Education research comes out faster than most of us can keep up with — and staying up to date gets even harder when advocates on every side claim that the newest study supports their views.
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Here are some of the most important lessons we’re taking away from 2017:
- Teacher certification rules can have negative side effects: They disproportionately exclude teachers of color, who a bevy of recent studies have shown benefit students of color. They can make it hard for teachers to move to a new state.
- Union protections may benefit students. Most prominently, an analysis found that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s successful effort to dramatically scale back union power hurt student test scores.
- Students who stay in voucher programs longer do better. Analyses out of Indiana and Louisiana suggest that students who stick around in private school for three to four years see their scores bounce back after an initial drop.
- State tests provide useful information about how schools affect students. Testing can also have unintended consequences: We looked at a study showing that students were (slightly) less happy in the classrooms of teachers who were effective at raising test scores. This suggests that there are multiple dimensions to good teaching — and being good at one aspect doesn’t mean you’re good at others.
- We still don’t know much about how to turn around a struggling school. As states try to help low-performing schools under the new federal education law, ESSA, they have a thin research base to draw from.
Read the full article by Matt Barnum about education research from Chalkbeat
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