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student outcomes don't change until adult behaviors change


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TEI + ACE Showing Improved Student Outcomes


Quality of instruction is the single most important factor school systems control relative to improving student outcomes. So identifying/developing/retaining the most effective teachers must be among the highest priorities of school/district leaders. A strong strategy for improving schools is ensuring our most effective teacher teams are working with our students with the greatest needs. Dallas ISD has taken aggressive action on these fronts through its Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI) and Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) work. These are not always popular efforts as they break with the usual adult behavior of many school systems and change is often uncomfortable. Acknowledging that teachers are not one-size-fits-all widgets, that they bring varying levels of effectiveness to the classroom, and that we should structure compensation in a way that helps keep our most effective teachers and that incents them to serve where student needs are the greatest are all controversial ideas. But the student outcome improvements born of these adult behavior changes speak for themselves in Dallas.
  



Blog Posts:  

    Outcome Goals, Education Policy, & Public Incentives

    A working group of the Texas Commission on Public School Finance has been meeting with the goal of surfacing solutions for improving student outcomes. Their white paper and recommendations supply data and rationale for focusing in three areas: improving 3rd grade literacy, placing our most effective teacher teams with our students with the greatest needs, and improving career/college/military readiness.

    Much of the data quoted is easily verifiable; the issues they describe are real challenges that demand real solutions. The solutions put forth, however, offer to upend education policy orthodoxy and to apply public incentives in ways that have only been deployed in limited use -- though, as described in their materials, often with stunning result.

    Is broader adoption wise? Are these the best solutions? Do better ideas exist? Is the urgency described in the paper warranted? Is it worth it if these ideas risk upsetting systems that have been in place for years? None of these are easy questions. What say you?

    Outcomes Working Group - White Paper
    Outcomes Working Group - Recommendations Presentation

    Blog Posts:  

      I Love A Good Debate

      Does the concept of the 30M word gap enable or occlude our efforts to serve economically disadvantaged students? Should theoretical physics be more focused on observation than on mathematics? These are great questions and we all benefit from them being asked and explored. When academic debate ensues, everyone wins. Points are clarified, ideas are challenged, and sacred beliefs are laid bare. Through this process we step toward an ever more clear understanding of the remarkable universe and society surrounding us.

      https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/06/01/615188051/lets-stop-talking-about-the-30-million-word-gap
      https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/why-some-scientists-say-physics-has-gone-rails-ncna879346

      Blog Posts:  

        Childhood Experiences and Student Outcomes

        The results of the adverse childhood experiences study have been known for some time -- including the correlations that exist between certain experiences in childhood and later outcomes in life. This speaker describes it from a healthcare outcomes perspective, but the conversation is nearly identical when held from a student outcomes perspective. The ACEs study shouldn't be used to provide excuses; it should be used to provide data-informed responses.

        https://www.ted.com/talks/nadine_burke_harris_how_childhood_trauma_affects_health_across_a_lifetime

        Blog Posts:  

          Students Deserve Better

          A new study suggests that if a campus is closed, student outcomes improve if those students attend a higher performing campus. What's also key: students who leave a low-performing campus that is closed and who attend a significantly higher performing campus experience larger student outcome improvements than students who remain in low-performing campuses that are not closed. Students deserve better instructional environments, whether that comes from improving low-performing campuses or from giving them opportunities to attend higher performing campuses. As is often the case in public education, easy answers to improving student outcomes are hard to come by. But there are answers.

          https://credo.stanford.edu/closure-virtual-control-records


          Blog Posts:  

            Privilege, Not A Right

            Study says to close more low-performing charters. I agree.  ISD leaders can do the same and then restart them as higher performing campuses. Students need both.

            https://credo.stanford.edu/pdfs/Texas%202017.pdf


            Blog Posts:  

              Science of Learning

              There is both art and science to learning and teaching. Here's some of the science:

              http://deansforimpact.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/The_Science_of_Learning.pdf



              Blog Posts: