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Student Achievement

Helping Struggling Schools

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 04.02.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

There are a lot of schools in the U.S. that need to be achieving much better outcomes. However, there is a much smaller group of schools in which achievement levels are appalling. The solutions for garden-variety low-achieving schools are arguably different from those for schools with the very worst levels of performance.

Accountability and Evidence

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 03.26.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

The way we can find out what works is to compare schools or classrooms assigned to use any given program with those that continue current practices. Ideally, schools and classrooms are assigned at random to experimental or control groups. That's how we find out what works in medicine, agriculture, technology, and other areas.

The Elephant in the School Failure Debate

Joan McRobbie | Posted 04.22.2015 | Education
Joan McRobbie

By all means we need high expectations in our schools. But with the spotlight on income gaps, it's time to draw in the missing parts of the picture. Poverty is real. We need action at the statehouse, not just the schoolhouse, to enable educators to succeed in spite of it.

What Makes Educational Technology Programs Work?

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 03.31.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Alongside the thousands of free apps going into schools, there has also developed an entirely different approach to technology, one that integrates technology with teacher lessons and provides teachers with extensive professional development and coaching.

Teachers as Professionals in Evidence-Based Reform

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 02.17.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Teachers need not be researchers to contribute to their profession. By participating in networks of like-minded educators -- implementing, continuously improving and communicating about practical approaches intended to improve outcomes of proven approaches -- they play an essential role in the improvement of their profession.

Think Promise Neighborhoods Before Promise Neighborhoods Were Cool

Karin Chenoweth | Posted 02.14.2015 | Education
Karin Chenoweth

The school's ambition is an integral part of an even bigger one -- to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty that has been endemic to its section of Atlanta.

Accountability for the Top 95 Percent

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 02.10.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Moving to a focus on evidence-based reform will not solve all of the contentious issues about accountability, but it could help us focus the reform conversation on how to move forward the top 95% of teachers and schools -- the ones who teach 95% of our kids -- and how to put accountability in proper proportion.

Leading Coherence

Karin Chenoweth | Posted 02.02.2015 | Education
Karin Chenoweth

Over the past 10 years, I have visited dozens of schools with significant populations of students of color and students living in poverty that demonst...

Where the Data Speak of Capacity

Karin Chenoweth | Posted 01.05.2015 | Education
Karin Chenoweth

Brimley is a school that helps dispel the myth that there is little schools can do to help students overcome poverty, isolation, and discrimination. But such schools can't be reduced to just a couple of practices. They do a lot of things right, not just a few.

"Every Number Represents a Kiddo's Face"

Karin Chenoweth | Posted 12.17.2014 | Education
Karin Chenoweth

Last week I quoted a principal who said about the student achievement data in her school, "They are just numbers, but the teachers here know that every number represents a kiddo's face."

Driving for Equity -- in What?

Kati Haycock | Posted 12.09.2014 | Education
Kati Haycock

Count me among those who applaud the new guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on enforcing fair access to critical educational resources. Fo...

The True Story of Public Education in America

Randi Weingarten | Posted 11.21.2014 | Education
Randi Weingarten

Instead of starving our schools of critical funding and pushing market-based, test-driven policies that ultimately fail our kids, we should be relying on evidence and input from those closest to the classroom to find solutions that work.

Superintendent Leadership: Does It Really Matter?

Becca Bracy Knight | Posted 11.18.2014 | Education
Becca Bracy Knight

Our observations of urban system leadership over the past dozen years suggest several opportunities for improving the impact of school district leaders:

On Beyond Preschool: Alleviating Poverty Over a Lifespan

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 11.17.2014 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Poverty isn't like polio, which can be cured in one treatment. The factors that lead to a child being in a disadvantaged family at preschool are likely to persist afterwards, and top-quality education is needed at every age to help children overcome effects of poverty.

Evidence to the Rescue! Whole School Option for SIG

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 11.11.2014 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

The U. S. Department of Education has just released draft regulations that will substantially change School Improvement Grants (SIG). Within the doc...

School Reform Is Empty Without Love and Support

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 10.28.2014 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

In a recent article in The New York Times, David Kirp wrote in opposition to "business models" being applied to education: Assessments, accountabil...

A Story of Dysfunction Points to a Couple of Basic Truths

Karin Chenoweth | Posted 10.25.2014 | Education
Karin Chenoweth

A fascinating article by a journalism professor/parent recently illustrated two problems endemic to schools. Meredith Broussard, a professor at Templ...

Doing Well in School Matters... So Does Good Character

Christine French Cully | Posted 10.19.2014 | Parents
Christine French Cully

People can't be truly happy if cruelty and insensitivity are part of their make-up. To raise successful children, we must cultivate kindness.

Reading by Third Grade - Or Else

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 10.15.2014 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Given the well-founded concern about third grade reading, you'd imagine that policymakers would be rushing to implement proven approaches. But the reality is otherwise.

Evidence, Brown, and the Civil Rights Act

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 09.23.2014 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

In my own field, education, the "gap" between white students and African American and Hispanic children is always decried but never solved. It has remained about the same since 1980. Could we solve it?

The Importance of Teaching Content

Karin Chenoweth | Posted 09.21.2014 | Education
Karin Chenoweth

Quite some years ago I visited a school in Baltimore City that had raised its third-grade reading scores dramatically. I wanted to see what they were doing to be so successful -- and I was curious about why its fifth-grade scores had not improved even as its third-grade ones had.

An Emergent Approach to School-Community-Family Partnerships

Martin J. Blank | Posted 09.20.2014 | Education
Martin J. Blank

The recent article on Strategic Philanthropy for A Complex World explored the idea of an "emergent approach to philanthropy." It evoked several thoug...

On Teacher Evaluation

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 09.15.2014 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

In concept, evaluating teachers makes perfect sense. In what private company are employees not evaluated and held accountable for their contribution to their company's bottom line? In practice, evaluating teachers is not so easy.

Unleash the Mighty Paraprofessional

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 08.26.2014 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Paraprofessionals in schools serving many minority students are much more likely than teachers to share their students' ethnicity and language, and are more likely to live in the neighborhood.

School's Out for the Summer: Which Means Some of the Real Work Is Happening Now

Karin Chenoweth | Posted 08.24.2014 | Education
Karin Chenoweth

We know that principals are the linchpin of school success. But it is by understanding some of the work that instructional leaders do to lead success that we can actually see why they are so important.