February 2012 Archives

"Estimating the Effect of Leaders on Public Sector Productivity: The Case of School Principals," a new working paper from Gregory F. Branch of the University of Texas, Dallas, Eric A. Hanushek of Stanford University, and Steven G. Rivkin of Amherst College sets out to answer these and other questions about effective principals, using data on 7,429 principals from the University of Texas, Dallas's Texas Schools Project. The researchers attempt to account for year–to–year fluctuation in school performance while also gauging a principal's effectiveness. They investigate how principals affect a school's staff, looking to see how the quality...

A new report called "We Can't Even Ask For Help" looks to debunk the myth of the "model minority," which, the authors say, can lead to Asian-heritage students not getting the help they need. The report, put out by the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families and Pumphouse Projects, highlights the diversity of Asian–American and Pacific–American students in New York City schools. The upshot is that many of these students face challenges— with immigration status, poverty, English-language skills— that aren't always effectively addressed by schools.

Yesterday, the Spencer Foundation issued a Request for Proposals for research into data-based educational reforms.

And yet, as schools around the country use students' test scores and other data to determine who needs to learn what (and how), there have not been many large-scale studies on the effectiveness of data-driven reforms. I took a look at some new research trying to address this gap in an Education Week article

Just as race-based affirmative action in higher education is set to make another appearance in the U.S. Supreme Court, new research from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor's Geoffrey T. Wodtke suggests, among other things, that highly educated people are not more likely than the less-educated to support racial preferences like affirmative action.

Researchers in the University of Toronto's neuroscience department are planning to launch a website that will make information about neuroscience and students' brains available to educators this fall.

Researchers from Washington University, St. Louis, and the University of California, Los Angeles used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyze the relationship between the number of births to girls between 15-17 from 1997-2005 and the components of states' sexuality education programs from 1996-2004 (the years that would have influenced the birth rates for '97-'05).

In an article in Education Next, Harvard University's David J. Deming suggests looking beyond test scores and school-based outcomes, arguing that test scores improvement can be gained in ways that do not necessarily lead to long-term student success. Instead, he analyzes the impact of winning a school choice lottery on the criminal activity of students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district in North Carolina.

How does growing up in a world of social media affect kids? How are educators using social media? Social media giant Facebook is funding four research projects on the topic as part of its Digital Citizen Research Grants. The winners, chosen by Facebook and a members of its independent Safety Advisory Board, were announced earlier today at https://www.facebook.com/safety, the part of the site that deals with issues like behavior protocols and privacy settings. Winners include: Shari Kessel Schneider and Michael Searson

The Institute for Education Sciences, or IES, will receive a $27.5 million boost in funding in 2013 if President Barack Obama's budget proposal, announced today in Northern Virginia, is passed.

In the winter edition of the Harvard Educational Review, researchers Steve Graham and Michael Hebert share the results of a meta-analysis that links writing instruction to improvements in students' reading fluency and comprehension.

The International Reading Association, a Delaware-based professional group with 70,000 members, just announced the creation of the Literacy Research Panel, a group of researchers who will "respond to critical issues in literacy" by translating research into practical recommendations. The IRA has previously established its position that there is a gap between literacy research and practice.

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