Posts tagged "research shows"
January 6, 2012
A historic look inside the nation’s classrooms, including some in New York City, painted a bleak picture, according to a report released by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation today.
The second installment of the foundation’s ambitious Measures of Effective Teaching study, the report focuses on the picture of teaching yielded by five different classroom observation tools. It also scrutinizes those tools themselves, concluding that they are valuable as a way to help teachers improve but only useful as evaluation tools when combined with measures of student learning known as value-added scores.
The conclusion is a strong endorsement of the Obama administration’s approach to improving teaching by implementing new evaluations of teachers that draw on both observations and value-added measures. New York State took this approach to overhauling its evaluation system when it applied for federal Race to the Top funding.
Among the group of five observation tools the foundation studied is the rubric now being piloted in New York City classrooms as part of stalled efforts to implement the changes to teacher evaluation, Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Effective Teaching.
Through all five lenses, instruction looked mediocre in an overwhelming majority of more than 1,000 classrooms studied, the report concludes. There were some bright spots. Many teachers were scored relatively well for the aspect of teaching known as “classroom management” — keeping students well-behaved, making sure they are engaged.
But teachers often fell short when it came to other elements of teaching, such as facilitating discussions, speaking precisely about concepts, and carefully modeling skills that students need to master. These higher-order skill sets, the report notes, are crucial in order for students to meet the raised standards outlined in the Common Core. (more…)
August 24, 2009
We’re on staycation, but we wanted to share what just popped into our inbox: The long-awaited evaluation of principals who graduated from the city’s controversial Leadership Academy.
The report concludes that graduates of the Leadership Academy took especially tough jobs, stopped their schools from getting worse, and posted reading test score gains that outpaced those made at other schools with new principals. In math, schools led by Leadership Academy graduates improved but not significantly more than other schools. And the study looked at too few high schools to conclude anything about the effect of Leadership Academy principals there.
The report’s authors, three professors at New York University, say more research is needed to identify what about the Leadership Academy graduates allowed their schools to make comparatively more progress in reading. They emphasize that the Leadership Academy, which fast-tracks educators into school administration, selects applicants that it believes will make successful principals, so the study could not cast light on how well the program prepares the average prospective principal.
The report was paid for by foundations that helped fund the academy before it moved onto the public dollar last year, Broad and Dell.
January 27, 2009
The importance of raising teacher quality and a ramped-up declaration of support for charter schools are the education points getting attention from Bill Gates’ first annual letter about the state of his philanthropic giving. But here’s another really important point that Gates makes about his efforts to improve American education:
Unlike scientists developing a vaccine, it is hard to test with scientific certainty what works in schools. If one school’s students do better than another school’s, how do you determine the exact cause? But the difficulty of the problem does not make it any less important to solve. (Emphasis mine.)
A hint at how the foundation might improve educational research is in my feature on the Gates Foundation’s new direction from late last year:
One initiative will invest about $7 million in a partnership between three research groups, the Educational Testing Service, the Rand Corporation, and a University of Michigan research group, which will study ways to measure teacher effectiveness. The goal is to find “fairer, more powerful, and more reliable measures” than current standardized tests provide, the foundation’s director of education programs, Vicki Phillips, said.