February 8, 2017
The Tennessee Department of Education combines coaching, instruction in evidence-based reading practices, and a multitiered system of supports in a new initiative called Read to be Ready. The initiative trains teachers in the best ways to teach children literacy skills. Ample evidence supports the importance of students reading at grade level. Effective reading has been shown to be a reliable indicator of future success in school and adulthood. This initiative is designed to increase literacy by coaching teachers on how to use evidence-based practices of reading. For the past 20 years much attention has been paid to explicit instruction of phonics to improve students’ reading scores. This initiative will build on these efforts by also requiring explicit comprehension instruction to build skills for deriving meaning, analyzing the logic of argumentation, generating conclusions, and interpreting content.
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.
January 3, 2017
Great Myths Of Child Development
Great Myths of Child Development reveals the latest evidence–based science behind the myths and misconceptions about the developing child. The book challenges the most commonly held child development myths. It provides the best available evidence science behind such topical issues as sugar and behavior, antidepressants impact on children, childhood vaccines, spankings, time–out, and children crying before bedtime.
Hupp, S., & Jewell, J. (2015). Great myths of child development. John Wiley & Sons.
November 4, 2015
The National Council on Teacher Quality released its “St ate of the States 2015: Evaluating Teaching, Leading and Learning,” which provides a lay of the land on state teacher and principal evaluation policy in 2015. Read More…
December 16, 2014
The School Leaders Network has released a new report exploring the costs of principal turnover. 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…
June 11, 2012
An interesting commentary published on May 30, 2012 in the New York Times written by David Bornstein examines implications for a memorandum released in May from the federal Office of Management and Budget. This document called on federal agencies to include along with their 2014 budgets a plan to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and to link expenditures to evidence. This change has the potential to be a game changer when one considers the vast dollars government spends with many of these funds going to practices that offer little in return to the tax payer. A requirement for agencies to back programs backed by evidence is a step forward in efforts to improve the effectiveness of government services.
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