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May 30, 2014

Summer Break and the Achievement Gap

The summer research also tells us something that, much to my surprise, has been largely ignored in policy and research. If we know that achievement gaps widen over the summer, that students are not randomly assigned to schools, and that we only measure students' achievement each spring, then the school performance measures we use in accountability policies are likely biased--especially against schools serving larger shares of traditionally under-served students. In fact this is true.

May 29, 2014

Teacher Accountability: How Should We Do It?

I break today's discussion into two areas: the measurement of teacher and school quality and the process by which teachers and schools are held accountable.

May 28, 2014

Evaluation: Just Like a Blender?

Instead of implementing more of the same, I am, perhaps naively, optimistic that there are opportunities for researchers, policymakers, practitioners, parents, and other stakeholders to come together to design an accountability model that is valid, fair, reliable, and trustworthy. The research community is just starting to understand how school-level accountability policies impact students, teachers, and so on, and now we're talking about holding universities and teacher programs accountable. For all the issues listed above, there is a positive role that accountability policies can play in the future of U.S. public education. We just need to slow down, work together, and stop pretending this stuff is easy.

May 27, 2014

Teacher Evaluation: What Do We Want to Measure?

It is clear that the policy landscape (e.g., the ESEA waivers) has quickly moved past asking "Should we hold teachers accountable?" to "How should we hold teachers and school accountable?" Yet, it appears that all too often we do not start with the two most important questions: What qualities and practices characterize the ideal teacher? What are the skills and knowledge we want students to obtain from our schools?

May 23, 2014

ReSchool Colorado

ReSchool Colorado is a multi-year effort to design a new, public, state education system where learning is reimagined and students are equipped to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

May 21, 2014

An Expanded Education Highway

If one cannot tweak the current K-12 education system (by adding more mandates), then you must consider re-designing it. And this is the bold work we're embarking upon: to rethink the key drivers and to create a new and parallel space for students, families, and educators to do their work. We know this will not be a perfect utopia, but we firmly believe that creating student-centered, welcoming, and dynamic learning environments, through a fundamental re-design of the system, is the only way to create the quality we seek in a scalable way.

May 19, 2014

Gus the Truck: A Metaphor for an Outdated Education System

Why Gus the Truck, a 1949 Chevrolet light duty truck, is an appropriate metaphor for today's K-12 system.

May 16, 2014

Separate But Equal: Teacher Diversity 60 Years After Brown v. Board

The 60th anniversary of the landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education provides us with a chance to reevaluate what has happened in the time since. In 1954, the argument was that the student's access to resources was unfair and therefore unconstitutional. That underlying problem has not been solved today.

May 15, 2014

Science on a Cart

All students, regardless of race, socio-economic status, county, or side of town, deserve an education that will set them up for success in life. Funding equity in Connecticut is an integral part of making this vision a reality for all students. Then, science "on a cart" might just become an urban legend.

May 14, 2014

School Climate Data Is an Equity Issue

The School Climate Bill of Rights was an important first step in raising awareness around the critical role school environment plays in the pursuit of higher academic achievement. The next step is making sure we're using the data and other outcomes it created to actually help students.

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The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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