Turning around our nation’s low-performing schools became a national priority—and central focus of education policy at all levels—in 2001 with No Child Left Behind. Then Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants redoubled the nation’s emphasis on school turnaround, giving states more resources to advance improvement efforts within federal requirements. But, ask Courtney Tanenbaum and Cheryl Graczewski, are states ready for the challenge? If so, how are states building the capacity needed to do the job?
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1 Jul 2015
In this blog post, Peter Cookson says it's time to address the idea of educational rights, asserting that the arc of justice needs to bend in the direction of a universal, free public school system where excellence is distributed not by zip code, skin color, or socio-economic status but as a right for all children.
30 Jun 2015
Recent research found that the number one factor driving success among the students studied is educational aspiration. In order words, those students who believe they will go on to a master’s degree and beyond are, in fact, more likely to succeed. Maria Stephens asserts that understanding the factors that influence student success can help educators support other disadvantaged learners, improving their chances as well as the equity of the education system overall.
23 Jun 2015
In this blog post, the second in a series about teacher leadership, AIR's Gretchen Weber describes the complexity of defining "teacher leaders."
12 Jun 2015
On the traditional school path, Step 1 is graduating from high school, Step 2 is going to college, and Step 3 is earning a credential or degree; but overall, only about 59 percent of high school graduates who make it to Step 2 finish Step 3, earning a degree or credential within six years. In this blog post, AIR senior researcher Clarisse Haxton describes the Early College model, which allows students to combine Steps 1 and 2 and enroll in college courses and earn college credits while still in high school.
8 Jun 2015
One of the most enduring myths about teaching is that it’s easy. In this blog post, Jenny DeMonte, a senior technical assistance consultant at AIR, debunks that myth and suggests coaching in essential practices, providing immediate feedback, and conveying common knowledge and competences as critical elements of successful teacher preparation programs.
3 Jun 2015
In this blog post, Mark Schneider explores the issues currently up for discussion before the Senate Health Education and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the impact on higher education.
29 May 2015
Research shows that the most powerful, in-school influence on learning is the quality of instruction that teachers bring to their students. In the next decade, more than 1.5 million new teachers will be hired for our schools; unfortunately, teacher preparation programs may not be up to the task of delivering the teacher workforce we need. This brief describes elements of an effective start-to-finish look at teacher preparation.
26 May 2015
New research is again highlighting the wide variation in states’ student performance standards and overly optimistic reports of student proficiency. Alicia Garcia argues that, going forward, states must adopt evidence-based methods of standard setting that prepare students to compete in the global marketplace.
19 May 2015
Student learning objectives (SLOs) have become the preferred measure of student growth in many new systems of teacher evaluation and compensation. This SLO practice brief aims to assist states and districts in the implementation of SLOs by providing practical steps for building a sustainable system of developing and measuring student growth.