The Every Student Succeeds Act takes effect this fall, returning significant power to states and local districts to set goals and prescribe strategies to lift achievement. As schools finalize their plans under the new law, they can learn from the shortcomings of School Improvement Grants.
The Every Student Succeeds Act provides states and districts with new chances to invest in school leadership. A review of interventions can serve as a starting point to enact relevant solutions and build the evidence base for what works.
The Stern Review's release at the end of July raised two pertinent questions about the Research Education Framework. What purposes does the REF serve? And does it offer good value for money for the UK's higher education institutions?
Tuition subsidies may encourage institutions to raise tuition, since the government would foot the bill. One possible solution: develop and implement policies that encourage greater productivity from higher education institutions.
Teachers can and should have the freedom to select and develop at least some of their own instructional resources. But whether sites like Amazon Inspire will actually save teachers time and help them find high-quality resources is up for debate.
Criticism of standardized testing is nearly as old as the testing itself. Will the opt-out movement promote meaningful and enduring changes in the educational system, and will these changes benefit the most at-risk and disadvantaged students?
More than 700,000 Syrian refugee children are not receiving formal education. Host countries are struggling to create enough spaces to accommodate them in schools, and there are no formal programs to teach children who have missed years of instruction.
Capping the amount of time students spend testing is a reasonable response to unchecked growth. However, a better response would be to systematically review testing programs, focusing on tests that offer the most value.
The challenge facing policymakers is how to lessen the college cost pressure felt by families while incentivizing institutions to innovate to reduce cost and improve quality. What if cost savings from increased productivity were quantified and a portion returned to institutions?
Undocumented children are entitled to free primary and secondary public education everywhere in the United States, regardless of their legal status. But when they finish high school, their options for college vary depending on the state in which they live.
In 2014, the research of 154 UK universities was evaluated, accounting for the efforts of 52,061 academic staff members. For the first time, the impact that the research had on wider society was part of the assessment. As we approach the next assessment period, there is opportunity for discussion to tweak and refine future measures of impact.
There is strong evidence of large potential economic returns to investing in high quality early childhood programs, but that doesn't mean that every program will generate equally large returns. Many programs likely have a “threshold” of quality and intensity that needs to be achieved in order to register positive returns.
In the UK, research outputs from universities are assessed every five years to determine future funding allocations from government. In 2014, for the first time, the Research Excellence Framework included an assessment of research impact. Research users played key roles throughout the process.
For the first time anywhere, the UK has allocated funding to universities according to an assessment of research impact. An evaluation of the Research Excellence Framework 2014 process reveals that it worked, allowing different types of impacts drawn from a wide range of disciplines to be compared and scored.
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) has incentivized universities to be more focused on their contribution to society beyond academia. The inclusion of impact as a component of the REF is leading to a cultural shift in the academic sector.
Federal policy should ensure that school improvement is a priority, that schools adopt proven reforms that fit the school context, and that schools and their districts are held accountable when federal resources are used for school improvement.
Policies aimed at boosting teaching effectiveness are a key component of a strong ESEA reauthorization. Addressing discrepancies in teacher quality helps teachers improve, retains effective teachers, and makes the teaching profession an attractive option for those contemplating careers.
As lawmakers consider the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, it is critical that in meeting their objectives they do not create unnecessary obstacles to the productive innovations being explored at schools, such as personalized learning.
Will Congress be able to reauthorize ESEA in 2015? Success will depend on legislators clearing several hurdles, such as decisions regarding teacher quality, school improvement, and charter schools. And at the center of the debate remains the issue of federal requirements for testing.
Research increasingly suggests that 'soft' skills are important for college and career success, as well as for promoting civic engagement. So far, these skills are largely unmeasured in schools. But new research may pave the way for change.
Choosing the right university and the best course of study is one of the most important decisions young people and parents will make. Not everyone makes the right decision. Of the wide range of factors involved in choosing a university, how important are university tuition fees to young people and their parents?
Facts and objective analysis are important, but for policy analysts to make a difference in the real world they also have to be able to tell a story, former U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole said at the June 21 Pardee RAND Graduate School commencement.
The achievement gap between children from the highest- and lowest-income families has substantially grown since 1960. The income achievement gap is now about twice the size of the black-white achievement gap.
Given the opportunities for mobility of students and graduates across Europe, there is a need to understand how each country's higher education admission requirements compare, and to consider the long-term effects of those requirements on the skills, innovativeness, and resilience of Europe's workforce.
Preschool for four-year-olds should be as common as kindergarten is for five-year-olds. Ultimately, the goal should be the elimination of the readiness gap through expanded access to preschool, written materials in the home, and technology that could improve delivery of such materials.
The U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences recognized a RAND report on the effects of teacher bonuses in New York City public schools last week. IES added the report, A Big Apple for Educators, to its What Works Clearinghouse.
Students who had taken occupationally focused career and technical education (CTE) courses in addition to their regular academic courses had similar learning gains to those who had only taken academic courses: an academic curriculum that includes CTE courses neither bolstered nor curtailed the acquisition of math skills.
To celebrate our first 60 years, we created '60 Ways RAND Has Made a Difference,' an online book to illustrate our most notable contributions. On our 65th birthday, we provide five of the most recent ways in which we at RAND are proud to have made a difference.
It's fair to say the program turned out to be an important step for the district in the context of its overall reform plan considering how important high-quality school leadership is for improving teaching and learning, write Laura Hamilton and John Engberg.
In this Congressional panel briefing RAND researchers discuss the possible reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)--how it will require several critical decisions about standards, assessments, reporting requirements, and school improvement initiatives.
Motivation alone does not improve schools. Even if incentives inspire staff to improve practices or work together, educators may not have the capacity or resources to bring about improvement, writes Julie Marsh.