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.
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…
October 31, 2012
Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy is a report published by the National Academies Press. Although written for researchers, the papers is important for anyone involved in making public policy. The paper identifies reasons why Read More…
September 28, 2012
This randomized matched controlled study compares the impact of charter schools to public school middle school and high school student’s achievement, high school graduation rates, and post-secondary enrollment rates. In general the 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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June 11, 2012
Principals rank only second to teachers in a school’s influence on student success. Despite the important role principals play in a child education, the field has not received the attention it should in education research. This pattern is beginning to change as evidenced by the release of a compendium of resources on Principals from WesEd. The California Comprehensive Center at WestEd along with the Integrated Leadership Development Initiative and others have produced a package of 11 documents that provide research, policy options, practices, and case studies to guide educators implement effective principal practices.
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