This article examines the NCLB Act and its underlying reform agenda of increased “accountability” and “choice” in light of its consequences for education policymaking and democratic education.
We synthesize scholarship about participatory democracy, youth–adult partnerships, and thirdspace in order to develop guiding principles for an inclusive and democratic approach to improving schools.
This article evaluates the tensions with democratic education inherent in the federal School Improvement Grant program’s market-based school reforms. The paper culminates in a set of recommendations that are intended to re-center the purposes of public education for low-income students, students of color, and local communities in developing more equitable, democratic school turnarounds.
This article tracks the emergence of parent trigger policies, considers the political and financial forces that have supported the parent trigger movement, and examines evidence concerning the potential of this approach for improving schools, empowering parents, and enhancing democracy.
This article provides a review of literature on teachers’ use of assessment data to inform instruction. The article reviews research on the types assessment data teachers use to inform instruction, how teachers analyze data, and how their instruction is impacted. Although teachers are often asked to analyze data in a consistent way, agendas for data use, the nature of the assessments, and teacher beliefs all come into play, leading to variability in how they use data.
Drawing on data collected in six middle schools, this article finds that coaches and professional learning communities (PLCs) played an important role in mediating teachers’ responses to data. We find that dialogue and the dynamic relationship between two types of expertise may help explain the ways in which PLCs and coaches facilitated deeper-level changes in pedagogy, and that school leadership and district-level context shaped the possibility for such changes.
This article reports on a three-part study about how schools of education are preparing teacher candidates to use data effectively and responsibly. The study consisted of a survey to a nationally representative sample of schools of education, a review of select syllabi, and an examination of state licensure and certification requirements. This article provides a context for why schools of education can and must play an important role in preparing teachers to use data.
This study focuses on the factors influencing a professional development intervention for data-based decision making: the data team procedure. Data teams are teams of teachers and school leaders who collaboratively learn how to use data. In this article, we discuss how data characteristics (e.g., access to data), school organizational characteristics (e.g., shared goal), and individual/team characteristics (e.g., pedagogical content knowledge) influence the use of data in data teams, and how these factors are interrelated.
This paper explores the development of data use capacity in an elementary school through a social network approach. Findings reveal that data use networks are influenced by the larger professional structure of the school and may be productive in developing shared practices. This study illustrates several ways in which this approach can be valuable in understanding individual and school capacity for data use.
This essay describes the habits of mind that underlie data literacy courses offered by the Data Wise Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and how those preparing educators can incorporate these habits into instructional design. The habits include: shared commitment to action, assessment, and adjustment; intentional collaboration; and relentless focus on evidence.
This article proposes a conceptual framework for school and district data use practices based on an analysis of current research. The author outlines considerations for professional learning for each of the five framework elements and closes with a set of questions that may help to highlight future research needs in the area of school-level data use.
In this article, we draw from document analysis as well as interview and focus group data in three school districts to examine teacher needs specific to building data use capacity. Informed by work on knowledge-based organizational learning, we conclude that teacher professional learning needs specific to data use were met only partially and that existing systems overemphasized data systems access and operations at the expense of other skills needed to turn data into action.
This article presents a conceptual framework for a new construct, data literacy for teachers, laying out the knowledge and skills teachers need to use data effectively and responsibly. The framework emerges from a domain analysis, but the complex construct requires additional discussions to refine and reorganize it.
This article summarizes some significant insights of articles in this issue from the perspective of public policy, emphasizing their potential resonance in today's policy environment in using data for program improvement as well as accountability purposes.
Introduction to the special issue on data-driven decision making and the components needed to enculturate data use in education. The article briefly examines the landscape of existing literature and positions the papers for the special issue.
This article demonstrates that the carryover effects of STAR’s small classes are not robust; the effects are driven mostly by a small number of STAR schools.
In this article, we use in-depth interviews with 118 low-income urban youth to investigate how family and neighborhood contexts interact with public school choice policies to shape the educational careers of inner-city students.
This article highlights the fact that certain elements inherent in the act of public teaching have their roots in Christian, particularly Biblical, thinking. The authors illustrate that although teaching is thought of as a secular activity, and although it is often assumed that religion has been expunged from public, including teacher, education, the sediments of religion remain present in how the teacher learns to imagine, construct, and enact his or her work as teacher as savior and martyr.
This article reframes the debate about what fuels high rates of teacher turnover in high-poverty schools. After reviewing findings from past studies of turnover, it focuses on recent scholarship suggesting that teachers who leave such schools are not fleeing their students, but rather the poor working conditions that make it difficult for them to teach and for their students to learn.
This qualitative study explores the relevance of high school messages and curricular placement on the transition of Latino students into a university, particularly as they consider the meaning of the challenges they face in their first year of college.
As teacher education programs have struggled with how to best reconcile the needs of students of color with the experiences and misconceptions of White teachers, this study looks at how digital tools can be leveraged to support culturally responsive pedagogy.
The article examines a unique bilingual (Arabic-Hebrew), binational (Jewish-Palestinian) school in Israel/Palestine in its struggle to be a sustainable and broadly transformative endeavor by opening enrollment to external students. In particular, the article analyzes the impact of this process on the school’s counterhegemonic curricula, pedagogy, and dynamics, and the implications for the transformative potential of bottom-up democratic education initiatives in the absence of accompanying policy change.
This study examines the influence of high school exposure to basic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, high school exposure to STEM-related environment and activities, high school quantity of exposure to precollege STEM classes, and the quality of the latter for a sample of college-bound North Carolina students’ intent to major in STEM and likelihood of declaring a STEM major. Special attention is given to the differential association with students of different races/ethnicities and gender.
Using data drawn from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort 1998-99, this study reports on differences between language minority (LM) and non-language minority students in their home backgrounds and their teachers’ characteristics in kindergarten, first-, third-, and fifth- grade, generating a comprehensive national picture of the multiple disadvantages that LM students face in schools.
This study examines the degree to which teachers and classroom context contribute to achievement gaps that develop during first grade.