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Goodwin, Bryan – McREL International, 2015
Roughly 30 years ago, American educators stood at a crossroads, with a decision to make about the future of education. With their ears ringing of warnings that they were facing a "rising tide of mediocrity" and recognizing unacceptable gaps in achievement between disadvantaged students and others, educators set off down a path of reform…
Descriptors: Educational Change, Change Strategies, Educational Quality, Learner Engagement
Hofman, Peter; Goodwin, Bryan; Kahl, Stuart – McREL International, 2015
These days, a growing chorus of parents, educators, and policymakers is voicing frustration and anger with top-down accountability and high-stakes testing. As members of two not-for-profit education organizations--one focused on assessment and the other on research and instructional practices--the authors find nothing wrong with testing itself;…
Descriptors: Formative Evaluation, Performance Based Assessment, Student Evaluation, Accountability
Best, Jane; Winslow, Emily – McREL International, 2015
With increasingly diverse student populations, educational equity is a bigger challenge than ever for public schools across the United States. While federal government, states, and school districts work to identify and address the root causes of equity gaps, efforts are often hampered by a limited body of research-based strategies and approaches…
Descriptors: Equal Education, Teacher Effectiveness, Barriers, Performance Factors
Best, Jane; Winslow, Emily – McREL International, 2015
Educational assessments provide data that give policymakers a "snapshot" of how students are performing and serve as a means of holding teachers, schools, and districts accountable. Many contend, however, that assessments could do more to promote deeper learning in K-12 environments. One interesting possibility is the use of…
Descriptors: Performance Based Assessment, Accountability, Educational Policy, Formative Evaluation
Donahue, Tara; Ho, Hsiang-Yah; Knotts, Ashli – McREL International, 2015
The purpose of this study evaluates the work completed in the "Jefferson County Public Schools" (JCPS) project, "Making Time for What Matters Most", aiming to improve student achievement, narrow achievement gaps, strengthen students' college readiness skills, and increase the percentages of students who graduate and go on to…
Descriptors: Public Schools, Program Evaluation, Educational Improvement, Improvement Programs
Best, Jane; Cohen, Courtney – McREL International, 2014
While a quarter of all American students are enrolled in rural public schools, many rural teachers and administrators believe that education stakeholders are slow to fully recognize and address the unique challenges facing rural educators. This brief discusses recent steps taken by the federal government and individual states to address the…
Descriptors: Rural Education, Teacher Effectiveness, Performance Factors, Teacher Recruitment
Best, Jane; Dunlap, Allison – McREL International, 2014
Discussions about improving public education often focus on outcomes without considering how schools and districts can accomplish those outcomes. Research shows that using a continuous improvement process has proven successful in healthcare, manufacturing, and technology, and may hold potential for use in education as well. This brief defines and…
Descriptors: Educational Improvement, School Districts, Total Quality Management, School Effectiveness
Best, Jane; Dunlap, Allison – McREL International, 2014
This policy brief provides an overview of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), discusses policy considerations for adopting or adapting the new standards, and presents examples from states considering or implementing the NGSS. Changing academic standards is a complex process that requires significant investments of time, money, and human…
Descriptors: Science Education, Academic Standards, State Standards, Program Implementation
Best, Jane; Dunlap, Allison – McREL International, 2014
In today's rapidly changing global economy, "21st century skills" means much more than proficiency in basic academic subjects. One of the most important noncognitive competencies for student success is conscientiousness, which encompasses traits such as perseverance, self-regulation, resilience, and responsibility. Researchers have found…
Descriptors: Student Improvement, Academic Achievement, Performance Factors, Achievement Need
Best, Jane; Cohen, Courtney – McREL International, 2013
The importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has gained national attention in recent years, with educators, policymakers, and others advocating for greater participation and enhanced performance in STEM in order to bolster the U.S. economy and provide greater national security. This brief summarizes several pieces of…
Descriptors: STEM Education, Educational Legislation, Student Participation, Learner Engagement
Best, Jane; Cohen, Courtney – McREL International, 2013
Increased attention to proposed federal early childhood education (ECE) legislation has sparked a debate on what the future holds for state-funded ECE systems. This brief explores how the goal of universal preschool is being shaped by the federal agenda and examines state programs in various stages of development. President Obama's Preschool for…
Descriptors: Early Childhood Education, Federal Aid, Federal Programs, State Action
Best, Jane; Cohen, Courtney – McREL International, 2013
The Workforce Investment Act, enacted in 1998, aims to enhance the capacities of the national workforce and improve working conditions. The Act, which funds workforce education, career pathways programs, and other programs typically aimed at assisting low-income and other vulnerable populations, has not been reauthorized since its passage;…
Descriptors: Labor Force Development, Career Education, Federal Legislation, Federal Programs
Best, Jane; Cohen, Courtney – McREL International, 2013
The goal of the Common Core State Standards is to address the academic needs of all students and prepare them for college and the workforce. Implementation guidance and professional training for teachers, particularly for those working with special populations of students, requires thoughtful consideration. While the Common Core allows teachers to…
Descriptors: State Standards, Special Needs Students, Program Implementation, Accessibility (for Disabled)