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Jeff Bernstein

What We Know Now (and How It Doesn't Matter) | the becoming radical - 0 views

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    "Let's consider what we know now about the major education reform agendas currently impacting out schools"
Jeff Bernstein

Shanker Blog » The Irreconcilables - 0 views

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    The New Teacher Project (TNTP) has a new, highly-publicized report about what it calls "irreplaceables," a catchy term that is supposed to describe those teachers who are "so successful they are nearly impossible to replace." The report's primary conclusion is that these "irreplaceable" teachers often leave the profession voluntarily, and TNTP offers several recommendations for how to improve this.

    I'm not going to discuss this report fully. It shines a light on teacher retention, which is a good thing. Its primary purpose is to promulgate the conceptual argument that not all teacher turnover is created equal - i.e., that it depends on whether "good" or "bad" teachers are leaving
Jeff Bernstein

The Lesson of the Cupcakes: Fix Schools by Resisting Gimmicks and Heeding Evidence | Na... - 0 views

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    This Commentary from NEPC Director Kevin Welner is a version of a piece that was published as part of series called "America the Fixable" at the Atlantic.com.  The edits made for the Atlantic.com version change the framing (no cupcakes!) and remove most of the links to research.
Jeff Bernstein

Deepening the Debate over Teach For America: Responses to Heather Harding - Living in D... - 0 views

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    A week ago I posted an interview with Teach For America's head of research, Heather Harding. Ms. Harding answered some tough questions that have been raised in recent months here on this blog. Today, I am sharing some responses to her answers.

    By way of context, I have come to believe that addressing teacher turnover is one of the linchpins of real reform in our struggling schools. Turnover is a key indicator of unhealthy working conditions for teachers -- and that tells us conditions for learning are poor as well. Programs such as Teach For America allow school districts to ignore these poor conditions, by providing a steady supply of novice teachers. Unfortunately, these novices turn over at a very high rate, and the schools must invest a lot of resources in their training -- which is lost when they leave.

    There are a number of facts in dispute regarding Teach For America, so we need to look closely at the evidence in order to make sensible conclusions. Here are some of the questions Ms. Harding answered where the facts are in question, followed by responses from myself, and several readers with some expertise in this domain.
Jeff Bernstein

Flipping the Script on Turnarounds: Why not Retain Teachers instead of Reject Them? - L... - 0 views

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    We found that we did NOT need to fire anyone in order to improve. Instead, of trying to ferret out the weakest links, we sought to RETAIN everyone. Can "old dogs learn new tricks"? Yes. And old dogs KNOW a lot of valuable tricks, and if they are honored for this knowledge, and engaged in rich processes like Lesson Study and teacher research, they can build on what they know, and share it as well.
Jeff Bernstein

Education Week: Study: Principal Turnover Bodes Poorly for Schools - 0 views

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    About 20 percent of principals new to a school leave that posting within one or two years, leaving behind a school that generally continues on a downward academic slide after their departure, according to a study released last week by the RAND Corp. on behalf of New York City-based New Leaders.
    "The underlying idea is that churn is not good," said Gina Schuyler Ikemoto, an author of the report and the executive director of research and policy development for New Leaders, formerly known as New Leaders for New Schools. The nonprofit group recruits and trains principals to work in urban districts.
    However, the answer is not as simple as just allowing or encouraging those principals to remain in place, she said. "In some cases, the solution is to give folks more time," Ms. Ikemoto said, but policymakers should make sure they're selecting the very best candidates for those positions from the start.
Jeff Bernstein

RAND: First-Year Principals in Urban School Districts - How Actions and Working Conditi... - 0 views

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    Principals new to their schools face a variety of challenges that can influence their likelihood of improving their schools' performance and their likelihood of remaining the principal. Understanding the actions that principals take and the working conditions they face in the first year can inform efforts to promote school improvement and principal retention, but the research on first-year principals' experiences is limited. This report examines the actions and perceived working conditions of first-year principals, relating information on those factors to subsequent school achievement and principal retention.

