All posts by cschmidt

White Paper | Re-Balancing Formative Assessment: Placing Formative Assessment at the Heart of Learning and Accountability (2015)

In response to high-stakes testing and top-down accountability, McREL’s Bryan Goodwin and co-authors from Measured Progress propose in this white paper a new, more balanced formula for assessment based on curriculum-embedded performance assessments (CEPAs), which better support the deeper learning expected of students today. They also outline how states can use CEPAs in accountability systems and reduce the emphasis on end-of-year summative assessments.

Hofman, P., Goodwin, B., & Kahl, S. (2015). Re-balancing assessment: Placing formative and performance assessment at the heart of learning and accountability. Denver, CO: McREL International.

Download the white paper.

Wyoming superintendent cites McREL’s Balanced Leadership as key factor in district’s improvement

In this guest post for Education Week’s Leadership 360 blog, Superintendent Jay Harnack from Sublette County School District #1 (SCSD1) shares how he, his board of education, and his principals and teachers improved student achievement through an integrated district improvement approach that included McREL’s Balanced Leadership research-based leadership framework.

“All of our administrators were trained in the leadership framework, and this created a common language and understanding of leadership practices, which we could then align to any given improvement initiative,” writes Superintendent Harnack. He adds that the greatest benefit came when teachers were also trained in Balanced Leadership, leading to “significant improvements in teacher engagement, leadership, and collaboration with principals.”

SCSD1 was recently reviewed by AdvancED and earned an Index of Educational Quality Score (IEQ) that was the highest in the state of Wyoming and among the top 10% internationally. In addition, the district’s elementary school and high school received an “exceeding standards” ranking on the Wyoming State Accountability model.

Classroom Instruction That Works, Second Edition: Research Report (2010)

This study updates and extends McREL’s original 1998 research synthesis of effective instructional strategies, providing further clarity on each of the nine strategies and their uses, and generating updated effect estimates using literature published after 1998. The report synthesizes only primary studies, rather than prior meta-analyses, in order to enhance control over the data and provide more accurate effect estimates.

Beesley, A., & Apthorp, H. (Eds.). (2010). Classroom instruction that works, second edition: Research report. Denver, CO: McREL International.

Download the full report.

White Paper | School District Leadership that Works: The Effect of Superintendent Leadership on Student Achievement (2006)

This working paper analyzes the influence of district superintendents on student achievement and the characteristics of effective superintendents. Through a meta-analysis of research findings, the paper identifies five district-level leadership responsibilities that have statistically significant correlations with average student academic achievement. All five of these responsibilities relate to setting and keeping districts focused on teaching and learning goals.

Waters, J.T. & Marzano, R. (2006). School district leadership that works: the effect of superintendent leadership on student achievement. Denver, CO: McREL International.

Download the full report.