Categories for Education Resources

How can schools assure successful leadership succession?

January 21, 2021

Planning for the Future: Leadership Development and Succession Planning in Education. School Superintendents face immense challenges in recruiting and retaining high-quality principals and district leaders. As a result, superintendents continually recruit and hire new assistant principals and district-level leaders. This article looks at the research and best practices on succession planning in education and other sectors.

Citation: Fusarelli, B. C., Fusarelli, L. D., & Riddick, F. (2018). Planning for the future: Leadership development and succession planning in education. Journal of Research on Leadership Education13(3), 286-313.

Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1942775118771671

 


 

What do school leaders need to support low performing schools?

January 19, 2021

The Next Generation of State Reforms to Improve their Lowest Performing Schools: An Evaluation of North Carolina’s School Transformation Initiative. Over the past 20 years, significant resources have been spent to raise low-performing schools’ performance. This research examines the impact of federally mandated school reforms under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on North Carolina schools. The revised education legislation allows states more discretion in reforming their lowest-performing schools, removes requirements to disrupt the status quo, and does not allocate substantial additional funds. This study relies on a regression discontinuity design to evaluate North Carolina’s turnaround initiative aligned with ESSA requirements. The results reveal no significant growth in student test performance and decreased performance in year two. Schools also continued to experience high teacher turnover despite the school reform intervention. 

The study authors suggest current reform interventions that do not disrupt the status quo of how schools go about instruction are likely to fail. The paper also highlights the need for school leaders to embrace implementation science to ensure that adequate resources are available to implement initiatives as designed.  

Citation: Henry, G. T., & Harbatkin, E. (2020). The Next Generation of State Reforms to Improve their Lowest Performing Schools: An Evaluation of North Carolina’s School Transformation Intervention. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness13(4), 702-730.

Linkhttps://www.edworkingpapers.com/sites/default/files/ai19-103.pdf

 


 

How can policy makers contribute to school principal quality?

January 12, 2021

Using State-Level Policy Levers to Promote Principal Quality: Lessons from Seven States Partnering with Principal Preparation Programs and DistrictStates play a role in fostering an environment that develops and supports effective school principals. This report identifies key levers that states can pull to try to improve the principal performance: standards for the job; recruitment; oversight of principal preparation programs; principal licensure; evaluation of principals; professional development; and development of “leader tracking systems”. 

Citation: Gates, S. M., Woo, A., Xenakis, L., Wang, E. L., Herman, R., Andrew, M., & Todd, I. Using State-Level Policy Levers to Promote Principal Quality. Santa Monica, CA: Wallace Foundation. https://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/Using-State-level-Policy-Levers-to-Promote-Principal-Quality.pdf

Link: https://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/Using-State-level-Policy-Levers-to-Promote-Principal-Quality.pdf

 


 

Are there cross-cultural factors to be considered in educational leadership?

January 11, 2021

The effect of educational leadership on students’ achievement: a cross‐cultural meta‐analysis research on studies between 2008 and 2018. This meta-analysis examines different leadership approaches and student achievement. The results of the analyses reveal that educational leadership has a medium-level effect on students’ achievement. The study finds educational leadership has a greater effect on student achievement in vertical-collectivist cultures (e.g., in Asian) than horizontal-individualistic cultures (e.g., in USA). 

Citation: Karadag, E. (2020). The effect of educational leadership on students’ achievement: a cross-cultural meta-analysis research on studies between 2008 and 2018. Asia Pacific Education Review21(1), 49-64.

Link: Effects of educational leadership

 


 

What do we know about teams?

December 14, 2020

School Teams. Distributed leadership and collaborative school cultures have a strong base of research support, and school teams represent these concepts “in action.” School teams today are ubiquitous; however, their effectiveness in enhancing school outcomes is not automatic and they must be intentionally and carefully designed, implemented, and supported. Collaborative school cultures are enabled when high trust levels and a culture of shared practice among staff are present, and leadership capacity building for teachers is provided. School leadership teams, which include the principal and teacher leaders, are tasked with addressing school improvement, and often analyze learning data and determine professional learning needed for staff. These teams need ample planning time and professional development (e.g., in methods of data analysis) to guide their work. Instructional teams, which may include grade-level or subject-area groups of teachers, often take the form of professional learning communities, which develop curriculum and instructional strategies, review student performance data, and adjust practice as necessary. Principals support these teams effectively when they establish a direction for their work, identify and/or develop teacher leaders to lead teams, and provide sufficient time for the collaborative work to take place. Multidisciplinary, or problem-solving teams, include specialists (e.g., special education teachers) and general educators working together to plan programming for students who need specialized supports to be successful. Research shows these teams can be effective when training and organizational supports are in place to foster collaboration. For successful implementation, all types of school teams will benefit from school leaders who can instill a collaborative school culture, and ensure that team members have the resources and support to work together effectively.

Citation: Donley, J., Detrich, R., States, J., & Keyworth, (2020). Teams. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/leadership-models-teams

Link: https://www.winginstitute.org/leadership-models-teams

 


 

Fidelity of Implementation in Educational Research and Practice

December 2, 2020

Fidelity of implementation is a critical but often neglected component of any new system, practice, or intervention in educational research and practice. Fidelity is a multidimensional construct focused on providing evidence of adherence, quality, dosage, differentiation, and responsiveness following implementation. Unfortunately, fidelity has not always been prioritized, although evidence suggests that is changing, at least in published research. Further, although there are myriad methods for measuring fidelity, psychometric evaluations of fidelity tools have been limited, except in the SWPBIS literature. Calls for a science of fidelity have been made (Gresham, 2017) and are beginning to be answered. Overall, there appears to be more research focused exclusively on fidelity, including measurement approaches, psychometric evaluations, and relation to outcomes. As this research expands, we hope that the broad use and integration of fidelity in practice follows. We believe that the days of neglecting fidelity are behind us in education and see fidelity playing a central role in education moving forward. Through reliable and valid measurement of fidelity, scalable evidence-based practices can be developed and proliferated, positively impacting students’ academic and behavioral outcomes. 