    This report presents findings from an analysis of schools led by principals who were in their first year at their schools. Throughout this report, we define first-year principals as principals in their first year at a given school including those principals with previous experience as principals at other schools. The study is based on data that were collected to support the RAND Corporation's seven-year formative and summative evaluation of New Leaders. New Leaders is an organization that is dedicated to promoting student achievement by developing outstanding school leaders to serve in urban schools. The findings will be of interest to policymakers in school districts, charter management organizations (CMOs), state education agencies, and principal preparation programs, in addition to principals themselves and teachers.

    This research was conducted in RAND Education, a unit of the RAND Corporation, under a contract with New Leaders.
Jeff Bernstein

Shanker Blog » Teacher Retention: Estimating The Effects Of Financial Incenti... - 0 views

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    Denver's Professional Compensation System for Teachers ("ProComp") is one of the most prominent alternative teacher compensation reforms in the nation.* Via a combination of ten financial incentives, ProComp seeks to increase student achievement by motivating teachers to improve their instructional practices and by attracting and retaining high-quality teachers to work in the district.

    My research examines ProComp in terms of: 1) whether it has increased retention rates; 2) the relationship between retention and school quality (defined in terms of student test score growth); and 3) the reasons underlying these effects. I pay special attention to the effects of ProComp on schools that serve high concentrations of poor students - "Hard to Serve" (HTS) schools where teachers are eligible to receive a financial incentive to stay. The quantitative findings are discussed briefly below (I will discuss my other results in a future post).
Jeff Bernstein

Recruitment, Retention and the Minority Teacher Shortage - 0 views

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    This study examines and compares the recruitment and retention of minority and White elementary and secondary teachers and attempts to empirically ground the debate over minority teacher shortages. The data we analyze are from the National Center for Education Statistics' nationally representative Schools and Staffing Survey and its longitudinal supplement, the Teacher Follow-up Survey.  
Jeff Bernstein

Does Practice-Based Teacher Preparation Increase Student Achievement? Early Evidence fr... - 0 views

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    The Boston Teacher Residency is an innovative practice-based preparation program in which candidates work alongside a mentor teacher for a year before becoming a teacher of record in Boston Public Schools. We find that BTR graduates are more racially diverse than other BPS novices, more likely to teach math and science, and more likely to remain teaching in the district through year five. Initially, BTR graduates for whom value-added performance data are available are no more effective at raising student test scores than other novice teachers in English language arts and less effective in math. The effectiveness of BTR graduates in math improves rapidly over time, however, such that by their fourth and fifth years they out-perform veteran teachers. Simulations of the program's overall impact through retention and effectiveness suggest that it is likely to improve student achievement in the district only modestly over the long run.
Jeff Bernstein

Student Access to Prepared & Effective Teachers: Understanding the Impact of Federal Po... - 0 views

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    Video of panel discussion and links to resources. This briefing was sponsored by the Office of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), in partnership with the Coalition for Teaching Quality.
Jeff Bernstein

Teacher Recruitment and Retention: A Review of the Recent Empirical Literature - 0 views

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    This article critically reviews the recent empirical literature on teacher recruitment and retention published in the United States. It examines the characteristics of individuals who enter and remain in the teaching profession, the characteristics of schools and districts that successfully recruit and retain teachers, and the types of policies that show evidence of efficacy in recruiting and retaining teachers. The goal of the article is to provide researchers and policymakers with a review that is comprehensive, evaluative, and up to date. The review of the empirical studies selected for discussion is intended to serve not only as a compendium of available recent research on teacher recruitment and retention but also as a guide to the merit and importance of these studies.
Jeff Bernstein

Retaining Students in Grade - 0 views

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    A Literature Review of the Effects of Retention on Students' Academic and Nonacademic Outcomes
Jeff Bernstein

The Wages of Failure: New Evidence on School Retention and Long-Run Outcomes - 0 views

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    By estimating differences in long-run education and labor market outcomes for cohorts of students exposed to differing state-level primary school retention rates, this article estimates the effects of retention on all students in a cohort, retained and promoted. We find that a 1 standard deviation increase in early grade retention is associated with a 0.7 percent increase in mean male hourly wages. Further, the observed positive wage effect is not limited to the lower tail of the wage distribution but appears to persist throughout the distribution. Though there is an extensive literature attempting to estimate the effect of retention on the retained, this analysis offers what may be the first estimates of average long-run impacts of retention on all students.
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