Teacher effectiveness, and the use of student value-added data to measure it, are a hot topic in education these days. The University of Missouri's Cory Koedel is among the researchers helping to build our knowledge base in these areas and shape public policy as a result. Koedel has studied issues related to teacher quality, value-added measures of teacher effectiveness, school choice, and curricular effectiveness. He service on the VAM Technical Advisory Board for the Pittsburgh Public Schools, the Missouri Department of Education's Growth Model Technical Advisory Committee, and the National Report Technical Advisory Panel for the New Teacher Project, has ...


"College and Career-Ready" is the catch word in education policy these days. But, even as increasing numbers of students are going to college, far too few are prepared to succeed there. Nick Ehrmann founded Blue Engine in an effort to solve this problem. Blue Engine recruits, trains, and supports recent college graduates to work with students and teachers in public high schools, reducing student: instructor ratios to customize learning and help students master advanced academic skills for high school and college success. Launched in 2010, Blue Engine has already gained national recognition from the Clinton Global Initative, Blue Ridge Foundation ...


No topic in education has garnered more attention and controversy over the past few years than teacher effectiveness, and the U.S. Department of Education has played a critical role in that debate, first in Race to the Top, and more recently through the ESEA Flexibility Waiver process and proposed RESPECT initiative. The Department's Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program seeks to engage and give teachers a voice in that process by bringing a cohort of teachers to the Department for a year, where they work on policy issues and teacher outreach. Genvieve DeBose brings diverse experiences and perspectives to her role ...


At only 29, Matthew Chingos has already conducted research with some of the nation's leading education researchers and on some of the most pressing education policy questions, including issues related to teacher effectiveness, accountability, and higher education attainment. His first book, Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America's Public Universities (co-authored with William Bowen and Michael McPherson) was published by Princeton University Press in 2009. Raised on the North Fork of Long Island, Chingos earned both a bachelor's degree and Ph.D. in government from Harvard, and is currently a Fellow at the Brown Center on Education Policy Studies ...


For all the lip service paid to "putting students first," the actual voices of students themselves are largely absent from contemporary education policy debates. Catharine Bellinger and Alexis Morin are working to change that. As students at Princeton, they founded Students for Education Reform to engage and organize college students--most of whom were recently public school students themselves--around education reform. Today, SFER has over 3,000 members in more than 100 chapters in over 30 states and is working to increase awareness of education issues, build the pipeline of talented college students going into education, and influence state policy change ...


How do various types of families engage with and make school choices? How do immigrant and English language learner students and their families engage with public schools, and what factors influence that engagement? As an assistant professor at Seton Hall University, where she also co-directs the Center for College Readiness, Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj uses both qualitative and quantitative methods to engage some of the most interesting and complicated questions in education today, and works to make those findings accessible to a policy and lay audience. A Connecticut native, Sattin-Bajaj graduated from Duke University and worked for the New York City Department ...


Last year, I published a list of 16 young men and women who are going to lead the transformation of education in this country in the coming generation. But the challenges--and opportunities--facing public education in the next few decades are so big, they're going to require more talent and expertise than even those exceptional 16 folks can offer. So, this year I'm back with a list of 17 more leaders who are going to help define the shape of public education for the coming generation: Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj, Assistant Professor, Seton Hall University Catharine Bellinger and Alexis Morin, Students for Education ...


Guest post by Louise Stoney Since my focus is finance, I always worry about sustainability. As states craft QRIS, they struggle with the inevitable financial trade-offs. Most states are challenged with budget deficits and hesitant to make long-term financial commitments. They frequently structure QRIS technical assistance as a short-term intervention from a contractor (such as a CCR&R or educational institution) and QRIS financial incentives as small grants, often one-time, focused largely on materials. This is understandable, given resource limitations. But unfortunately this approach doesn't address the very real institutional capacity challenges. To stay focused on continuous quality improvement, most ...


Guest post by Louise Stoney Quality standards have meaning only when compliance with them results in improved practice among a significant percentage of programs and practitioners. Results come from a combination of factors -- standards that focus on what matters most, programs that have the desire and resources needed to improve, and access to the technical assistance, training and coaching needed to improve quality. State Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) include a technical assistance (TA) component aimed at strengthening ECE program capacity to meet standards. Today's blog will explore the challenges and opportunities of QRIS-related technical assistance. It is ...


Guest post by Louise Stoney. In my previous post I described QRIS as a powerful tool for early care and education (ECE) system reform if it is used as a framework for co-creating a new, cross-sector structure for quality, accountability and finance. Let's look more closely at what that statement means and how it might look in various states. The ECE system has multiple funders, regulatory agencies and planning entities, and each typically has its own set of standards and requirements. However, if one maps the program and practitioner and child standards from multiple places - state child care licensing, ...


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