2011 Research Archive

Related Documents

The Best Early Childhood Approach
Students do best if their early childhood education experience consisted of pre-k along with full-day kindergarten. But what if your district can’t offer both? A recent report by NSBA’s Center for Public Education, “Staring Out Right: Pre-K and Kindergarten,” was designed to address this issue and to help.
December 2011

Most Effective Parental Involvement
Families can make teaching and learning much easier for everyone when they reinforce the message at home that school is important. This can be as simple as monitoring homework, making sure their kids get to school, rewarding their efforts, and talking up going to college.
November 2011

Ready for Post-High School Life
Students go out to do many different things in the world: surely their knowledge base ought to be different as well. But the research shows us something different. It turns out that no matter what students do after graduation, students all need challenging courses in high school.
October 2011

The Truth About Charter Schools
Many people believe charter schools are like penicillin – the cure-all for our educational ills. Would students really be better off attending charter schools instead of their traditional neighborhood public schools? Research says they are no better off attending charter schools than if they had remained in their neighborhood public school.
September 2011

Education Documentaries: Check the Research
A new buzz-worthy film documentary casts a harsh spotlight on public education. “Race to Nowhere” examines the lives of high-performing students in distress. The filmmakers make many claims, but I will focus on two top attention-grabbers: students do too much homework and it’s too hard to get into college.
August 2011

Define Your Mission
I’m delighted, and admittedly surprised, when I find vision and mission statements that crystallize goals in clear, concise sentences. The best I can say is that many school districts, and many schools, have mission statements. The worst I can say is that many mission statements are muddled, murky, and forgotten.
July 2011

Rethinking Environmental Science
Children’s “wild nature activities” have a more profound and positive effect on their adult commitment to the environment than “domesticated nature activities” such as gardening and landscaping. Wild nature experiences before age 11 are a particularly potent pathway to a lifelong appreciation and concern for forests, rivers, and coastlines.
June 2011

Distracting Gadgets
Digital users, accustomed to surfing from one site to another, become “habituated” to distraction. Many young digital users find it impossible to focus and finish school tasks, and many compulsive digital users don’t give their brains a rest. In effect, they don’t take time to think.
May 2011

Helping Public Housing Students
Many children living in housing projects are plagued with ill health that interferes with their schooling, and public housings racial segregation and concentrated poverty are root causes of problems in both schools and prisons. Can housing projects and schools work together to solve these problems?
April 2011

How Do Effective School Boards Act?
The research finds that effective boards: Have high expectations and clear goals; believe that all children can learn; focus on achievement; collaborate and communicate; are data savvy; align goals and resources; lead as a team; and train as a team.
March 2011

Lessons Learned in Evaluation Data
Even ten years ago, data-based assessments in schools were perceived as confusing, complex, and rigidly impersonal. Only a rare handful of teachers and administrators possessed the determination and time to sort through the spreadsheets. Now educational data is everywhere, and five lessons have emerged.
March 2011

Using Research Right
Research rarely speaks with one voice, and conflicts are the norm rather than the exception. Looking more specifically at the studies might illuminate differences, but simply referring to “the research” does not inform the decision-making process. School board members serve an important function here by learning how to ask good questions.
March 2011

How Do Effective School Boards Act?
The research finds that effective boards: Have high expectations and clear goals; believe that all children can learn; focus on achievement; collaborate and communicate; are data savvy; align goals and resources; lead as a team; and train as a team.
March 2011

School Boards in the 21st Century
Whether warranted or not, school boards have been something of a punching bag in recent years. How have boards and their members responded to these pressures? What have these changes meant for board policy and practice? And what does it mean to be a board member today? Our survey addressed the composition, mission, and operations of board members.
March 2011

Helping Hungry Students
“Food insecure” families often rely on donations from charities and, in some desperate cases, on scavenging or stealing for food. Backpacks filled with food, provided by community programs, can help ensure that food insecure students have full tummies over weekends and school holidays.
February 2011

The Core Beliefs of Teachers
How do teachers’ beliefs translate into classroom practice? Teachers’ beliefs often originate from ingrained memories. Many teachers consider their beliefs to be facts. They fail to recognize that facts are “true in all contexts” and that beliefs have noticeable exceptions. Many beliefs retain their power, even when they’ve been discredited.
January 2011