Education evaluation tools and implementation of evidence-based practices

William Woods EDU

One of the key elements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which took into full effect in the 2017-2018 school year, is a mandate for states to develop and implement an evidence-based plan for improving lowest-performing schools. Evidence-based plan refers to leveraging specific practices that have demonstrated — through research — improved student outcomes. […]

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Posted in Education At Work, School Leaders

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The science of reading: Understanding what works in early reading instruction

William Woods EDU

Today there is a wealth of information and scientific research on how children learn to read. The science of reading has informed effective, evidence-based practices for how children should be taught to read. Yet even with the knowledge of what works when it comes to early reading instruction, some 68 percent of fourth-graders read at […]

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Posted in Education News, Reading Instruction

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How education leaders view innovation

William Woods EDU

According to a 2018 national survey on education innovation by the Education Week Research Center, roughly two-thirds of school principals and three-quarters of district administrators expect innovation to be a high or very high priority in the future. The motives that are driving education leaders to innovate vary depending on their specific role. For example, […]

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Curriculum reform: Can a higher-quality textbook alone improve student achievement?

William Woods EDU

According to a recent policy paper published by the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University, switching to a higher-quality math textbook did not improve student achievement across the six Common Core states that were studied. These findings refute the notion that curriculum alone — namely textbooks and supporting instruction materials — is enough […]

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Making literacy programs work

William Woods EDU

According to the 2019 Reading Report Card by the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), the average reading score has dropped since 2017. 65 percent of fourth- and eighth-grade students perform below the NAEP Proficient achievement level. The NAEP defines its proficient level as a “solid academic performance” where students “have demonstrated competency over challenging […]

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Gender diversity in education leadership

William Woods EDU

According to a recent policy paper published by the Chiefs for Change, a nonprofit network of state and district leaders that advocates for educational equity for all students, the vast majority of top-level, education leadership positions — namely district superintendents and state chiefs —are white men. While women make up three-quarters of all teachers as well […]

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Involving students with curriculum development

William Woods EDU

The idea of involving students with curriculum development is not new. Much has been written about the power of incorporating students’ interests into classroom instruction as a way to drive student motivation and deepen engagement. In some countries, the interest in validating student voices and incorporating student views into education has resulted in a wide […]

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The challenge of continuous school improvement

William Woods EDU

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which took full effect in the 2017-2018 school year, largely lessened the federal government’s role in education policy allowing states more control over everything from testing to how to deal with low-performing schools. One of the key elements of the law includes a mandate for states to identify lowest-performing […]

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The pressure of education innovation and its challenges

William Woods EDU

The Education Week Research Center recently conducted a national online survey among teachers, principals and district leaders to learn more about their views on innovation. Innovation has often been associated with wide-scale adaptation of technology-enabled learning. However, innovation in education refers to a much larger phenomenon that can be described as the introduction of new […]

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Education trends: The double standard of bilingualism

William Woods EDU

The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by a school, school district or county office of education to recognize students who have reached proficiency in two or more languages by the time they graduate from high school. The idea has been around for more than 10 years, developed by Californians Together, a statewide education […]

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