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Blog post September 2015 Commission meeting

Part-Time Students = 38% of Undergrads
Affordability Commission focuses on needs of adult and part-time students

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.

Blog post Jonathan Attridge

Tennessee Takes the Temperature

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?

Blog post Alison GrizzleTim Dove

Implementing Evaluation Systems: A Time for Teacher Voice

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?

Blog post Beth Day

The Critical Infrastructure of Early Learning
Birth to Books

Craig Ramey of Virginia Tech shared research about early childhood brain development and the return on investing in high-quality programs

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. 

Blog post

Promising Affordability Practices in Oklahoma, Tennessee
What the research tells us

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. 

Blog post By Jon Schmidt-Davis

Florida Middle School Creates Success Academy

Pinellas Park Middle School is about as challenging a school as you can find in Florida. The state has assigned it a grade of D for the past several years. All of its students receive free lunch. Twenty-three percent of its students have already been in some form of drop-out prevention program prior to enrolling at Pinellas Park.

Blog post By Jon Schmidt-Davis

Highly Qualified Turnaround Leaders Emerge in Florida

The Florida Turnaround Leaders Program is a big hit in Florida that will ultimately result in better principals, better schools, and higher-performing students. “This program has provided the best professional development I have ever experienced in my 25 years as an educator,” said one participant.