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My Recent Blog Posts – Education Research Report

Education Research Report

Why Superintendents Turn Over

Although superintendent turnover can hinder district reform and improvement, research examining superintendent exits is scarce. This study identifies factors contributing to superintendent turnover in California by matching original superintendent and school board survey data with administrative data and information hand-collected from news sources on why superintendents left and where they went. Among 215 superintendents studied beginning in 2006, 45% exited within 3 years. Using a multinomial framework to separate retirements from other turnover, the authors find that factors s… more »

Assistive listening devices may improve dyslexic student reading skills

Children with dyslexia may benefit from wearing assistive listening devices in the classroom, a study suggests. Nina Kraus and colleagues studied 34 dyslexic children who ranged in age from 8 to 14 years. Nineteen of the students wore an assistive listening device, similar to a Bluetooth receiver, throughout the school day for the duration of the school year. The brain responded to sound more consistently in children wearing the devices, the authors report, a finding that could have implications for improved reading skills. According to the authors, the devices could help improve… more »

Gender biases within academic science

Science faculty display subtle gender biases that may contribute to the underrepresentation of women within many fields of academic science, according to a study. Using a randomized, double-blind study design, Corinne Moss-Racusin and colleagues asked a nationwide sample of 127 biology, chemistry, and physics professors to evaluate the application materials of an undergraduate student who was ostensibly applying for a lab manager position. All professors received identical applications, which were randomly attributed to either a male or a female student. The authors found that th… more »

Reading instruction and brain development influence each other

A child’s ability to read may largely depend on when that individual’s brain circuitry is sufficiently developed yet capable of growth, a longitudinal study reports. Jason Yeatman and colleagues tracked reading proficiency over a 3-year period for 55 children who ranged in age from 7 to 12. Thirty-nine of those children underwent at least three scans measuring development in brain regions associated with reading skills. The measurements focused on white matter, the brain component involved in transmitting signals from one region to another. While every child’s reading skills incr… more

Teacher Absence as a Leading Indicator of Student Achievement

*On average, 36 percent of teachers nationally were absent more than 10 days during the 2009-10 school year based on the 56,837 schools analyzed in the dataset* On any given school day, up to 40 percent of teachers in New Jersey’s Camden City Public Schools are absent from their classrooms. Such a high figure probably would not stand out in parts of the developing world, but it contrasts sharply with the 3 percent national rate of absence for full-time wage and salaried American workers, and the 5.3 percent rate of absence for American teachers overall. Certainly, it isn’t unreason… more »

Difficult Transition from Student to Teacher

“It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, emotionally and mentally.” These are not the words we generally associate with a university student who is undergoing teacher training, yet Concordia researcher Anita Sinner has heard similar statements from many such individuals. Every year thousands of students make the transition from student to teacher and the stories of those who struggle are often missing from our conversations. “Pre-service teachers who experience varying degrees of struggle have few stories against which to compare their experiences when entering the teaching prof… more »

Preschoolers’ Counting Abilities Relate to Future Math Performance,

Along with reciting the days of the week and the alphabet, adults often practice reciting numbers with young children. Now, new research from the University of Missouri suggests reciting numbers is not enough to prepare children for math success in elementary school. The research indicates that counting, which requires assigning numerical values to objects in chronological order, is more important for helping preschoolers acquire math skills. “Reciting means saying the numbers from memory in chronological order, whereas counting involves understanding that each item in the set is … more »

Study supports move toward common math standards

A new study analyzing the previous math standards of each state provides strong support for adoption of common standards, which U.S. students desperately need to keep pace with their counterparts around the globe, a Michigan State University scholar argues. Forty-six states are implementing the Common Core math and reading standards, which nonetheless have come under fire recently by some researchers and would-be politicians. But William Schmidt, MSU Distinguished Professor of statistics and education, said the Common Core is a world-class set of standards. In his study, published… more »

Helping English Language Learners Meet Higher Expectations Associated With Common Core

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) offer great promise for advancing the quality of education and outcomes for all students, but meeting the higher expectations associated with them could prove especially daunting for the rapidly growing population of English language learners (ELLs) who must learn grade-level content while simultaneously trying to master the English language. A new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education discusses these challenges, highlights initiatives already underway to help ELLs meet these challenges, and outlines how policy and practice must ch… more »