Standards-Driven Instructional Improvement

This study provides a summary of what happened in one district—Chicago Public Schools (CPS)—as district staff and educators worked to promote change in instructional practices in math and science aligned with the new standards.  Researchers used districtwide student and teacher surveys; interviews with educators, school leaders, and district officials; and student achievement data between 2014–15 and 2017–18.

While CCSS-M and NGSS standards were the focus of this study, the findings are broadly relevant to standards-driven instructional change.

Micah Daniels

Micah Daniels is currently in her second year at the University of Chicago at Illinois. Although she is on her way to get her neuroscience degree, she has a background in spoken word that began when she participated in Oak Park and River Forest High School’s competitive spoken word team, where she graduated from in 2020. She has then gone on to become a published poet and has recently had another poem published in a book titled Respect the Mic, a collection of poems that just recently came out in February.

Can selective enrollment in Chicago Public Schools be fairer?

Chicago Public Schools is asking for feedback on two proposals that would alter the selective enrollment admissions process in a way the district says would ensure low-income students have a better chance at snagging those coveted seats.

Both district proposals would affect how seats are distributed within the tier system, which is rooted in the socioeconomic status of Chicago’s neighborhoods...

Too many Americans don’t understand what happens in their schools

PHILADELPHIA — As America enters a less acute phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is time to reflect upon what we lost and what we learned. America’s failure to prioritize time in school should be at the top of the list.

Major disruptions to school schedules were perhaps to be expected in the early days of the pandemic. But we allowed them to persist to a troubling degree, even though we know that time in school is not fungible — learning lost now cannot simply be made up later...

Ninth-Grade Double-Dose Algebra

Algebra is often regarded as gateway for later academic success. Double-Dose Algebra, introduced in 2003, showed some success in improving post-secondary attainment for students with median math skills. We are currently examining the policy impact on students with very low math skills and impact variation across schools to understand the most effective implementation strategies.

Improving School-Family Communication and Engagement

This brief outlines seven lessons that we drew from the insights shared by our focus group participants. The first three lessons address educator practice in the classroom, reflecting dimensions of communication that occur day-to-day. The following four lessons describe school-wide communication efforts that were positively received during remote schooling. We then highlight a central challenge that emerged in our conversations with both educators and caregivers: participants described a desire for additional guidance and support in improving their communication efforts.

Flunking underperforming 8 and 9 year olds?

Host Karin Sconzert welcomes guest Jenny Nagaoka who discusses research from a 1997 policy in Chicago to make students repeat a grade if they did not score high enough on a standardized test. Is "flunking" 8- and 9-year-olds an effective or cost-efficient way to increase their reading ability? It's a policy under debate in a current bill in the Wisconsin State Legislature. Did it work in Chicago 25 years ago? Should we repeat it here in Wisconsin?

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