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Given the focus on accountability in education, stakeholders are interested in evaluating whether efforts aimed at improving school leadership show results; the key criteria are student outcomes. This report describes challenges that states, districts, and other entities can expect to encounter as they evaluate efforts targeting school leadership as a way to improve student outcomes and offers suggestions for dealing with those challenges.
Feature stories discuss the promotion of tolerance and critical thinking in the Arab world through children's media, the challenges faced by the United States in an era of fiscal austerity, and promising models for measuring teacher performance. Two other stories highlight the National Science Foundation's role in promoting research in the United States and how RAND is helping several countries to foster technological innovation.
Presents the findings of a multiyear study of the effectiveness of reform-oriented science and mathematics teaching (instructional practices for engaging students actively in their own learning and enhancing the development of complex cognitive skills)-specifically, whether such practices are associated with higher student achievement and whether that association is sensitive to the aspects of achievement that are measured. (CD-ROM enclosed.)
Improving School Leadership Through Support, Evaluation, and Incentives: The Pittsburgh Principal Incentive Programby Laura S. Hamilton Kun Yuan John Engberg Elizabeth D. Steiner Catherine Awsumb Nelson
This report examines Pittsburgh Public Schools' implementation and outcomes of the Pittsburgh Principal Incentive Program from school years 2007-2008 through 2010-2011, how principals and other school staff have responded to the reforms, and what outcomes accompanied program implementation.
In 2000, Edison Schools, the nation's largest education management organization, asked RAND to analyze its achievement outcomes and design implementation. RAND evaluated Edison's strategies for promoting student achievement in its schools, how it implemented those strategies, how its management affected student achievement, and what factors explained differences in achievement trends among its schools.
Test-based accountability systems that attach high stakes to standardized test results have raised a number of issues on educational assessment and accountability. Do these high-stakes tests measure student achievement accurately? How can policymakers and educators attach the right consequences to the results of these tests? And what kinds of tradeoffs do these testing policies introduce? This book responds to the growing emphasis on high-stakes testing and offers recommendations for more-effective test-based accountability systems.
New Assessments, Better Instruction?: Designing Assessment Systems to Promote Instructional Improvementby Brian M. Stecher Laura S. Hamilton Susannah Faxon-Mills Mollie Rudnick
This report reviews the literature on how assessment affects teaching practice and the conditions that moderate that relationship. The authors identify a wide variety of effects that testing might have on teachers' activities in the classroom and a number of conditions that affect the impact that assessment may have on practice.
The Implementing Standards-Based Accountability (ISBA) study was designed to examine the strategies that states, districts, and schools are using to implement standards-based accountability under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). This monograph presents information regarding the implementation of NCLB in California, Georgia, and Pennsylvania from 2003-2004 through 2005-2006, including the final results of the ISBA project.
Since 2001-2002, standards-based accountability provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 have shaped the work of public school teachers and administrators in the United States. This book sheds light on how accountability policies have been translated into actions at the district, school, and classroom levels in three states.
Performance-based accountability systems (PBASs) link incentives to measured performance to improve services to the public. Research suggests that PBASs influence provider behaviors, but little is known about PBAS effectiveness at achieving performance goals. This study examines nine PBASs that are drawn from five sectors: child care, education, health care, public health emergency preparedness, and transportation.
Value-added assessment (VAA) systems use statistical techniques to analyze test-score data; VAA data is intended to help educators make more informed decisions about curriculum and instruction. The authors examined the rollout of Pennsylvania's VAA program, and found that, in its pilot phase, the program had little effect on student achievement and received limited use by most principals and teachers at schools participating in the program.