Writing: How Effective are Rubrics and Exemplars?

A very recent study from 2023 posed the question of which type of feedback produced the best improvement in  writing performance.  The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied and was predicated on earlier work that suggested students who generate self-feedback using external criteria (as opposed to individual feedback provided by a […]

Using Picture Books in Math

Edutopia publishes a list of their favorite academic studies each year and one of the studies they cited this past year was a survey of other studies on the benefits of using picture books as a part of math instruction.  It’s not a meta-analysis because they weren’t crunching numbers; rather, it was a compilation of […]

Your Robot Instructor Will See You Now

Last week was STAAR Test week in Texas and the first time all public school students in the state took the newly updated and revised STAAR test.   This test represents a major overhaul in the content, context, and cognitive demand of the STAAR test, from an instrument that was almost entirely multiple choice with one […]

Increasing School Diversity: Setbacks and Ways Forward

Diversity is good for students. Quite a lot of research — really a lot — shows that the segregation of schools, both racial and economic,  impedes student achievement.  One study of the New Jersey public schools from 2020 found that racially diverse schools reduced the achievement gap between white and non-white students:  “the achievement gap […]

Universal vs. Targeted Preschool

In 1971,  a critical (but perhaps not much noted at the time) shift occurred in the U.S..  In that year, President Nixon vetoed a plan that would have provided universal child care and accompanying preschool for all children.  The demise of that plan resulted in a sort of de facto belief that most preschool should […]

Increasing Representation in Education: What Works?

Attracting diverse teachers is of critical importance for students of color across a range of metrics — improved achievement, higher rates of attending college, lower suspension rates, and so on.  But the actual “state of the states” is fairly dire. Every state and the District of Columbia has a deficit in this area: more students […]

How Representation Affects Suspension Rates: A Solution

Last time, we discussed the fundamental problem of disparities in suspension and expulsion rates for children of color and how this phenomenon begins at the very first point of contact for many children: preschool.  Disproportionate suspension and expulsion for children of color continues as they move up the grades.  We would expect that children would […]

How Representation Affects Suspension Rates: The Problem

I ran across a fascinating study from the Brown Center on Education Policy that posed a critical question about students of color:  what effect does having a same-race teacher have on suspensions? We need to understand why this is a critical question and the Brown Center helpfully offers some statistical data which I will include, […]

Teachers and Teaching: State Level Solutions

This is part 3 of a short series on issues affecting teachers and teaching.  Click the links to read Part 1 and Part 2. Given that shortages are more pronounced in specific settings, recruiting and retaining teachers is less about teachers generally and more about finding and keeping the right teachers, in the right subjects, […]

Teachers and Teaching: The Decline of the Education Degree

This is part 2 of a short series on issues facing teaching and teachers. you can read Part 1 here. The number of undergraduates electing to become educators has been in a long, slow decline for more than 40 years.  This fact has been cited by multiple media outlets and pundits as contributing to the […]