A December 2015 AIR study finds that Transitional Kindergarten, the first year of a two-year kindergarten program for young five-year-olds in California, appears to improve children’s school readiness in critical areas of academic learning and development. Researchers Karen Manship and Heather Quick explain how and suggest next steps.
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12 Nov 2015
The federal regulations on teacher preparation, scheduled to be released next month, ask for a lot of new data about how well graduates perform in schools. But for students in those schools that might be too late. What's missing is a measure that can signal weakness or problems before candidates graduate and start teaching. Jenny DeMonte discusses how some states are addressing this problem.
3 Nov 2015
We know that instructional quality exerts a key factor in influencing student achievement. In this blog post, Angela Minnici and Jenni Fipaza argue the need to better leverage teacher expertise to improve outcomes for all students by shifting the focus away from individual teacher performance to the collective performance of teacher teams, schools, and districts. Rich, high-quality instruction for all students can be achieved by teams of educators working together—not by individual teachers working on their own..
1 Nov 2015
The recent release of the 2015 NAEP results by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics have been labeled “historic” by some because math scores at both Grades 4 and 8 and reading at Grade 8 have all declined, the first decline since NAEP's framework was put into place in 1990. George Bohrnstedt and Fran Stancavage examine why.
22 Oct 2015
What does the classroom of the future look like? In this blog post, Gretchen Weber explores educator roles that go beyond teacher and principal, arguing that new roles that emphasize leadership skills and precise expertise can motivate current and future teachers to stay in the profession and help them thrive and flourish.
19 Oct 2015
Recent data shows that while students from low-income families began 9th grade with high aspirations of going to college, by junior year their expectations decline considerably. In this blog post, Sakiko Ikoma and Markus Broer argue that closing the enrollment gap between low-income students and their more affluent counterparts means education leaders and policymakers should not only continue to expand access to these leg-up courses, but also consider a range of additional supports for low-income students.
12 Oct 2015
Revised school leadership standards that outline the most important work and responsibilities of learning-focused leaders in today’s schools are being released, but Cortney Rowland argues those revised standards won’t have impact until they are aligned with state and local policies and practices that help develop the skills and knowledge principals need to lead their schools.
6 Oct 2015
Headlines and political speeches about the student debt crisis are everywhere. In this blog post, Mark Schneider discusses a recent Brookings report in which, he argues, the most important finding relates to who enrolled in colleges after the 2007 recession. Prospective students, he says, need to know their chances of success before they enroll—and before they borrow.
30 Sep 2015
In this blog post, AIR scholar Audrey Peek explores income-share agreements (ISAs), a private form of financial aid that offers cash for college now in return for a percentage of students’ future earnings over a set time. Peek contends ISAs are an innovative way to pay for college that might benefit some students, but which aren’t likely to reach their full potential without fundamentally rethinking who they could serve and how funders are repaid.
24 Sep 2015
The persistent achievement gap between Black and White students has frustrated educators, parents, and policymakers for decades. In this blog post, Sami Kitmitto and George Bohrnstedt discuss a recent AIR study for the National Center for Education Statistics that highlights the potentially detrimental effect of school segregation.