Virtual School Meanderings

June 18, 2017

Worth A Read

A regular Sunday feature…

Worth A Read

How generous private donations have created a tale of two pre-Ks in Detroit

Posted: 14 Jun 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Erin Einhorn writes about two pre-kindergarten classrooms in Detroit. “The tale of two pre-Ks at the Carver STEM Academy is a problem well known in high-poverty school districts like Detroit that rely on the generosity of corporate and philanthropic donations to pick up where government resources leave off. Districts are happy to accept gifts from private donors – baseball tickets or classroom supplies or money for school renovations. But inevitably, there’s not enough to go around. Schools then have to choose.”

Here’s How 17 States Plan to Fix Struggling Schools

Posted: 13 Jun 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Andrew Ujifusa shares Education Week’s up-to-date review of state ESSA school improvement plans. Included in the blog are links to all 17 of the submitted state plans with commentary.

What to know before using school ratings tools from real estate companies

Posted: 13 Jun 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Jack Schneider tackles how websites like Zillow and Trulia use ratings to evaluate schools and neighborhoods. “Americans traffic regularly in bad data, or use otherwise reasonable data in highly problematic ways. Newspapers print rank-ordered lists of schools organized by average test score, as if somehow that tells us about school quality. Parents share opinions via word-of-mouth, often without ever having visited a school. And the state, which bears particular responsibility in all of this, punishes and stigmatizes low-scoring schools despite compelling research questioning the wisdom of such policies. All of this could be ameliorated by better data systems.”

The Trust Gap: Understanding the Effects of Leadership Churn in School Districts

Posted: 11 Jun 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Kara Finnigan and Alan Daly write about how positive relationships in school can build reciprocal trust in schools, which is earned over time. “In this article, we argue that studying churn among central office leaders and school principals can improve retention of high-quality leaders who can better support teachers.”

Effective Teacher Professional Development

Posted: 04 Jun 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Linda Darling-Hammond, Maria E. Hyler, Madelyn Gardner published a recent report on effective teacher professional development for the Learning Policy Institute (LPI). “But what constitutes effective professional development? That’s the question we set out to answer in this report, which reviews 35 methodologically rigorous studies that have demonstrated a positive link between teacher professional development, teaching practices, and student outcomes. We identify key features of effective efforts and offer rich descriptions of these models to inform education leaders and policymakers seeking to leverage professional development to improve student learning.”

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