Winter 2008 AIRNews - Math, Cleveland, School Safety, Brazil, South Korea
Monday, December 1, 2008
Introductory Message From Sol Pelavin, AIR President and CEO
As I reviewed the stories in this issue, it struck me that their common theme is “AIR connects.” At AIR, we strive to make sure that the best science achieves the best social outcomes. However, we recognize that AIR cannot achieve these outcomes on its own. Therefore we constantly seek ways to connect with individuals and groups to meet old and emerging challenges.
For example, we worked with the Council of the Great City Schools to release an AIR report at its annual conference. The study breaks new technical ground, for the first time comparing the math achievement of students in our nation’s urban schools with that of their peers around the world. Superintendents from three large districts participated as panelists in the report’s release, the council’s executive director moderated the panel and more than 70 individuals attended the session demonstrating the interest that urban educators have in learning how they compare with the world—and how they can use this report to plan for and benchmark their future progress.
A second story reviews findings from one of the first rigorous, large-scale studies to examine the impact of professional development on teacher knowledge and practice as well as on student achievement. Once issued, the Scientific Evidence in Education (SEE) Forums, an AIR project, helped connect the findings of this report with more than 80 staff from congressional offices, representatives of state and local education agencies, leaders from national education organizations and the press at a public event in Washington, D.C. The Institute of Education Sciences funded the study and the forum.
Yet another story illustrates how we connected with Cleveland community leaders through a study intended to improve conditions for learning and teaching in the city’s public schools. Spurred on by dramatic incidents of violence in the schools, the mayor and school district asked AIR to conduct a six-month audit and suggest steps to improve the social and emotional learning of students. Although the report was critical of current practices, its recommendations — issued and discussed at a press conference that included AIR’s lead researcher — were hailed by the mayor and district as information needed for improvement, as well as by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which in an editorial endorsed a decision by local foundations to help fund the ongoing participation of AIR in the reform efforts.
Finally, in September I was privileged to represent AIR at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. There, I spent several days connecting with leaders of the nonprofit sector from around the world, discussing how our organizations can work together on major improvement efforts. I was pleased to announce at the meeting two significant AIR commitments in the international arena: to help improve the education system in Haiti and to reduce the incidence of intestinal worms in students around the world.
I hope you find all of our articles of interest. And please connect with me by sending questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this issue:
- AIR Pledges to Help Millions of Needy Children
- Comparing Math Skills of Students in U.S. Cities to International Peers
- Boost to Student Safety, Well-Being in Cleveland
- AIR Develops Toolkit About Evidence-Based Health Care
- Austin Officials on AIR’s Math Benchmarking Study
- Conducting School Crime and Safety Surveys
- The Impact of Two Professional Development Interventions for Reading Teachers
- Enter Jovem Project: Improving the Lives of Youth in Brazil
- South Korean Delegation Learns About the U.S. Student Assessment System
- AIR’s TechMatrix
- States Challenged in Implementing NCLB
- U.S. Education Secretary Visits AIR Zambia Sites
- Making Research Relevant - Supporting a Pandemic Influenza Campaign; Establishing a Child Welfare Center for U.S. Western States and Territories; Fighting Child Labor in Nicaragua; Evaluating the National K–12 Physical Education Grant Program; Helping Combat Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities; Assisting the KnowledgeWorks Foundation’s High School Initiative; Helping the SAMHSA; Assisting Adult English Language Learners; Hosting a Technology Camp for Pakistani Students.
- Staff in the News
- Osher, Garet Named AIR Vice Presidents
- U.S. Commissioner of Education Statistics Mark Schneider Joins AIR as Vice President