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Press Releases

New McREL book helps teachers guide their own professional growth using self-refection protocols

Denver, CO — McREL International is pleased to announce the publication of its latest book, Pursuing Greatness: Empowering Teachers to Take Charge of Their Professional Growth by Pete Hall, Alisa Simeral, and Bryan Goodwin with Bj Stone and Bess Scott.

Pursuing Greatness advances the self-reflective practices that education authors and consultants Hall and Simeral have explored in previous bestsellers including Teach, Reflect, Learn: Building Your Capacity for Success in the Classroom. It identifies two dozen of the most common problems of professional practice that teachers face and organizes them along pathways so that whichever problem a teacher chooses to address first, the destination is a classroom in which students experience more ownership of, and investment in, their learning. Along the way, robust tools and tips for reflective practice support the authors’ contention that the most effective professional development is created by teachers themselves.

“We are thrilled to partner with Pete and Alisa on this project,” said Bryan Goodwin, co-author of the book and CEO of McREL. “They are thought leaders in the area of using self-reflection processes to help educators advance their professional growth. Combining their insights with McREL’s instructional strategy expertise in Pursuing Greatness results in a great resource for teachers everywhere.”

Readers of the book also have access to downloadable materials that will help them identify additional problems of practice—whatever is most pressing to them at this stage in their career—and work through the reflective cycle to pursue mastery over it.

Pursuing Greatness: Empowering Teachers to Take Charge of Their Professional Growth is available now at store.mcrel.org.

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For more information, please contact:

Roger Fiedler, 303.632.5579, rfiedler@mcrel.org

McREL selected to provide capacity building and technical assistance services to seven state departments of education over next five years

October 3, 2019

Denver, Colorado — McREL International today announced it has won competitive bids to become the primary manager of two of the U.S. Department of Education’s 19 Regional Comprehensive Centers located across the U.S. and in U.S. territories and freely associated states. Beginning October 1, 2019, and running through September 2024, McREL will operate the Region 11 center serving Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, and the Region 12 center serving Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri.

Working in partnership with state departments of education, the regional centers provide capacity-building and intensive technical assistance services and help to implement, scale, and sustain evidence-based programs, practices, and interventions that support improved educator and student outcomes.

McREL has managed the North Central Comprehensive Center, serving Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, since 2012. In the new award cycle, this center will be renamed Region 11. McREL’s Joe Simpson will be based in Wyoming and will serve as director of the Region 11 Center.

“In the past, the Comprehensive Centers worked on several initiatives in each state, and an exciting change this time around is that states can identify a single ‘high-leverage problem’ that they need help with and go deep on it, creating opportunities to show significant outcomes to the public,” Simpson said. “In North Dakota we’ll focus on schools that have been targeted for support. In South Dakota we’ll help Indian school communities to build a framework for improvement. In Wyoming, K–3 reading will be the emphasis. And in Nebraska we’ll help educators identify open-source social studies resources that are of high quality and aligned with state standards.”

Dale Lewis, based in McREL’s Denver office, will direct Region 12. The center’s work in Kansas will focus on redesigning schools at all levels to help students develop a broad array of academic and non-academic competencies. In Missouri, the center will help address student underperformance by focusing on strengthening school leadership. The center’s emphasis in Colorado is currently under discussion with that state’s education department.

“These centers help students by providing a way for local educators to connect with national resources and best practices,” Lewis said. “Our role is to help the states turn a great idea into real-world results, and I’m excited to get started.”

In addition to managing Regions 11 and 12, McREL will support the work of organizations managing Region 3 (serving Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Region 18 (the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, and Palau), and Region 19 (American Samoa, Hawai’i, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands) as a subcontracted technical adviser or evaluator.

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For more information, please contact:

Roger Fiedler, 303-632-5579, rfiedler@mcrel.org

Raz-Plus Users Show Higher Achievement and Interest in Reading According to Ed-Tech Evaluation Efficacy Study by McREL

Our partners Learning A–Z have released the following news about an ed-tech evaluation efficacy study McREL performed on their reading program Raz-Plus®. With our background in research on student achievement, McREL is now a leading evaluation provider to the ed-tech industry.