Citation: Gage, N., MacSuga-Gage, A., and Detrich, R. (2020). Fidelity of Implementation in Educational Research and Practice. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/systems-program-fidelity

Link: https://www.winginstitute.org/systems-program-fidelity

 


 

What do teacher preparation programs and school principals need to get right to train new teachers during covid-19?

November 17, 2020

Sustaining Teacher Training in a Shifting Environment. Brief No. 7. This brief is a part of a series of briefs that address critical issues schools face because of the coronavirus. This paper provides K-12 education policymakers and school administrators with an evidence base about how best to provide teacher practicum experience and professional development during the coronavirus. Evidence supports student teaching placements are a critical training opportunity for new teachers. The covid-19 pandemic has constrained student teaching experiences. Acknowledging this fact, educators need to develop new ways of providing alternative clinical training during certification training and when these new teachers enter the workforce. This summary examines what we know about training, offers strategies to overcome the obstacles to be confronted by covid-19, and warns professional development planners to avoided specific practices unsupported by evidence.

Citation: Goldhaber, D., & Ronfeldt, M. (2020). Sustaining Teacher Training in a Shifting Environment. Brief No. 7. EdResearch for Recovery Project.

Linkhttps://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED607712.pdf

 


 

What is implementation fidelity and why is it important to student success?

November 16, 2020

Fidelity of implementation is a critical but often neglected component of any new system, practice, or intervention in educational research and practice. Fidelity is a multidimensional construct focused on providing evidence of adherence, quality, dosage, differentiation, and responsiveness following implementation. Unfortunately, fidelity has not always been prioritized, although evidence suggests that is changing, at least in published research. Further, although there are myriad methods for measuring fidelity, psychometric evaluations of fidelity tools have been limited, except in the SWPBIS literature. Calls for a science of fidelity have been made (Gresham, 2017) and are beginning to be answered. Overall, there appears to be more research focused exclusively on fidelity, including measurement approaches, psychometric evaluations, and relation to outcomes. As this research expands, we hope that the broad use and integration of fidelity in practice follows. We believe that the days of neglecting fidelity are behind us in education and see fidelity playing a central role in education moving forward. Through reliable and valid measurement of fidelity, scalable evidence-based practices can be developed and proliferated, positively impacting students’ academic and behavioral outcomes. 

Citation: Gage, N., MacSuga-Gage, A., and Detrich, R. (2020). Fidelity of Implementation in Educational Research and Practice. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/systems-program-fidelity

Link: https://www.winginstitute.org/systems-program-fidelity

 


 

What innovations are being researched for reducing the cost of coaching?

November 13, 2020

Toward Automated Feedback on Teacher Discourse to Enhance Teacher LearningResearch supports coaching as critical for effective teacher professional development. A key element of coaching is observing teachers in classrooms implementing newly trained skills. Unfortunately, one of the obstacles to providing coaching to teachers is the cost of delivering the service. Educators are on the lookout for any innovations that promise to reduce this cost of coaching while sustaining the impact of coaching. Research has found the use of video and remote viewing coaching to show much promise (Scheeler, Congdon, & Stansbery, 2010; Suhrheinrich, 2017). This study examines the use of an automated recording of high-quality audio using speech recognition and machine learning to develop teacher-generalizable computer-scored estimates of crucial features of teacher’s performance. 

The study found that computerized models were moderately accurate compared to human coders and that speech recognition errors did not influence performance. The authors conclude that teacher discourse can be recorded and analyzed for timely feedback. The next step is to incorporate the automatic models into an interactive visualization tool that will provide teachers with objective feedback on student instruction quality.

Citation: Darling-Hammond, L., Hyler, M. E., & Gardner, M. (2017). Effective teacher professional development.

Linkhttps://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3313831.3376418 (This paper may also be requested on Researchgate)

https://eric.ed.gov/?q=use+of+video+in+coaching&id=EJ1129933

 


 

What practices are the core practice elements of teacher professional development?

November 13, 2020

Effective teacher professional development. For the past 20 years, school systems have heavily relied on professional development as the primary means for improving student performance, as evidenced by the massive allocation of funds for in-service training. Few educators or policymakers challenge the importance of teacher training that ensures teachers have the knowledge and skills required to be effective in the classroom. Despite the overwhelming support for teacher professional development, research has shown that most teacher training is ineffective in changing how teachers teach and students perform. This paper analyzed 35 studies that found a link between professional development and positive teacher and student outcomes.

The authors identified the following features significant if professional development is to produce meaningful results;

  1. They are content focused. 
  2. They incorporate active learning strategies. 
  3. They engage teachers in collaboration. 
  4. They use models and/or modeling. 
  5. They provide coaching and expert support. 
  6. They include time for feedback and reflection. 
  7. They are of sustained duration. 

The authors conclude that professional development should incorporate the identified features and training needs to link to teachers’ experiences in preparation, induction, and teaching standards and evaluation. 

Citation: Darling-Hammond, L., Hyler, M. E., & Gardner, M. (2017). Effective teacher professional development.

Link: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56b90cb101dbae64ff707585/t/5ade348e70a6ad624d417339/1524511888739/NO_LIF%7E1.PDF