Virtual School Meanderings

July 9, 2017

Worth A Read

A regular Sunday feature.

Worth A Read


Teacher Quality and Teacher Mobility

Posted: 04 Jul 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Li Feng and Tim Sass, using teacher value added (VAM), investigate teacher quality and teacher mobility in Florida. “We find that top-quartile and bottom-quartile teachers exit at a higher rate than do average-quality teachers… We also find some evidence of assortative matching among teachers—more productive reading/language arts teachers are more likely to stay in teaching if they have more productive peer teachers.”

Community Schools: The Solution to Education Reform Divide

Posted: 04 Jul 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Marty Blank writes about the power of community schools. “Community Schools are public schools – hubs of their neighborhood, uniting families, educators and community partners to provide all students with top-quality academics, enrichment, health and social services, and opportunities to learn and thrive in school and in life. They are an effective strategy for all schools, particularly for low performing schools; and they are an alternative to closing schools in impoverished neighborhoods.”

Why Your ESSA Plan Is Nonsense

Posted: 29 Jun 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Peter Greene reacts to a recent blog written by EdWeek’s Andrew Ujifusa, ‘Here’s Why You Can’t Understand Your State’s New Plan for Education.’ He writes, “It’s not complicated. Master Plans for Education, both Great and Small, are almost always nonsense because they are written by bureaucrats, not educators.”

Upstate/Downstate: School Effectiveness in Illinois

Posted: 29 Jun 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Paul Zavitkovsky and Steven Tozer authored a new report, ‘Upstate/Downstate: Changing Patterns of Achievement, Demographics and School Effectiveness in Illinois Public Schools,’ which looks at trends in local and regional achievement in Illinois. “Race and family income still predict standardized test scores with remarkable accuracy in most school districts.  But Upstate/Downstate offers new evidence that changes in school effectiveness – what schools and districts do to improve their impact on student and adult learning – can play as powerful a role in local and regional achievement as race and family income do.”

Twitter chat: Solving our nation’s #teachershortage

Posted: 28 Jun 2017 09:00 PM PDT

“In a joint Twitter chat, CTQ [the Center for Teaching Quality] is teaming up with the Learning Policy Institute [LPI] and educators who took part in the most recent roundtable blogging discussion to explore the implications teacher shortages have on the teaching and learning for all students.” The Twitter chat will take place July 12 at 4:00 pm.

How State Education Agencies Can Support College and Career Ready Standards

Posted: 27 Jun 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Emily Hodge, Serena Salloum, Susanna Benko authored a policy brief describing how state education agencies can support high quality instruction. “The brief reports findings about the types of resources, Race to the Top, Common Core, and state connections. Because all states have adopted college and career-ready standards, and most states continue to implement some version of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), many SEAs can now share resources with each other and draw on materials from the numerous organizations providing CCSS resources.”

First study of Indiana’s voucher program – the country’s largest – finds it hurts kids’ math skills at first, but not over time

Posted: 25 Jun 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Matt Barnum highlights a new analysis of Indiana’s school voucher program. “The study, obtained by Chalkbeat, shows that students using a voucher saw math achievement fall on average, though students who remained in [a] private school for four years improved to match or outperform public school students in math and English.”

Voucher Studies in Louisiana, Indiana Show Problems in Early Years

Posted: 25 Jun 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Sarah Sparks reviews recent research from Louisiana and Indiana on the impact of vouchers and school choice. “In Louisiana, researchers from the University of Arkansas found students statewide who switched from public to private schools using the Louisiana Scholarship Program’s lottery showed no benefit in language arts or math after three years, compared to students who remained in public school. Students showed a significant drop in performance in their first year—25 percentile points on average in math—but began to recover over the next two years in their new school.”

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