Keeping up with hot topics in the field

By Learning Forward
February 2018
Vol. 39 No. 1


The Principal Pipeline Podcast: Practitioners Share Lessons From the Field
The Wallace Foundation
This six-episode series features principals, district and state leaders, and university officials who’ve developed strong principal pipelines. Topics discussed include how to attract and retain effective school leaders, improving job standards, and a critical partnership between districts and universities.


The Schoolhouse Network:
How School Buildings
Affect Teacher Collaboration
Education Next, Spring 2018

Teachers are far more likely to speak with one another about their practice when they are assigned to nearby classrooms, say the study’s authors. Their finding suggests that, even within the limitations of traditional school building design, thoughtful classroom assignments can promote beneficial teacher interactions.

The authors spent four years surveying instructional staff in a Midwestern suburban district about their work-related interactions and measuring the distances between teachers’ walking routes.

Their analysis finds that “physical proximity predicts staff interactions, with teachers and school leaders more likely to interact about instruction with colleagues who are located physically close to them or with whom they are likely to cross paths during the school day. … Our study suggests that even in an egg-crate building, teachers are more likely to share their insights with one another if they are nearby.”


Finding Time
for Collaborative Learning
Education Resource Strategies, January 2018
Education Resource Strategies studied school systems and states with improving student outcomes to learn best practices for teacher professional learning. Observers noted that these organizations connected professional learning to what teachers do every day and connected every part of the system into one coherent vision. They also found that these systems and states invested in rigorous, comprehensive curricula and assessments; content-focused, expert-led collaboration; and frequent, growth-oriented feedback.
The challenge in all of this, however, is finding enough time for meaningful collaborative planning. In this brief, Education Resource Strategies provides context on how American teachers currently spend their time and offers six practical strategies for how principals can create more collaborative planning time. Each strategy includes an explanation, sample school schedules, and examples of the strategy in action.


States Leading for Equity:
Promising Practices Advancing
the Equity Commitments
CCSSO, February 2018

This report highlights 10 promising practices states are currently engaging in to advance equity. These promising practices include: setting an equity vision and measurable targets, creating accountability for equity, providing tailored and differentiated support, and monitoring equitable implementation of state standards and assessments.
The report concludes that, “While our work toward achieving educational equity is far from finished, states are leading with policies, practices, and engagement that is bold and rooted in a firm belief that each and every child has a right to an excellent education.”

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