Some readers requested a closer look at the Urban Institute's Teach for America study presented at AERA last week. To this reader, the study is convincing, and provides strong and viable evidence against those who argue that Teach for America teachers negatively affect their kids’ educations. However, I was not sold on the authors’ conclusion that teacher retention should take the backseat to teacher selection.First, what did the study find? If we take the study's most conservative estimates for all eight high school subjects (7 math and science subjects, plus English I, and comparing North Carolina TFA teachers with ...

AERA President-Elect Carol Lee moderated a Division G Vice-Presidential session Thursday entitled Research on Schools, Neighborhoods and Communities: Implications for Research Methods on Social Contexts. The participants were Shirley Brice Heath, Kris Gutierrez, Margaret Beale Spencer, and Steve Raudenbush. Heath and Gutierrez emphasized the cultural features of contexts in their remarks. Heath argued that a central task of educational research is studying the co-occurrence of contexts with specific behaviors. She made a case for quantitative data records that allow for comparisons across contexts and time periods, using a study of the role of language in the context of young children ...

Overheard at AERA:"I'm sorry [that I'm leaving], but I've got to get to Rick Hess's bachelor party."...

Researchers spend a lot of time at AERA bemoaning the heterogeneous quality of the work presented. After a few glasses of wine, someone will suggest that the dissatisfied band together and start an organization to compete with AERA. Few realize that this has already happened, albeit quietly, with the founding of the Society for Research in Educational Effectiveness with support from the Institute of Educational Sciences. Here's more detail: The Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) was formed to provide an organizational infrastructure that supports and promotes research focused on cause-and-effect relations important for education. The field of education ...

skoolboy went to a session Thursday that was billed as about all things teachers -- mobility, retention, etc. But the session was a bait-and-switch; three CALDER (National Center for Longitudinal Data in Educational Research) papers, only two of which were about teachers. Tim Sass led off with a paper on charter high school effects on high school graduation and college attendance in Chicago and the state of Florida. Using eighth grade test scores and demographic variables as controls, and studying students who attended charter middle schools to control for selection bias, Sass and his colleagues found that students who attended ...

Norm Scott sends along some bonus quotes from this morning's ed blogs session. Alexander Russo sums it up here and here. From these snippets and Alexander's summaries, it appears that our bloggy boys threw some barbs above the panel table."I urge all of you [researchers] to get in the fight." (Russo - on the need for more researchers to engage with journalists and the blogosphere) "Be humble." (Andy Rotherham, on relaying what your study does and does not say to reporters)"Sometimes [the blogs] seem like an echo chamber. We don't want to say it's what everyone is talking ...

"There may be a nirvana 100 years from now where we can slap policymakers into jail if they don't have enough research to support what they are doing."-Russ Whitehurst (Director, Institute of Education Sciences)...

My day was largely unblogworthy, so check out these AERA bloggers:SES, Evaluation, and Civil Rights (Swift and Changeable - Charlie also reports that he liked Topaz Thai)Journalistic Self-Loathing and Coverage of Educational Research (Alexander Russo)More on Alternative Schools (Thoughts on Education Policy)Random Thoughts from AERA (Educational Insanity)Questioning Brown? (Ed Jurist Accord)AERA Sessions for Graduate Students or About Graduate Study (The Graduate Educator)...

"You know you're in trouble when the number of authors on the paper exceeds the sample size." (Overheard at the Sheraton New York)...

Great opportunity to ask National Center for Education Statistics Associate Commissioner Peggy Carr questions about the NAEP. At 2 p.m. on April 3, you can join her for an online StatChat about the 2007 writing assessment results. Submit questions for the chat anytime in advance here and pop in on the 3rd for the session....


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