Last month, we shared a run-through of the work by Maryland and Oklahoma to better prepare principals. When I was teaching first grade, many times I participated in professional development sessions that left me bursting with ideas and excitement but left me unsure about my ability to effectively execute what I had learned the next week in my classroom.
Our understanding about early childhood development has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. New brain research tells us that children’s brains form very rapidly early on, and their earliest experiences have lifelong effects on their likelihood to succeed.
Now it’s time to put what we’ve learned into practice so that our young children get the best start possible.
Teachers across the SREB region and the nation are wary of the use of student growth scores in their evaluations. How can they know with certainty that their evaluation score is a reflection of how they taught the students in their class?
Part-time college students made up 38 percent of undergraduates in SREB states by 2013. Many part-time students work to pay their living expenses as well as tuition, and the more hours they work, the longer it takes them to finish, on average. Part-timers are eligible for less financial aid, and they tend to file later, missing early deadlines.
In spring 2014-15, 68 percent of Tennessee teachers reported that evaluation improves teaching in their school and 63 percent said it improves student learning. That is a drastic shift from when Tennessee became the first state to implement a statewide, multiple-measure teacher evaluation system that included a major student growth component in 2011-12. How did they get to where they are now?
Many states have focused their efforts to improve schools and student achievement through the primary catalyst for change: teachers and school leadership. They have determined that more comprehensive teacher and leader evaluation systems are the vehicle for this improvement. With a focus on increasing student achievement, what is our purpose in teacher evaluation?
All SREB states are implementing new educator evaluation and feedback systems. Many state legislatures in the South are responding to the preliminary feedback from policymakers and educators with policies that aim to strengthen implementation, making daily evaluation and feedback practices more manageable for administrators and teachers.
Labor market economists project that by 2020, two-thirds or more of all jobs will require some postsecondary education — either a certificate, a credential or a degree at the associate level or higher.
Dirk Schroeder, professor at Emory University, delivered a keynote address at February’s educator effectiveness convening. He described the positive deviance approach for studying positive outliers who can inspire solutions to implementation challenges in education.
What happens in a child’s first three years of life has deep and long-lasting implications for success in school and life. Studies show that how many words children are exposed to by age 3, their mothers’ education level, and the stress of poverty are huge factors in whether or not they are ready for kindergarten at age 5.
Accelerating improvement was the focus of the Carnegie Foundation Summit I attended on March 2 – 4. Drawing on examples from their own work, education leaders including Commissioner Terry Holliday (KY), Superintendent Lillian Lowery (MD) and Assistant Commissioner Emily Freitag (TN) taught us about the core principles of improvement science:
SREB’s Commission on College Affordability in the South convened in New Orleans in December 2014 for its second meeting to focus state policies on increasing the students’ ability to pay for and complete college. Members learned what the research tells us about affordability’s effects on enrollment and completion and heard about promising practices in two states, Oklahoma and Tennessee.