COVID-19 e-Learning situation proves technology can never replace good teachers

A few years ago, I began to wonder when automation would reach our Chicago Public Schools classrooms—all classrooms.  With so many online resources available, I thought, “Are people thinking good teachers can be replaced by a machine?”

But this COVID-19 e-Learning situation proves that technology cannot replace good teachers or good teaching...

Chicago Public Schools put its school ratings on hold

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision last week to extend Chicago’s school closures put on hold the high-stakes process of rating Chicago Public Schools’ campuses: Faced with a month of lost instruction on the heels of disruption from last fall’s teachers strike, the district said it would table the annual exercise of evaluating schools within minutes of the mayor’s announcement.

Now some educators and parents wonder whether this unprecedented uncertainty might lend momentum to a push to overhaul the controversial ratings process...

How effective is online learning?

The times have dictated school closings and the rapid expansion of online education. Can online lessons replace in-school time?

Clearly online time cannot provide many of the informal social interactions students have at school, but how will online courses do in terms of moving student learning forward? Research to date gives us some clues and also points us to what we could be doing to support students who are most likely to struggle in the online setting...

Reviewing REACH five years later

Five years after Chicago rolled out a teacher evaluation system that tied educator scores to student achievement, a new survey shows most teachers say it improves their performance in the classroom, but don’t want the scores used to hire or fire them. 

The survey from the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research asks educators and administrators how effective they find the annual evaluations, and what they’d like to see change...

Do GPAs and ACT scores predict college completion?

In a new study, researchers examined the accuracy and consistency of grades and test scores in measuring a high school student’s academic readiness for the college.

The study, coauthored by the University of Chicago’s Elaine Allensworth, found that students with the same GPA or ACT score can complete college at significantly different rates, depending on the high school they attended...

New studies hint at clearer ways to measure English learners' performance

For many years, most of the problems of American public education have been described in terms of “achievement gaps.” This framing, and the education policy approaches that build from it, have much to recommend them. The framing begins from the incontrovertible premise that students from historically underserved demographic groups often have limited access to high-quality educational opportunities. This core, systemic inequity drives gaps in student achievement between students from these groups and privileged students.

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