Teacher Effectiveness

PreK-3rd’s Lasting Architecture: Successfully Serving Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Students in Union City, New Jersey

With a strong focus on PreK-3rd grade, Union City Public Schools overcame the crippling effects of poverty and prejudice to close the achievement gap between its low-income Hispanic students and their wealthier peers across New Jersey. The district overhauled its curricula to emphasize critical thinking and reasoning, extended classtime, and increased teacher training. The district also …

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Building a Birth-to-College Model: Professional Learning Communities

This teaching case study describes the evolutionary process undertaken by the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute and the Ounce of Prevention Fund in creating professional learning communities (PLCs) to create a true Birth-to-College model in their state. These PLCs are teacher-led, inclusive of family support staff, multidisciplinary in their focus of inquiry, and reflective …

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Implementing Observation Protocols: Lessons for K-12 Education from the Field of Early Childhood

Increasingly, classroom observations are becoming a prevalent approach to data-driven improvement: observations are used to better understand classroom interactions, teacher effectiveness, time use in classrooms, and more. This paper examines lessons learned from observation in early childhood education that may be helpful as K-12 systems begin implementing more rigorous observation protocols in PreK-3rd grade classrooms. These …

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Watching Teachers Work: Using Observation Tools to Promote Effective Teaching in the Early Years and Early Grades

A growing number of policymakers are searching for new approaches to identify good teaching, promote it, and reward it. In the birth-to-five world, many states have developed Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) that identify, rate, and enhance the quality of programs based on a wide array of criteria, such as adult-child ratios and how …

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PK-3: What Does it Mean for Instruction?

This report provides guidance for policymakers and education practitioners alike on how to purposefully connect instructional approaches from PreK to the early years of elementary school. As the authors note, “simply stating that there is a need for continuity from the preschool years to the early years of elementary school is not enough. Continuity can mean continuing poor educational practices, …

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Lessons for PreK-3rd from Montgomery County Public Schools

The efforts to reform the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, led by then-Superintendent Jerry Weast, produced five key lessons for PreK-3rd grade practitioners: (1) establish a clear and compelling district-wide goal that maps back to early learning; (2) craft integrated district-wide early-learning strategies to meet the clear and compelling goal; (3) align early-learning programs and …

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PreK-3rd: Teacher Quality Matters

This brief articulates why effective teaching matters for student outcomes; indicates how schools can organize to sustain effective teaching in every classroom; and describes, briefly, what quality looks like in PreK-3rd grade classrooms.

21st Century Teacher Education for FirstSchool: A Model of Collaborative Inquiry

Teacher education programs must include opportunities for future teachers to study contexts as well as texts, to develop a repertoire of tools for observing, assessing, and studying children’s early learning, and to acquire the skills and dispositions to do this work with others through processes of collaborative inquiry. Graduates of such a program will enter …

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