleges to be advantageous. However, the evidence tends to point in the opposite direction. While ITT’s post-enrollment student earnings are comparable to those of many public colleges, on the whole the outcomes of public colleges appear to be better than those of the two closed for-profit networks of colleges.

Belfield, C. (2016). Comparing Closed For-Profit Colleges to Public College Sector. CAPSEE. Retrieved from

Improving America's Schools through Standards-Based Education. Introduction

This article provides some historical background for the standards-based education movement and introduces essays exploring the movement from various perspectives. Although some educators remain skeptical, standards-based education may be a powerful school-improvement tool.

Buttram, J. L., & Waters, T. (1997). Improving America's Schools through Standards-Based Education. Introduction. NASSP Bulletin, 81(590), 1-6.

Teacher and Shared Decision Making: The Cost and Benefits of Involvement

The authors conducted a study of teachers' perceptions of the potential costs and benefits of involvement in school decision making. The teachers interviewed rated the potential costs of decision making involvement as low and the potential benefits as high. Nevertheless, many were hesitant to become involved because they saw little possibility that their involvement would actually make a difference.

Duke, D. L., Showers, B. K., & Imber, M. (1980). Teachers and shared decision making: The costs and benefits of involvement. Educational Administration Quarterly16(1), 93-106.

Incentives in organizations

The author summarizes four new strands in agency theory that help him think about incentives in real organizations. The author concludes by suggesting two avenues for further progress in agency theory: better integration with organizational economics, and cross-pollination with other fields that study organizations. 

Gibbons, R. (1998). Incentives in organizations. Journal of economic perspectives12(4), 115-132.

Enrollment and Employees in Postsecondary Institutions Fall 2016; and Financial Statistic and Academic Libraries, Fiscal Year 2016

The purpose of this report is to introduce new data through tables containing descriptive information, such as totals, averages, and percentages. The findings presented here demonstrate the range of information available through IPEDS; they include only a sample of the information collected and are not meant to emphasize any particular issue. While only a small amount of the data included in the spring 2017 collection are displayed in this

Ginder, S. A., Kelly-Reid, J. E., & Mann, F. B. (2017). Enrollment and Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2016; and Financial Statistics and Academic Libraries, Fiscal Year 2016. First Look (Provisional Data). NCES 2018-002. National Center for Education Statistics.

Sustainability: An Enduring Commitment to Success

The infrastructure supporting organizational transformation to a problem-solving system occurred on two levels, global and local. The reform effort is described in four phases.

Grimes, J., Kurns, S., Tilly, W. D., & II, I. (2006). Sustainability: An enduring commitment to success. School Psychology Review35(2), 224.

The Problem with "Proficiency": Limitaions of Statistic and Policy Under No Child Left Behind

The Percentage of Proficient Students (PPS) has become a ubiquitous statistic under the No Child Left Behind Act. The author demonstrates that the PPS metric offers only limited and unrepresentative depictions of large-scale test score trends, gaps, and gap trends.  The author shows how the statistical shortcomings of these depictions extend to shortcomings of policy, from exclusively encouraging score gains near the proficiency cut score to shortsighted comparisons of state and national testing results. The author proposes alternatives for large-scale score reporting and argues that a distribution-wide perspective on results is required for any serious analysis of test score data, including “growth”-related results under the recent Growth Model Pilot Program.

Ho, A. D. (2008). The problem with “proficiency”: Limitations of statistics and policy under No Child Left Behind. Educational researcher37(6), 351-360.

Evidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

The authors review the status, strength, and quality of evidence-based practice in child and adolescent mental health services.

Hoagwood, K., Burns, B. J., Kiser, L., Ringeisen, H., & Schoenwald, S. K. (2001). Evidence-based practice in child and adolescent mental health services. Psychiatric services52(9), 1179-1189.

Seven Trends: The Transformation of the Teaching Force—Updated October 2018

This study examines the most recent data from staffing surveys conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), as well as those going back to 1987. Its concludes that over the last three decades the teaching force has become: 1) larger, 2) grayer, 3) greener, 4) more female, 5) more diverse by race-ethnicity, 6) consistent in academic ability, and 7) unstable.  It also calls for more research as to the reasons for these trends and their implications and consequences.

Ingersoll, Richard M.; Merrill, Elizabeth; Stuckey, Daniel; and Collins, Gregory. (2018). Seven Trends: e Transformation of the Teaching Force – Updated October 2018. CPRE Research Reports.

Why incentive plans cannot work

This paper discusses about reasons for the failure of incentive programs. Studies show the ineffectivity of incentive plans to boost productivity. 


