Principals' roles have expanded significantly over the past decade. These leaders face new challenges and new levels of accountability. AIR engaged educators in three states to design a framework, a foundation for facilitating principal growth and accountability. The framework can be used for principal coaching, self-reflection, and performance evaluation.
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16 May 2015
The federal Race to the Top competition provided significant impetus for states to adopt “value-added” models as a part of their teacher evaluation systems. This study examines how teacher evaluations are affected by incorrectly attributing changes in student's test scores to the value-added of teachers in spring classrooms, and explores methods that can provide the best approximation in the absence of more detailed data.
13 Dec 2015
How can we better support young people as they develop the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in school, work, and life? That is the question facing in-school educators, afterschool providers, families, policymakers, and the general public. This brief covers the policy context reflecting a growing interest in social and emotional learning and how afterschool and in-school educators can work together.
1 Dec 2015
Transitional kindergarten—the first year of a two-year kindergarten program for California children born between September 2 and December 2—is intended to better prepare young five-year-olds for kindergarten and ensure a strong start to their educational career. The goal of this study was to measure the success of the program by determining the impact of transitional kindergarten on students’ readiness for kindergarten in several areas. This brief outlines the results of the study, Impact of California's Transitional Kindergarten Program, 2013-14, and suggests next steps for further research.
11 Sep 2015
Public pension systems in many U.S. states face large funding shortfalls. Movement toward defined contribution (DC) pension structures may reduce the likelihood of future shortfalls. We address some limitations of the existing literature by studying public-sector employees who are enrolled in either a defined benefit (DB) plan or hybrid DB-DC plan, and who at some points have been able to choose between these plans.
10 Oct 2015
Despite a large number of studies investigating the Teach for America (TFA) effect on math and English achievement, little is known about nontested outcomes. Using administrative data from Miami-Dade County Public Schools to investigate the relationship between being in a TFA classroom and non-test student outcomes, researchers found suggestive evidence that students taught by TFA teachers in elementary and middle school were less likely to miss school due to unexcused absences and suspensions, compared to non-TFA teachers in the same school.
4 Aug 2015
The persistence of gaps in education, income, health, and other socioeconomic indicators suggests the urgent need to reduce inequality early in life. In this white paper, Eboni Howard reviews the science of early childhood and summarizes the disparities and the opportunity gaps stemming from inequalities, describing programs, services, and policies that might affect the extent of inequality and provide supportive early life experiences.
30 Jul 2015
Social and emotional learning is the process through which children learn the skills to handle themselves, their relationships, and their work effectively and ethically. This report presents findings about the outcomes of a complex eight-district demonstration project designed to learn about as well and show how and to what end school districts can make social and emotional learning an essential part of every student’s education.
29 Jul 2015
2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Title I of that act made educational equity a federal priority by providing financial assistance to local education agencies serving children of low-income families. This paper traces the history of the landmark federal program and provides background as Congress considers changes to Title I.
9 Jul 2015
States each develop their own standards to measure student assessment, so how do we compare the ability levels of students across the U.S.? This report, prepared by AIR for the Department of Education, maps state proficiency standards onto National Assessment of Education Progress scales to examine the variation among standards. It finds that the variation continues to be wide.