Policy Barriers to School Improvement: What’s Real and What’s Imagined?

The Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) enlisted the help of principals in three states, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Maryland, to find out more about ways they are using their autonomies to maximize the resources at their disposal. The report looks at how principals are reallocating funds to organize their schools in innovative new ways. Prime examples of this include extending the reach of teachers and increasing the use of technology in schools to customize learning.

A Teachers’ Guide to TALIS 2013

This publication reports the results of the 2013 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) of 100,000 teachers and leaders in 34 countries and economies. To inform efforts to recruit, retain, and develop teachers worldwide, the survey examines how teachers are recognized, evaluated, and rewarded. The report includes a summary of findings and recommendations for teachers and leaders on areas of improvement, including school leadership, teacher appraisal and feedback, school climate, professional development and teaching practices.

Learner at the Center of a Networked World

This report by the Aspen Institute takes a look at the different ways young students learn today. Backed by research and stakeholder input, it recommends ways that teachers and policymakers can expand learning opportunities for students, making the best and safest use of the technology and resources available in today’s changing learning environment. 

Blending Towards Competency: Early Patterns of Blended Learning and Competency-Based Education in New Hampshire

This white paper examines the impact of blended learning in 13 schools in New Hampshire where state law mandates high schools measure learning by mastery of a subject rather than by credit hours. The report cites several ways in which blended learning can support competency-based learning, including on-demand testing, alternative pathways to learning, and personalized learning. 

Great Principals at Scale

This report provides a comprehensive and research-based framework outlining the conditions necessary for school leaders to succeed and details the conditions that effective school systems have in place. A separate toolkit offers principals a means of assessing their current conditions and provides recommendations on ways to improve those conditions with the overall goal of increasing student achievement. 

Genuine Progress, Greater Challenges: A Decade of Teacher Effectiveness Reforms

This report considers teacher effectiveness reforms over the last 10 years and addresses changes in practices and policy that resulted from these reforms. The report describes how policymakers’ perception of teachers changed from viewing teachers as “interchangeable parts” 10 years ago to “the single most important in-school factor for student learning today,” and proposes that, moving forward, policymakers should focus on five main areas: meaningful evaluation of teacher performance, professional development, teacher preparation, productivity, and political strategy.

Roll Call: The Importance of Teacher Attendance

Based on the premise that teacher attendance is directly related to student outcomes, this report examines teacher absenteeism in schools across the United States and calculates how costly absenteeism can be for schools and districts. The report explores whether high-poverty schools experience more absenteeism than low-poverty schools, and proposes some simple and creative ways for school leaders to create a climate that encourages high teacher attendance. 

The Metlife Survey of the American Teacher: Collaborating for Student Success

This report examines how educators working together can improve student outcomes. Through surveys of teachers and principals, this report examines the views of teachers, teacher leaders, and students on what collaboration looks like in schools and the impact it can have. It also assesses the importance of building time into the school schedule to accommodate collaboration among in-school educators. 

Spending Money Wisely: Getting the Most from School District Budgets

Produced by the District Management Journal, this series of 10 briefs summarizes 10 key opportunities for districts to realign resources and free up funds for other district priorities. This “Top 10” list takes into account both theory and practice, using real-life lessons from districts that implemented similar initiatives. Briefs cover topics including professional development for teachers, extending the reach of effective teachers, and scheduling services equitably using data.

School Check: Assess Your School’s Resources Use Against Four Key Principles

These links contain tools for elementary school and secondary school leaders to establish whether they are using resources strategically and to help them determine areas where spending could be reduced.


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