I, AEM President Bryan Shelly, have accepted an offer to become the Evaluation, Intervention and School Improvement Coordinator for Chesterfield County Public Schools. While this position is full time, I will continue AEM as much as my new responsibilities allow.
More and more classrooms have students with different first languages. The owner of RedLine Language Services discusses how to write good test questions under these conditions.
With a 700 word limit, I could not discuss all the aspects of effectiveness research that I would have liked in this week's post on EdSurge. Somewhat low on that list but still important and interesting (if only to me) is why I chose to describe what AEM does as "effectiveness" research, rather than the more common "efficacy" research.
Study after study confirms that student activities improve every conceivable outcome for young people. To help all schools realize these benefits, 5-Star Students and AEM have collaborated on a newly released white paper that explains how to build an effective student activities program. Topics covered include how to plan, incentivize, publicize, and reward group membership and activities attendance so that all students get involved, and how to track all forms of participation to know which students need more opportunities. 5-Star Students and AEM see this white paper as a crucial part of their shared mission to provide high-quality activities participation opportunities to all students. Read the full white paper here.
An AEM white paper issued today finds that students who participate in Bricks 4 Kidz in-school workshops and after-school programs demonstrated growth in targeted math and science skills.
Last month, I discussed my concern that the ESSA’s expansion of the states’ role in program evaluation research threatens to overwhelm state departments of education (DOEs). I suspect that, given their limited capacity, most DOEs will not often choose to undertake their own program evaluation. Instead, they will outsource efficacy research to independent firms or rely on studies vendors provide on their own product.
A new study examines classroom observations as a method of teacher evaluation and finds that teachers with high achieving students get better ratings. In other words, a principal, department chair, or some other reviewer is likely to report that an AP Calculus teacher performs better than her colleague who teaches remedial math.
Ever since President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law last month, the education community has been trying to figure out what it all means. The ESSA is 391 pages long and touches on every conceivable aspect of K-12 public education, so the comprehension process is likely take months, if not years.
For many parents and educators, “data” is a four-letter word.
Parents have rightly begun to insist that schools prioritize data security to protect sensitive information about their children. Many teachers feel that the education data revolution is nothing more than a hammer that the world uses to beat them over the head. Every time a new set of test results is released, certain observers rush to interpret the results as a referendum on the quality of America’s educational professionals.
“Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” Winston Churchill
Last week, the American Educational Research Association (AERA) issued a statement on the use of Value-Added Models (VAM) for teacher evaluation. As a proud AERA member, I’m both happy to see my profession demand responsible use of the tools of our trade and a little sad that AERA seems willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
To this point, the education data revolution in the United States has been a top-down movement that state and federal governments have driven. These are good and necessary efforts, but we will not unlock the full educational potential of data without the ability of teachers, principals, and other actors on the ground to use data techniques to address the problems they see every day.
If you read this blog regularly, you probably know that the battle over the reauthorization for No Child Left Behind is heating up and figures to be one of the policy issues dominating Washington over the next six months. In the Senate, Lamar Alexander leads the charge to alter both NCLB and the policies the Obama Administration pushed in exchange for granting states waivers to NCLB. The Administration has indicated it will fight to keep at least some of the provisions. Prognosticators are prognosticating.