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2 - Human Capital and Economic Prosperity

Eric A. Hanushek, Paul E. Peterson and Ludger Woessmann Brookings Institution Press ePub

          CHAPTER TWO          


Measured against global standards, far too many U.S. schools are failing to teach students the academic skills and knowledge they need to compete and succeed.

Independent Task Force Report on U.S. Education Reform and National Security, 2012

Few doubt that human capital is important to economic prosperity. But how do we measure a nation's human capital? Is it high school completion and the amount of education attained by the citizens of a country, that is, the number of years of schooling the average person has received? Or is it the accumulated knowledge and skills that have been acquired? And if it is the latter, how do we accurately measure the skills of a young person? The question is more than academic. As the old adage goes, what gets measured gets done. How we measure human capital will affect the policies we adopt to enhance human capital.

Traditionally, human capital development was measured by the amount of time students spent in school—the number of hours a day, the number of days a year, and the number of years logged before leaving the formal education system. In the United States, local school districts are typically given additional money for every additional day a student is in school. Not surprisingly, school districts have steadily improved their ability to measure whether or not a child attended school. They have reduced absenteeism and truancy rates, and they have encouraged students to remain in school until they graduate from high school, around age seventeen or eighteen. After measures of high school graduation rates were refined in the early years of the twenty-first century, the percentage of students graduating from high school within four years of entering ninth grade shifted upward after remaining essentially unchanged for nearly four decades.1 What gets measured gets done.

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Medium 9781934009413

Chapter 7: Sample Behavior Change Plans

Ambrose Panico Solution Tree Press ePub

Chapter 7

Sample Behavior Change Plans

Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another; it is the only means.

—Albert Einstein

This chapter provides four examples of Plans to Do Better to illustrate how a problem-solving team may use the process and the tools this book offers.

Each plan includes a description of the problem behavior, a statement of the student’s view of the behavior and situation, and a description of the problem behavior’s function. Also included are the specific behavior change tools the team selected and developed. Each plan also contains a method and schedule for assessing the plan’s effectiveness. Finally, each plan includes a summary of the team’s answers to the essential questions (see page 77)—used to make decisions and develop the plan—and a list of the resources used in the exercise.

The sample plans center around four fictional students:

 Terri is a third-grade general education student who blurts out irrelevant, silly comments and is in danger of being referred for a special education evaluation.

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Medium 9781475819502

Examining Preservice Teachers’ Applied Learning Experiences in the Teacher Education Done Differently Project

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub



ABSTRACT: Reviews have criticized universities for not embedding sufficient praxis for preparing preservice teachers for the profession. The Teacher Education Done Differently project explored praxis development for preservice teachers within existing university coursework. This mixed-method investigation involved an analysis of multiple case studies with preservice teacher involvement in university programs—namely, Ed Start for Field Experiences 1 (n = 26), 3 (n = 23), and 4 (n = 12); Move It, Use It (health and physical education program; n = 38), Studies of Society and Its Environment (n = 24), and Science in Schools (n = 38). The project included preservice teachers teaching primary students at the campus site in gifted education (the B-GR8 program; n = 22). The percentage range for preservice teacher agreement of their praxis development leading up to Field Experiences 1, 3, and 4 was between 91% and 100%, with a high mean score range (4.26–5.00). Other university units had similar findings, except for Studies of Society and its Environment (percentage range, 10%–86%; M = 2.33–4.00, SD = 0.55–1.32). Qualitative data presented an understanding of the praxis development leading to the conclusion that additional applied learning experiences as lead-up days for field experiences and as avenues for exploring the teaching of specific subject areas presented opportunities for enhancing praxis.

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Medium 9781936763351

Chapter 5 Developing Teachers for Deeper Learning

James A Bellanca Solution Tree Press ePub

Chapter 5

Developing Teachers for Deeper Learning

Rob Riordan, Stacey Caillier, and Ben Daley

It’s Monday. Carla is on a visit to San Ysidro, a port of entry on the border between the United States and Mexico. She is part of a small group of new teachers at the High Tech High (HTH) schools in San Diego County (www.hightechhigh.org). Earlier that morning, her first day on the job, she met with forty other teachers new to HTH and several veteran HTH teachers to embark on the HTH New Teacher Odyssey addressing the essential question, How do we honor the experiences and meet the needs of all our students? The first day is a “project slice” focused on the Mexico-U.S. border; the goal is for these new teachers to experience project-based learning as learners, while investigating an issue relevant to their local community.

