Giving Compass' Take:

• Josh Thomases at The 74 says that what separates good schools from great schools has to do with how adults learn from mistakes and try again.

• How can donors better support and enhance teacher retention rates? What are the main challenges? 

Here's how teachers can be their own best coaches. 

In our efforts to ensure our education systems are effective, we have built systems upon systems of state and local monitoring for students, teachers, and schools. These are important measures that allow us to study and understand why some schools are doing better than others.

But for me, the most critical measure is whether the school itself is a learning organization: Do the adults ask questions they don’t know the answer to — questions with no obvious solution, questions that will strengthen individuals, groups, and the school more broadly simply through the act of answering? And then, do they work hard to develop and test answers to those questions?

Whenever I visit schools and meet with teachers, leaders, and students, I am amazed by two contending realities. First, the sheer intensity of effort involved in enabling a school to function is far beyond anything noneducators understand: the commitment, the constant problem-solving, and the attention to the tiniest detail amid what can sometimes feel like a maelstrom of human development. Second, so much is not going the way anyone wants: a student comes in upset or homeless, a lesson plan collapses, an assessment suggests the kids didn’t learn.

Read more about effective learning by Josh Thomases at The 74.