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Briefs


Brief
Professionals collaborating at work
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| Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning summarizes a recent book of the same name that describes the work of pioneering teacher education programs to prepare their graduates to create personalized, inquiry-based learning for all students. They provide examples for teachers, teacher educators, and policymakers interested in making preparation for deeper learning the standard for today's teachers. The programs are also profiled separately in individual briefs which provide more detail.
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Positive Outliers: Understanding Extraordinary School Districts
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| This brief analyzes scores of students in 435 school districts scores on California’s new assessments in English language arts and math. From this group, 156 “positive outlier” districts of significant size—where White, African American, and Hispanic students achieve at higher than predicted levels relative to their socioeconomic status—were identified. What in-school factors made the most difference in student achievement?
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Cover photo for Sharing the Wealth: How Regional Finance and Desegregation Plans Can Enhance Educational Equity
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| Most racial and ethnic segregation—and most financial inequities—in American public schools occur between, not within, school districts. Solving these problems often requires interdistrict solutions. Some regions are crossing boundaries and finding effecting ways to promote school diversity, equity, and access; examples include Boston, Hartford, and Omaha.
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Los Angeles skyline
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| California students, families, educators, and policymakers are at the center of one of the most ambitious, equity-focused education reforms in the country. Changes include a bold, new approach to equitable funding, a more holistic vision of student and school success, and community engagement in decision making. This study analyzes the impact of the reforms on opportunities and outcomes, and identifies the challenges ahead for California.
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Cover photo for The Instructional Leadership Corps: Entrusting Professional Learning in the Hands of the Profession
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| Four years into a project to support teacher instruction for deeper learning, research shows that an innovative professional development program is a decided success. Based on a model of teachers teaching teachers, California's Instructional Leadership Corps prepares teacher leaders to provide sustainable professional development aligned with new state standards. Participant feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and demonstrates how teacher-led learning can motivate shifts in practice, enhance teachers’ efficacy, and sustain change.
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Cover photo for Untangling the Evidence on Preschool Effectiveness: Insights for Policymakers
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| Research on early learning programs in the 1960s and 1970s revealed enormous benefits for children that lasted into adulthood, sparking investment in preschool programs, but two evaluations of large preschool programs that yielded mixed results created confusion about the wisdom of such investments. A review of rigorous and more recent research into the impact of preschool clarifies that students who attend high-quality preschool programs reap benefits that can last throughout their lives.
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Two young students working collaboratively on a task
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| Creating equitable and adequate school finance systems is a challenging-but-achievable task. It's also an essential one, as the cost of failing to properly invest in high-quality public education for all children impacts not just students but society at large. This new study shares essential state-level strategies and examples to help policymakers develop equitable and effective school finance systems.
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| A study including a survey of California principals and interviews with principals, former principals, and superintendents finds that California’s education leaders experience only some elements of high-quality preparation and professional development, and often miss out on the most valuable elements of quality learning experiences. Moreover, their participation in professional learning opportunities that support them in leading schools that develop students’ deeper learning and social and emotional competencies is inconsistent. They do, however, want more of it.
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| Teacher shortages have been worsening in California since 2015. In response, the state has invested nearly $200 million in programs aimed at recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers, but those programs will take time to yield the desired results. California needs to make additional investments to rapidly build the supply of qualified teachers where they are most needed and create incentives for experienced, effective teachers to re-enter and remain in the classroom.
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Cover Art for report Making ESSA’s Equity Promise Real: State Strategies to Close the Opportunity Gap
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| A positive school climate supports student learning and success. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides opportunities for states to address it and other non-academic indicators that affect student success. This brief describes how states can use data on school climate and what some states are doing, and suggests policies to improve it. It is part of the report Making ESSA’s Equity Promise Real: State Strategies to Close the Opportunity Gap.