Carla and her colleagues began by examining brief texts as well as photos of the border area, some showing the border crossing as it looked in 1920. They viewed and shared interpretations of maps, which are in Spanish, showing the paths illegal migrants take across forbidding terrain, the location of water stations, and the sites of migrant deaths. They also looked at statistics on legal and illegal immigration and raised questions. Then they split up into groups of five to ten to go out to sites near the border—Carla’s group to San Ysidro, others to a Mexican American artist’s studio, a soup kitchen for day laborers, or a youth center across the border in Tijuana.

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Medium 9781475811490


JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


It is quite gratifying that a scholarly journal would seek, among others, a practitioner’s perspective in responding to the work of its contributors. Indeed, Marshall and Ward’s article in this issue on research on social justice and training for leadership did give me substantial pause for thought. At the outset, then, I applaud their efforts to address what is undoubtedly among the most fundamentally important issues facing principals today. Moreover, I wish to entirely align myself with the spirit of the work. Educational institutions are key sites of cultural reproduction, and as such, the ends of social justice can and should be pursued in our schools. As well, I agree that principals, vested with organizational authority, are in prime positions to advance the ends of social justice by addressing inequities and by enabling teachers, parents, students, and other educational stakeholders to prepare students to live in an increasingly pluralistic world. And among my colleagues, there is certainly a heightened awareness surrounding contentious educational issues relating to privileged and marginalized groups of learners. Quite often, the inequities experienced by these “disadvantaged learners” are attributed to contemporary emphases in educational reforms on performance, efficiency, achievement, and assessment, though social patterns of advantage and disadvantage not only predate recent reforms, but also predate public education altogether. Quite successfully, Marshall and Ward illuminate the importance of collaboration between scholars and practitioners in the development of educative processes for embedding the ends of social justice into leadership practice. Still, Marshall and Ward’s work raises some concerns as well, which need to be addressed if administrative training for social justice is ever to be realized. For purposes of this reaction, I focus on four key areas of concern: (1) the lack of apparent connection between curriculum, instruction, and social justice, (2) the bifurcation of social justice and school improvement, (3) the absence of practical guidance for school leaders, and (4) the implications of advancing the ends of social justice with policy.

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Medium 9781593578671

CHAPTER 8: Identify What Is Important to You

John Liptak JIST Publishing ePub

Like all people, you have a specific set of values that guide your behavior and influence the decisions you make. Values are those things that you give merit, usefulness, or worth in your life. They are those things you feel are desirable and important.

In this chapter, you will take a quiz to help you identify your values. Through a thorough exploration of your values, you will be able to define a clear direction for your career, which will help you in identifying a college major.

Everyday we face a barrage of information that reflects conflicting and ill-defined value systems. The fortunate among us know what our values are and are able to articulate them.

One of my students, Shauna, said that helping other people and leaving the planet a better place when she is gone were the most important things for her. Another student, Jeffrey, said that autonomy and being able to work by himself were the most important things. Joan wants to be in charge. She said that as long as she is “calling the shots,” she is happy.

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Medium 9781936764488

2 Cultivating an Open Heart

Laura Weaver Solution Tree Press ePub

My teaching philosophy was born from my own negative experience. When I was in school I was treated as if I were not intelligent, as if I were less than. The islands in the sea of public education were the teachers who cared—who shared not only emotion but authentic belief in my ability. Those teachers who made a difference saw intelligence and believed I was intelligent, and then their behavior matched that belief.

—Principal, Colorado High School


When you are in the classroom, what behaviors and experiences tend to open your heart? Which ones tend to close your heart?

Cultivating an open heart refers to the capacity to express warmth, compassion, care, authenticity, and, at times, vulnerability with students and colleagues. It also refers to the ways we intentionally foster meaningful connections with and amongst our students and create culturally responsive classrooms where all students feel welcome and included. These are the kinds of learning environments where students can safely open their hearts and minds to learning and growth.

