The 2014 conference theme is New Players in Education Finance and Policy. Both K-12 and higher education are in the midst of rapid and fundamental change: proliferation of new technology; new sources of investment capital and start-up vendors offering potentially game changing products/services; new public-private partnerships; venture philanthropy; continued growth of new sources of teachers and school leaders; the emergence of ‘big data.’ What is the impact of these trends on the education sector and the prospects for improving effectiveness and equity? How can research help make sense of this fast-changing environment?
Stanford research has found that high-quality English instruction helps student performances across other subjects – including math – in future years. Great English teachers boost their students' achievements in math, a very different subject, according to Stanford researchers. The researchers found that students of good language arts teachers had higher than expected math scores in subsequent years – a crossover effect.
In the 15 years since voters essentially banned bilingual education in state schools, teaching English learners to read, write and do arithmetic first in their native language has nearly disappeared from California classrooms.
Since Proposition 227 overwhelmingly passed in June 1998, it's been all about learning English, first and foremost - but not in San Francisco. Nearly 30 percent of the city's 17,000 English learners are in bilingual education programs, compared with 5 percent on average statewide, according to the most recent data available.
Yet these scholarly groups consistently find distinct and lasting gains for poor children, as I discovered in
tracking of 14,162 youngsters nationwide with Stanford University economist Susanna Loeb. The minuscule gains experienced by middle-class children largely fade out by fifth grade, according to a second longitudinal study overseen by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Still, gains for poor children persist with greater strength when they attend high-quality preschools and then enter comparatively robust elementary schools.Politicians such as de Blasio ignore these consistent findings when arguing, as he did last year, that subsidized pre-K should be “for everyone, doesn’t matter if you’re wealthy, doesn’t matter if you’re poor, doesn’t matter what color you are.” But empirically, a child’s home environment sharply conditions the efficacy of preschool.
“To be honest, I don’t find this study particularly convincing, and I say that as someone who is quite sympathetic to the idea that there are technological solutions to the plagiarism problem that are readily available and affordable and worth studying further,” said Dee, who is also a research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Dee described the report as containing “suggestive, descriptive evidence,” not “convincing causal evidence” that Turnitin was primarily responsible for the drop in unoriginal writing.
District policymakers often argue that rules in teacher contracts and collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), that limit their ability to transfer teachers to different schools unless the teacher initiates the move, handcuff them in achieving the right mix of teachers across the district. In many districts in California, for example, CBAs prevent districts from involuntarily transferring teachers except when schools lose teaching positions, and even then, seniority often governs which teachers can be moved. Could loosening those restrictions benefit students? On the one hand, maybe so.
The researchers, Benjamin Master, Susanna Loeb and James Wyckoff, looked at 700,000 students in New York City in third through eighth grade over the course of eight school years (from 2003-04 to 2011-12). Their research initially confirmed the lasting impact of good English language arts or math teachers within their subjects. These teachers not only produce higher than expected test scores during the year that they are teaching the students, but their students go on to score better in that subject in subsequent years. Specifically, one-fifth of a teacher’s value added to achievement persists into the subsequent year.
President John Hennessy introduced the topic of online education by outlining Stanford's three goals in that arena: Use online technology to improve the learning experience for Stanford students; use online technology to extend the university's "reach" so that Stanford students can take courses they need as part of their requirements while studying overseas; use online technology as a tool to help others in the education community within the United States and globally.