Kohn, A. (1993). Why incentive plans cannot work. Harvard Business Review, 71(5), 54–63. Retrieved from 

Performance pay and productivity

Much of the theory in personnel economics relates to effects of monetary incentives on output, but the theory was untested because appropriate data were unavailable. A new data set for the Safelite Glass Corporation tests the predictions that average productivity will rise, the firm will attract a more able workforce, and variance in output across individuals at the firm will rise when it shifts to piece rates.

Lazear, E. P. (2000). Performance pay and productivity. American Economic Review90(5), 1346-1361.

Dear Colleagues Letter: Resource Comparability

Dear Colleagues Letter: Resource Comparability is a letter written by United States Department of Education. This letter was meant to call people attention to disparities that persist in access to educational resources, and to help address those disparities and comply with the legal obligation to provide students with equal access to these resources without regard to race, color, or national origin (This letter addresses legal obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI). This letter builds on the prior work shared by the U.S. Department of Education on this critical topic.

Lhamon, C. E. (2014). Dear colleague letter: Resource comparability. Washington, DC: US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. Retrieved from http://www2. ed. gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-resourcecomp-201410. pdf.

Common Core’s Major Political Challenges for the Remainder of 2016

This article elaborate on a topic "What to expect in Common Core immediate political future". Here, they discuss four key challenges that CCSS will face between now and the end of the year. Common Core is now several years into implementation.  Supporters have had a difficult time persuading skeptics that any positive results have occurred. The best evidence has been mixed on that question. The political challenges that Common Core faces the remainder of this year may determine whether it survives.

Loveless, T. (2016). Common Core’s Major Political Challenges for the Remainder of 2016. Brookings Institute. Retrieved from

Ensuring Equitable Access to Strong Teacher: Important Elements of an Effective State Action Plan

This short guide, based on what we have learned from two decades of work on this issue, provides a few ideas on what could be included in a good plan. Our recommendations are grouped into three categories: Analyze, Build, and Create.

Metz, R. (2015). Ensuring Equitable Access to Strong Teachers: Important Elements of an Effective State Action Plan. Education Trust.

PISA 2015 Results in Focus

Over the past decade, the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment, PISA, has become the world’s premier yardstick for evaluating the quality, equity and efficiency of school systems. This special issue of the PISA in Focus series highlights the results of the first two volumes of the PISA 2015 initial report: Excellence and Equity in Education; and Policies and Practices for Successful Schools.

OECD Publishing (2016). PISA 2015 Results in Focus. PISA in Focus,67. Retrieved from

Report Urges Educators to Avoid Using International Test to Make Policy

This articles suggest policymakers to focus less on the international test and more on how states compare to each other when trying to improve schools. This article also shows how it's not worthwhile to compare school in countries where the conditions are different. 

Rabinovitz, j. (2015, October). Report urges educators to avoid using international tests to make policy. Standford Graduate School of Education. Retrieved from

When Bad Things Happen to Good NAEP Data

The National Assessment of Educational Progress is widely viewed as the most accurate and reliable yardstick of U.S. students’ academic knowledge. But when it comes to many of the ways the exam’s data are used, researchers have gotten used to gritting their teeth.

Sawchuk, S. (2013). When bad things happen to good NAEP data. Education Week32(37), 1-22.

Qualities of effective teachers

Stronge synthesizes research to identify specific teacher behaviors that contribute to student achievement. Rather than look at outside factors like demographics, district leadership, and state mandates, Stronge focuses specifically on what teachers can control: their own preparation, personality, and practices.

Stronge, J. H. (2007). Qualities of effective teachers. ASCD.

How does the rich-poor learning gap vary across countries?

This article show different approach that researcher took to answer questions on social gradient in education between the countries. Comparing some of these results highlights weak service delivery in many developing countries. Even where resources may be similar, social gradients are steep in some, indicating much worse educational outcomes for the poor. And public resources are often extremely poorly converted into learning. The differential ability of schools and school systems to convert resources into learning outcomes remains a major impediment to improving educational outcomes, and indeed life chances, for the poor.

Van Der Berg, S. (2015). How does the rich-poor learning gap vary across countries?. Brookings Institution. Retrieved from

Center for Research on Learning and Teaching

This web site provides strategies for effective lesson planning.

Ed Tech Teachers: Best of History Web Sites

Best of History Web Sites aims to provide quick, convenient, and reliable access to the best history-oriented resources online in a wide range of categories and has been designed to benefit history teachers and their students; however, general history enthusiasts will benefit from the site as well.

National Council of Teachers of English

This web site provides resources for teachers of English in lesson plans and other teaching resources.

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