Recent Research on School Organization

Schools with lower student-teacher ratio do a better job of engaging parents

Schools with lower student-teacher ratio do a better job of engaging parents

Parents of children in classrooms with low student-teacher ratios are more likely to report that schools try to engage them in their children’s education than parents of children in classrooms with high student-teacher ratios, says a new study in The Journal of Educational Research.  Student-teacher ratio was more important than school size, grade level or… Tell Me More »

8 lessons from most-improved schools on building a collaborative culture

Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships,  super athlete  Michael Jordan once said about collaboration. Every school has its star teachers, but to truly win the “championship” and ensure that all students in all classrooms are learning optimally, teachers must constantly share what they know about instruction in a truly collaborative work environment. What can you… Tell Me More »

Should class size depend on teacher effectiveness?

Imagine teachers protesting that they don’t have enough students in their classes or parents complaining that their children are in small classes. A new report by the Thomas Fordham Institute proposes a “class-size-shifting strategy”where the most effective teachers have larger class sizes, the less effective teachers smaller class sizes. (Right-sizing the Classroom: Making the Most of… Tell Me More »

School leaders affect learning through 4 pathways

School leaders can have significant positive effects on student learning but since these effects are indirect, it is especially difficult to understand how this influence works. A new study in Educational Administration Quarterly has proposed a Four Paths model to understand the effects of school leadership on student outcomes. The 4 paths through which leadership… Tell Me More »

Mass. launches recruitment campaign for turnaround school teachers

Massachusetts kicked off a statewide recruitment campaign in May 2010 to encourage outstanding educators to apply for vacancies in the state’s lowest performing schools with the launch of a new website, www.amazingteachers.org. Teachers also can be nominated as candidates for positions in turnaround schools on the website. The website appeals to teachers who want a new challenge to join teams… Tell Me More »

In twist on merit pay, teachers work to avoid losing bonus

What could be more motivating to a teacher than getting a bonus for student performance? Losing that bonus, according to recent research by Roland Fryer and colleagues. In a recent study of 150 Chicago teachers, researchers found that students whose teachers received up-front bonuses rather than bonuses at the end of the school year made… Tell Me More »

“Developing truants” have higher dropout rates than chronic truants

Frequent absence in high school is a well-known sign that a student is at risk of dropping out. But what about attendance patterns in elementary and middle school? Does that provide any warning signs that a child may not graduate? Children who begin to miss more school in late elementary and middle school are more… Tell Me More »

Chicago principals don’t take advantage of greater authority to fire teachers

Many principals who work in districts that have collective bargaining agreements with teacher unions often wish they had more flexibility and authority to dismiss ineffective teachers. But a new study in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis questions how much principals would actually take advantage of this flexibility if they had it. Principals in Chicago Public… Tell Me More »

Chicago study looks at how Framework for Teaching changes dialogue between principals and teachers during evaluations

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is one of many school districts turning to Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching to make teacher evaluations more meaningful.  Instead of the often superficial checklists used by administrators in the past, a classroom observation tool based on the Framework is supposed to help open up the dialogue between principals and teachers… Tell Me More »