Educator Effectiveness/Quality

Iowa District Puts Twist on Four-Day Week

WACO community school district in Iowa is adopting a four-day school week to allow for more student enrichment and professional development for teachers. Students will have the option to attend remedial, enrichment, or college-level classes on Fridays. The district is also hoping the new schedule will reduce costs associated with transportation and utilities and alleviate budget woes. However, the district was granted approval for the schedule change because the motivation for the change was not largely budget-based.

The Distribution of Teaching and Learning Resources in California’s Middle and High Schools

This report examined disparities in the distribution of teaching and learning resources in California secondary schools. Results indicated that the most disadvantaged populations of middle and high school students are likely have teachers with limited qualifications to teach their subject areas. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds also were less likely to be enrolled in the necessary courses for admission to four-year public institutions.

STEM High Schools Built on More Than Science and Math

In top STEM high schools, programs are not built around course materials but rather based on other factors such as project-based learning, critical thinking and collaboration. Steven Zipkes, founding principal of Manor New Technology High School, a nationally-ranked STEM high school, says that "too often we focus on what we teach,” and that “in reality, it's not what we teach, it's how we teach." 

New Flexibility for States Implementing Fast-Moving Reforms: Laying Out Our Thinking

On June 18, Secretary Arne Duncan informed state chiefs that the administration is open to flexibility requests around the principal and teacher evaluation implementation deadline for those states that already have approved Elementary and Secondary Education Act flexibility waivers. For these states, consequences around new assessments can be delayed for up to one year, until 2016-17.

Translating Community College Research into Practice: Community College Research Center’s New “Practitioner Packets”

Over the past several years, the Community College Research Center (CCRC), housed at Teachers College, Columbia University, has conducted extensive research and generated dozens of publications on college readiness, online education, developmental education, student supports, and other issues related to community colleges. Of course, this research is more effective when it gets into the hands of the educators who are working every day to help students reach their goals.

Faculty Pay Survey Shows Growing Gap Between Public, Private Colleges

A growing wage gap between public and private colleges, coupled with the increased reliance on part-time instructors, threatens to degrade academic quality at certain universities, according to a new report from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). The report noted a big difference in average pay for all types of professors, instructors and lecturers in public versus private colleges.

On Being College Prep: Examining the Implementation of a 'College for All' Mission in an Urban Charter School

This article presents a four-year case study on the impact that an urban college preparatory charter high school had on the postsecondary outcomes of its graduates. Through analysis of staff and teacher interviews, the impact that logistical constraints and staff turnover had on the implementation of the school’s mission to prepare educationally and socially disadvantaged students for college was revealed.

High School Improvement: Indicators of Effectiveness and School-Level Benchmarks

This document extends the National High School Center’s Eight Elements of High School Improvement: A Mapping Framework and offers specific school-level benchmarks that provide a deeper level of detail for each indicator of effectiveness and describe school-level practices that can be implemented to support high school improvement at the local level. High school improvement teams will find this tool useful once they have already identified areas of strengths and concerns through the use of the Center’s self-assessment tool.


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