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Small learning community and small school reform efforts have begun to falter in light of evaluations showing stalled implementation and limited impacts. However, this Lessons Learned brief gives reasons why these reforms are useful when coupled with further instructional improvements. These
The process of selecting a school turnaround provider can seem over­whelming, with so many choices and so little time and information. External and internal pressure to make the se­lection as quickly as possible can lead to hurried decisions with long-term, costly consequences for both districts
This brief describes what district leaders can do to create schools that support success for English learner students.
School-based mentoring (SBM) is becoming increasingly popular as a way to help students in a number of academic and psychosocial domains. In this model, a K–12 student is paired with an adult from the community or an older peer in a supportive one-to-one relationship at the school site. To be
In the Northwest region, 39 percent of schools are rural, compared to 31 percent nationally. While rural schools face many of the same challenges as those in urban settings, they also have unique characteristics that should be taken into consideration when carrying out school improvement efforts.
Data-driven decision making has become a national education priority. But do educators have the capacity to understand the data and use them appropriately to make instructional improvements? What can schools and colleges of education do to better prepare future teachers and administrators to use
“How Small Schools Grew Up and Got Serious (But Didn’t Lose Their Spunk)” is in the December 2010/January 2011 issue of Kappan Magazine. Written by Education Northwest’s high school redesign experts Diana Oxley and Katie Whitney Luers, the article draws on the duo’s field experience from the past
State education agencies (SEAs) are required by federal policy to provide a statewide system of intensive and sustained support to Title I schools and districts identified as in need of improvement due to persistently low student performance. One component of a statewide system of support is the
This March 2012 NASSP Principal’s Research Review, written by Education Northwest’s Rhonda Barton and Rob Larson, looks at strategies for improving educational equity. With racial and economic disparities still an everyday reality throughout our education system, this brief suggests steps
In this report, Education Northwest researchers describe how it is possible to make a statistically significant difference in struggling readers’ achievement in just a single year.
In the May 2012 issue of NASSP's Principal's Research Review, the longtime topic of grade configuration is explored. The writers, Rhonda Barton and Jennifer Klump of Education Northwest, zero in on what the research says about organizing students in various elementary, middle level and
The July 2012 NASSP Principal's Research Review, written by Education Northwest's Rhonda Barton and Jennifer Stepanek, examines what it takes for professional learning communities (PLCs) to impact educational outcomes.
There’s growing recognition that communities of practice—peer-to-peer learning groups—offer an effective way to work together on a common problem, share strategies, and deepen members’ knowledge. Originally envisioned as groups that worked together in the same location, technology can now overcome
School leadership is complex and requires wisdom, informed judgment, and choosing among multiple options. Should leaders push for fast results or incremental improvements over time? Do they focus on closing the achievement gap or raising the rigor of teaching and learning? There is no single right
The use of research and data in decision making has become a popular mantra in education circles, but putting it into practice presents some real challenges. Often, educators and policymakers may not have the time or skills to identify, access, analyze, and apply data, or the capacity to use
Bullying presents one of the greatest health risks to children, youth, and young adults in U.S. society. It is pernicious in its impact even if often less visible and less readily identifiable than other public health concerns. Bullying—a form of harassment—needs to be understood form a
Improving college readiness rates, especially for young men of color, requires an understanding of the challenges they face, and of the levers that might serve to increase college readiness and enrollment. Moving the Needle speaks to both issues by examining the trajectory of Black and Latino males
How the Common Core Must Ensure Equity by Fully Preparing Every Student for Postsecondary Success Recommendations from the Regional Equity Assistance Centers on Implementation of the Common Core State Standards An effective education that prepares youth for postsecondary success should not be a
I recently reminded supporters of the Black Parent Initiative (BPI)—a community-based, “culturally specific” nonprofit in Portland that I co-founded—that their actions empower a parent just down the street, protect a child who sits next to theirs in school, and make the community in which we all
On a day designed to empower Oregon education leaders to take action to improve equity in the state’s public school system, the Oregon Leadership Network (OLN) Fall Leadership Institute brought together roughly 400 participants on December 10 at Portland’s Sentinel Hotel. “Education is the

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