Zero tolerance policies were born out of fear and even desperation. After the 1999 school shootings in Colorado, some educators and public figures adopted a tough law-and-order stance; but, instead of deterrence, we got a discipline regime of mass suspensions. In this blog post, AIR's Peter Cookson argues that zero tolerance discipline and other failed, counter-productive policies should disappear into the void.
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21 Dec 2015
Schools must be places of safety and support for all students. And yet, in an effort to make our schools safe havens, districts have adopted zero-tolerance policies and increased school policing. The result, however, has driven some of our most vulnerable students out of school and into a judicial system often built for punishment rather than support: the school-to-prison pipeline. In this blog post, AIR’s Jeffrey Poirier and David Osher argue that re-evaluating zero tolerance policies, training staff to deal with non-threatening but disruptive student behaviors, and working to eliminate bias can go a long way to ending the school-to-prison pipeline.
15 Dec 2015
Charter schools were created to give parents more options for their children. With greater freedom to innovate than traditional public school classrooms, some charter schools may hold particular promise for students with disabilities, who by law are entitled to receive an education tailor-made to their needs. Zena Rudo tells the stories of three charter schools where students with disabilities exceeded district achievement averages for reading and math.
11 Dec 2015
Forty years ago, President Gerald Ford signed the Education of All Handicapped Children’s Act, now known as IDEA: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Three waves of legislative reform since then have continued to strengthen access and emphasize academic success for all students. In this blog post, AIR expert Louis Danielson discusses the law's evolution and its continued commitment to greater educational accountability, inclusion, and quality for all students.
10 Dec 2015
In this blog post, AIR Managing Director Tracy Gray explains how the 2016 National Education Technology Plan (NETP16) shows how far schools and out-of-school programs have come and offers resources and recommendations to encourage educators to reimagine how technology can enhance learning.
3 Dec 2015
As Purdue University and other schools prepare to offer income share agreements (ISAs) to students, these new programs could put students in a sticky situation. AIR researcher Audrey Peek explains that if they don’t understand the tradeoffs of loans versus ISAs, students could end up replacing their federal loans with much more expensive ISAs.
30 Nov 2015
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.
29 Nov 2015
In the Field
For managing researcher Dahlia Shaewitz, growing up a hearing person in a deaf household was a sometimes peculiar experience. She discusses her experiences and the impact of the ADA on technology for the deaf and hard of hearing. As part of our series on the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 2015, AIR experts reflect on an era of research in the classroom and the workplace, their stories, and the future.
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..