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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Learning about Learning: Research and Edreform News and Views 01/10/2012

  • Here is a broadcast from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute on January fifth about "Has the Accountability Movement Run Its Course" in response to the fact that gains during the accountability movement "have plateaued" and how to raise achievement. Important types such as the harmful effect of focusing on outcomes instead of process (the system), the lack of tools for teachers, and the harmful effect of shifting blame versus finding solutions. Something you'll want to watch.

    tags: edreform research education researcher_thoughtleader learning

  • The measure of a good teacher. This is talking about an increase in test scores or decrease when you arrive or leave. What if you're there for a long time - it is hard to measure the delta then. The findings from the New York Daily News.

    "Instead, they discovered that some teachers are demonstrably better than others — and that those teachers have long-lasting effects on their pupils.

    The data showed that when an excellent teacher joined a school, scores in that teacher’s grade immediately rose. When such a teacher left, scores plummeted.

    The benefit of having such a teacher, as measured on exams, lasted for three to four years in school. Later on, the students

    were more likely to attend college, earned more money, lived in better neighborhoods and were less likely to become teenage parents than those with poor instructors.

    Chetty, Friedman and Rockoff predicted that children who have just one quality teacher between grades 4 and 8 will see their lifetime earnings increase by $4,600.

    The researchers also estimated that replacing a poor instructor with just an average one — not even a good one — means children in that class will collectively earn an additional $267,000 over their lifetimes. Leaving a poor instructor in a school for 10 years, Friedman told The New York Times, means as much as $2.5 million in lost income to students.

    “The message is to fire people sooner rather than later,” he said."

    tags: research education edreform researcher_thoughtleader learning

  • Arne Duncan, US secretary of education, says it is time for a new NCLB in his OpEd in the Washington Post on January 6.

    tags: education edreform learning us politics deptofed

  • Virtual schools are in demand but are they effective? This article in the New York Times.

    "The number of students in virtual schools run by educational management organizations rose sharply last year, according to a new report being published Friday, and far fewer of them are proving proficient on standardized tests compared with their peers in other privately managed charter schools and in traditional public schools."

    tags: education edreform learning

  • The UK controversy over school choice. Somehow these same arguments are raging across the globe.

    The government is not sure that "free schools" (charter -type schools) are going to boost access to good schools because they will be too expensive.

    tags: education edreform learning uk

  • Australia is now in a long line of countries who feel their education system is poor. Here is a "shocking" study in the Sydney paper:

    "THE standard of teaching in Australian preschools is ''very poor'', a government-funded national study into the quality of early education has found.

    The finding from the E4Kids study suggests children may be attending little more than glorified playgroup, despite research indicating that early learning makes a crucial difference to their long-term development."

    tags: edreform preschool learning australia

  • This article in the Tampa Tribute points out just how large and yet, how unknown the Florida Virtual School is. 

    "In less than 15 years, Florida Virtual School has become the largest state-funded online K-12 school in the nation, an enterprise with a $166.3 million budget and close to 1,500 employees and 130,000 students. It offers more than 110 courses, from core subjects like algebra to electives such as Chinese and guitar."

    tags: education edreform learning

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