• April 09, 2015

    “This type of evaluation system can help drive and sustain improvements in performance, but they have to be well communicated to teachers,” said Thomas Dee, an education researcher at Stanford University and co-author of a study that found the D.C. system to be an effective means of encouraging low-performing teachers to improve their practice.

  • April 01, 2015

    “The sooner the better” is the perfect tag line for early childhood education. There is no magic bullet to ensure a lifetime of self-fulfillment in personal and career terms. But rigorous research shows that high-quality early childhood education is an extraordinarily powerful means to promote continued success in school, in the workplace, and also in social and civic realms.

    It may seem surprising, but the experiences of children in their early years have disproportionately large impacts relative to experiences during their school years and beyond. If children lag in those early years, chances are that they will never catch up. Remediation of deficiencies in learning of all types is far more difficult and expensive than learning early on. The good news is that high-quality programs focused on early childhood years can have powerful long-term impacts for all racial and economic groups across the country.

    Professor Susanna Loeb at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, in collaboration with Daphna Bassok, wrote an extensive review covering studies on early childhood education and achievement gaps based on it. The White House issued a report last December that also summarizes research from a wide variety of studies, and includes proposed actions to meet national needs in this arena.

  • March 31, 2015
  • March 24, 2015

    When people say Americans are dividing along class lines, they usually mean it as a metaphor. But it's also true in a literal sense. When it comes to where we live, the rich, poor, and shrinking middle class have been moving further apart. Cornell University's Kendra Bischoff and Stanford University's Sean Reardon report that in 1970, 65 percent of U.S. families resided in middle-income neighborhoods. By 2009, that number was down to 42 percent. Meanwhile, the fraction of households in very affluent or very poor neighborhoods more than doubled.

  • March 17, 2015
  • March 05, 2015
  • March 03, 2015

    By Sarah D. Sparks

    The academic strength of new teachers has been getting better, not worse, for the last decade, according to a new longitudinal study of educators in New York state.

    Moreover, academically strong teachers are becoming more equitably distributed across all public schools—both high- and low-poverty—that serve the Empire State's 2.7 million public K-12 students.

  • February 27, 2015

    Racial segregation dominated the American residential landscape for generations. We can’t afford, suggests the research of Stanford’s Sean Reardon, to let economic segregation have anywhere near as long a run.

    Just how apart? And what does this apartness mean for the rest of us? Researchers like Stanford sociologist Sean Reardon and his collaborator Kendra Bischoff of Cornell have been exploring questions like these. Too Much editor Sam Pizzigati recently spoke with Reardon about our economic segregation — and why it so matters.

  • February 20, 2015
  • February 05, 2015
  • February 03, 2015

    "District leaders need to steer large and complex organizations toward the key social goal of providing excellent educational opportunities for students. Many education leaders have had little opportunity to learn the strategic leadership skills that can help them with this difficult task," said Susanna Loeb, professor of education at the GSE and faculty co-director of EPEL.

    Loeb said the hope with EPEL is to provide the educational opportunities and also a place for superintendents and other district leaders to learn from each other.

    "With new standards and a new system of accountability in California, the challenge today is particularly intense," she said. "Our aim is the bring the resources of Stanford to help them meet their goals."

  • January 29, 2015

    Dean Deborah Stipek announced in an email to the Graduate School of Education that Bryan Brown and Thomas Dee will serve as new associate deans.

  • January 28, 2015

    Researchers have found that sending parents a simple text message that includes tips for improving their child’s literacy can have a positive effect.

    Studies show that by age four, kids from low-income households will hear 30 million less words than their more affluent counterparts, who get more quality face-time with caretakers. That means the already disadvantaged are falling behind before the academic race has even begun. Educators have so far been largely unsuccessful when it comes to finding ways to bridge the so-called “word gap.”

  • January 19, 2015
  • January 17, 2015

    Parenting is complex. Every decision mom and dad make has a ripple effect. And it’s near impossible to measure success. In an attempt to help simplify the whole thing, Susanna Loeb and Ben York — a professor and researcher respectively at Stanford’s Center for Education Policy Analysis — designed a program that sends parents of preschoolers in a low-income San Francisco school district weekly tips on how to improve their children’s literacy. The initiative is designed to fit within the lives of families, rather than adding yet another burden. “We have to make so many choices, and we often don’t know what to do in the moment,” Loeb says. Ready4K! takes away the guesswork.

  • January 17, 2015

    Two researchers at Stanford University, Eric P. Bettinger and Rachel Baker, analyzed an innovative counseling program in which a professional academic coach calls at-risk students to talk about time management and study skills. The coach might help a student plan how much time to spend on each class in the days approaching finals, for example. The results are impressive, with coached students more likely to stay in college and graduate. This program is more expensive than texting — $500 per student, per semester — but the effects persist for years after the coaching has ended.

    Can nudges help younger children? Susanna Loeb and Benjamin N. York, both also at Stanford, developed a literacy program for preschool children in San Francisco. They sent parents texts describing simple activities that develop literacy skills, such as pointing out words that rhyme or start with the same sound. The parents receiving the texts spent more time with their children on these activities and their children were more likely to know the alphabet and the sounds of letters. It cost just a few dollars per family.