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Medium 9781935542810

Conclusion: Final Thoughts for School Leaders

Margaret J. McLaughlin Solution Tree Press ePub


Final Thoughts for School Leaders

While this Essentials for Principals resource was written to provide school leaders with information they need to develop and maintain an effective special education program, it also highlights the complexity of the issues surrounding special education.

Many of these issues are legal ones, focusing on the law and what it means for schools. Other issues are educational, asking what programs or approaches seem to hold promise for helping students with disabilities achieve the educational standards. Efforts to build always-important relationships between schools and the families they serve are even more critical when the children involved have special needs. Finally, schools must find ways to provide safe, nonthreatening environments for their students and staff. A school cannot successfully address all of these issues unless the principal and other key staff members are knowledgeable about both the law and effective instructional practice.

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Medium 9781934009598

Part I: Summer: Committing to a Common Purpose

Parry Graham Solution Tree Press ePub



Sarah thought that the last hour had gone well, but she still had a lot of questions. It was early summer, and she was interviewing for a position teaching sixth grade at Central Middle School, one of Seneca Township's best known schools. The school's new principal, Steve, had spent the last hour asking Sarah about her teaching experience and philosophy, and she was satisfied with the answers she had given.

“Steve, when we spoke last week on the phone you mentioned that you were interested in leading a nontraditional kind of school. I think the term you used was a professional learning community. Do you mind if I ask you some questions about what you mean, what you want this school to look like?”

“Please do!” Steve responded excitedly. He had enjoyed getting to know Sarah and was convinced she was the kind of accomplished teacher he wanted as a part of his faculty; however, he also knew it was critical for those he hired to have a clear idea of what he hoped Central Middle School would look like in action so they could decide if it was the right ft for them. Hiring accomplished teachers who could not buy into a school committed to collaboration was a recipe for failure, and Steve was smart enough to know it.

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Medium 9781574411744

4. The Dallas Story: Establishing the District and Hiring the President

Kathleen Krebs Whitson University of North Texas Press PDF








The Dallas Story

Establishing the District and Hiring the President

here were early attempts at establishing the junior college in the Dallas area, but those built in the late 1800s did not survive. The junior college movement did not reach fruition in Dallas until the mid-1960s when two-year colleges were being opened nationally on the average of one per week.1 Efforts toward the establishment of a junior college for the Dallas area had been underway in one form or another for a decade. The delays hinged on two main issues: whether the college should serve just the city or the entire county, and whether it should be associated with a public school district or should be a separate entity.2

The first aborted attempt began in 1956 when the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) appointed a Junior College Committee, and commissioned C. C. Colvert from the University of Texas to conduct a feasibility study. That study would include an indication of the interest on the part of the Dallas citizenry in having a junior college. In July of 1958, DISD superintendent, W. T. White withdrew the plans. There was concern that the establishment of a desegregated city college would have implications for public grades of kindergarten through the twelfth.3 The Dallas school district

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Medium 9781449396596

15. Build a Gel Electrophoresis Apparatus

Robert Bruce Thompson Maker Media, Inc ePub

Youll need the following items to complete this lab session. (The standard kit for this book, available from www.thehomescientist.com, includes the items listed in the first group.)

Leads, alligator clip (2)


Aluminum foil

Batteries, 9V transistor (5, 7, or 9)

Gel casting comb materials (see text)

Marking pen (Sharpie or similar)

Plastic containers (see text)


Tape (electrical or masking)

Theres a time-honored custom in science: we scientists build our own apparatus. Not always, of course, nor even most of the time. Nowadays, anyway. Sometimes its cheaper, easier, and faster just to buy what we need. But when we need something to complete an experiment and that something isnt available or we dont have the budget to buy it, we make do. If that involves designing and building a piece of equipment, so be it. For the following lab session, we needed a gel electrophoresis apparatus and power supply, and we didnt feel like spending $300 or $400 to buy one. So we designed and built our own, at a total cost of about $10.

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Medium 9781935249207

8 One Thing

White, Stephen Solution Tree Press ePub


One Thing

C urly: “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that …”

Mitch: “That’s great, but what’s the one thing?”

Curly: “That’s what you’ve gotta figure out.”

—Jack Palance as Curly, and Billy Crystal as Mitch in City Slickers

JUNE 7, NOON. “Yohannon!” Byron waved as he carried the sack lunches through Civic Center Park. “My leadership team reminded me today how much we’ve stopped doing this year, but each of us has never been busier. What is that all about, Mr. Scientist?”

