Colleges and universities are relying heavily on contingent faculty to increase flexibility and reduce costs, yet little is known about whether such savings actually result in lower overall costs or if the money saved on instruction is being spent in other areas. This brief documents the financial trade-offs being made by institutions as they hire more part-time contingent faculty.
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30 Nov 2016
Charter school stakeholders in South Carolina expressed interest in understanding the leadership characteristics and practices of charter school leaders across the state. Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast helped develop an online survey of characteristics and practices that was administered by the South Carolina Department of Education to leaders of all charter schools in South Carolina. This report describes the process for developing the leadership survey and provides descriptive results of the survey.
15 Nov 2016
Contingent faculty—that is, full- and part-time instructors not on the tenure track—now comprise the majority of all faculty at U.S. colleges and universities. The first of a two-part series, the goal of this brief is to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the landscape surrounding changes to the academic workforce, and to identify whether contingent faculty are more likely to be employed in certain types of institutions.
6 Nov 2016
Federal and local governments continue to invest billions of dollars each year in professional development for teachers. Until recently, there has been little rigorous evidence to inform the design and delivery of these programs. This brief outlines the key findings from three random assignment PD evaluation studies and proposes areas for further research.
25 Oct 2016
Two efforts that have impacted teachers across the country in recent years are state-mandated teacher evaluation and support systems and statewide adoption of new, more rigorous and focused student learning standards based on the Common Core State Standards. In this brief, AIR explores the level of alignment that exists between these two policies.
24 Oct 2016
High-quality early care and education (ECE) provides a critical foundation for young children’s success in school and in life. Yet, in the United States, fewer than two out of three preschool-age children are enrolled in center-based ECE programs. This brief highlights promising practices used in many European countries to ensure all children have access to ECE—practices which can inform similar efforts in the U.S.
24 Oct 2016
The Study of Deeper Learning: Opportunities and Outcomes found that students attending network high schools with a mature and well-implemented approach to promoting deeper learning experienced different instructional strategies, greater opportunities, and better results on a range of outcomes than did their matched counterparts in comparison sites. This brief examines how teachers’ own beliefs about teaching, their assessment of their peers’ professional culture, and their assessment of the success of the principal in providing instructional leadership and program coherence are related to students’ reports of deeper learning opportunities in their classes.
21 Oct 2016
Social and emotional skills undergird student success—and mold better citizens. Results from the Collaborating Districts Initiative suggest that even modest investments can pay off for individuals, schools, and society. In this policy brief, Kimberly Kendziora and Nick Yoder share the results of the evaluation and offer policy six recommendations for states and districts implementing SEL initiatives.
17 Oct 2016
Better evidence about student outcomes in competency-based education (CBE) and how they compare with outcomes in traditional programs is important as institutions and policymakers consider investing in them. This brief presents evidence that CBE programs are on the path to success in fulfilling their value propositions of broadening access, offering paths to credentials, and improving cost and quality.
6 Oct 2016
The Ten Series
Healthy schools and supportive school environments provide connection, support, engagement, and physical and emotional safety, as well as access to social networks and resources for students. This brief, which evolved from a larger project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, outlines the central principles needed to support students in an equitable, collaborative, and healthy environment.