Yohannon laughed, then responded as Byron knew he would. “The work has always been complex, you just failed to give the small stuff the attention it deserved.”

Byron responded, careful not to give away too much enthusiasm, “Well, we have cut back on announcements over the intercom, we dismiss meetings early if we aren’t prepared or if we have achieved our objective, and teams are free not to do things they previously thought were obligations.”

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Medium 9781936763009

Chapter 1 Doing Extraordinary Things

Cassandra Erkens Solution Tree Press ePub


Doing Extraordinary Things

Collaboration is a social imperative. Without it, people can’t get extraordinary things done in organizations.

—Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner

Many variations of common assessments abound in schools and teams. Sadly, many of those variations are both instructionally deficient and “collaboration lite,” with little hope of ever helping accomplish anything extraordinary. In other words, the assessment and its ensuing results are viewed as an obtrusive event that generates data but no meaningful information and that is often orchestrated—from beginning to end—with little involvement or ownership on behalf of teachers and their learners, the key stakeholders. In addition, the data are sometimes provided with a prepared digital analysis that may come too late in the learning process to alter outcomes in meaningful ways. By contrast, schools where the work of collaborative common assessments makes the greatest difference house conversations that are instructionally enlightening and teams that are collaboratively dependent.

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Medium 9781936764976

PART VII Editing and Revising

Richard E Ferdig Solution Tree Press ePub


Editing and Revising

Revision is an integral part of the writing process; however, teachers often struggle with how to engage students in revision that is meaningful to their growth as writers. Revision is not simply about fixing mistakes but understanding root issues driving writing errors, which is challenging and complex work for both teachers and students (Shaughnessy, 1976).

Many teachers engage students in peer review opportunities to facilitate the revision process. Peer review promotes collaboration and cooperative learning. Students benefit from peer review, as it is often easier for students to identify problems in peers’ writing than in their own. Additionally, students gain insight and a deepened understanding of writing. It also provides opportunities for students to analyze and reflect on how they communicate their ideas.

Peer review, however, can be difficult to implement in classrooms. First, logistically, teachers must consider how they physically arrange the classroom, and how students will be engaged during the process and in the quality of their work. Second, we often forget to teach students how to provide feedback. This leads to students providing either generic feedback (for example, “This is good”) or feedback focused solely on editing or mechanical issues (for example, “Fix punctuation”). The third problem is that students don’t often know how to use feedback they receive in their revisions. They end up either ignoring the suggestions or making the changes without really understanding the rationale for the revision. These issues make the process of peer review challenging for teachers and students. Despite these challenges, teachers need to conceptualize effective pedagogical practices that will engage students in revision opportunities.

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Medium 9781475812015

Latino Parent Involvement: Seeing What Has Always Been There




ABSTRACT: This study reviews 20 years (1990–2010) of scholarly literature on parent involvement related to Latino parents. Parent involvement behaviors of Latino parents were identified and analyzed according to the dimensions of culture theoretical framework—specifically, the dimension of individualism–collectivism (Hofstede, 1984, 1997; Triandis, 1995; Trumbull, Rothstein, Quiroz, & Greenfield, 2001). From this analysis, categories of involvement for Latino parents emerged, which were then compared to Epstein’s typology of parent involvement (1995), a commonly referenced framework adopted by the National Parent Teachers Association. Based on the results of this study of the literature, an expanded framework inclusive of the involvement behaviors of Latino parents was developed. Steps are also discussed for leaders to guide educators in expanding their conceptions of parent involvement.

Parent involvement has long been considered a necessary factor for the academic success of students (Henderson & Berla, 1994; Henderson & Mapp, 2002). In a comprehensive review of research on parent involvement, Henderson and Mapp (2002) concluded that when families are involved in children’s learning, children are more academically and socially successful. Defined as “the participation of parents in regular, two-way meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities” (U.S. Department of Education, 2004, p. 3), parent involvement may include reading to a child, checking homework, limiting television viewing, meeting with school staff to discuss a child’s progress, voting in school board elections, advocating for better education, or simply asking a child about his or her day at school (National Education Association, 2009).

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