Students Whose Teachers Use Raz-Plus Blended Learning Platform Show Higher Achievement and Interest in Reading According to Efficacy Study by McREL International

DALLAS. Jan. 29, 2019—As elementary schools look for effective ways to develop students’ reading skills, findings from a new efficacy study by McREL International suggest that Raz-Plus is an effective supplemental resource to improve elementary students’ reading achievement and interest within high poverty and high racial/ethnic minority schools.

The McREL study, which was conducted in the spring of 2018, involved 662 students from 39 classrooms in three rural elementary schools in the southeast United States. All three schools serve predominantly low-income, minority student populations. Teachers used Raz-Plus, a blended learning platform for K-5 reading from Learning A-Z , as a supplemental resource three to five times per week for a total of 60 to 90 minutes per week, on average.

Pre- and post-assessments show statistically significant differences between the treatment and control groups in this randomized controlled trial. Students whose teachers used Raz-Plus had higher reading achievement scores than students in the control group, as measured by the STAR assessment. In addition, students whose teachers used Raz-Plus showed a higher level of interest in both academic and recreational reading than students in the control group, as measured by the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (ERAS).

“Building a strong connection between reading instruction and practice is key to improving student outcomes. It’s also important to provide an engaging environment that makes reading practice rewarding and keeps students motivated to read,” said Patrick Marcotte, president of Learning A-Z. “The McREL study findings support what teachers tell us they see in their classrooms each day—that Raz-Plus is making a positive difference in reading outcomes and helping students develop a love of reading.”

Raz-Plus provides effective teacher-led instruction, developmentally appropriate reading practice, formative assessment, and data-driven reporting to improve the reading skills of every student, at every level. It combines teacher-led whole-class and small-group instruction with technology-enabled resources for personalized reading practice. All resources are accessible online and available in printable, projectable, and digital formats to strengthen the connection between what is being taught and what students independently practice.

For a free trial or to learn more about Raz-Plus, visit https://www.raz-plus.com.

About McREL International

McREL is a non-profit, non-partisan education research and development organization that since 1966 has turned knowledge about what works in education into practical, effective guidance and training for teachers and education leaders across the U.S. and around the world. For information, visit www.mcrel.org.

About Learning A–Z

Learning A-Z is a literacy-focused PreK-6 educational provider of technology-enabled learning solutions. Our products blend traditional teacher-led instruction with robust online resources to make teaching more effective and efficient, practice more accessible and personalized, assessment more strategic and automated, and learning more informed and proactive. Our suite of products includes: Raz-Plus, Reading A-Z, Raz-Kids, Headsprout, Science A-Z, Writing A-Z, and Vocabulary A-Z. Learning A-Z products are used by more than 7 million students in more than 170 countries. Learning A-Z is a business unit of Cambium Learning® Group, Inc.

For more information, please visit www.learninga-z.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Cambium Learning Group, Inc.

Cambium Learning Group is an award-winning educational technology solutions leader dedicated to helping all students reach their potential through individualized and differentiated instruction. Using a research-based, personalized approach, Cambium Learning Group delivers SaaS resources and instructional products that engage students and support teachers in fun, positive, safe and scalable environments. These solutions are provided through Learning A-Z (online differentiated instruction for elementary school reading, writing and science), ExploreLearning (online interactive math and science simulations and a math fact fluency solution), Voyager Sopris Learning (blended solutions that accelerate struggling learners to achieve in literacy and math and professional development for teachers), and VKidz Learning (online comprehensive homeschool education and programs for literacy and science). We believe that every student has unlimited potential, that teachers matter, and that data, instruction, and practice are the keys to success in the classroom and beyond.

Come learn with us at www.cambiumlearning.com.

 

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READ THE ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE

GG4L and McREL Launch Safer Schools in America $25M Impact Grant

SAN FRANCISCONov. 27, 2018 — Global Grid for Learning (GG4L) and McREL International are pleased to announce the open application period for the Safer Schools in America Impact Grant with a total in-kind value of over $25 million over three years.

Starting today, GG4L Member U.S. districts may nominate up to three schools each to qualify for grants that fund several pre-integrated innovative solutions from more than 25 global EdTech providers to be deployed and measured at no cost to the schools for a minimum of three years each. Any U.S. school or school district could be a GG4L member at no cost and apply for the Grant Application. 100 U.S. schools will be selected for the initial phase of the Grant by January 30, 2019, with 400 additional schools to be selected in later phases in 2019.

Aligned to the U.S. national ESSA-Title IV Part A, Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) framework for school safety, the Safer Schools in America Impact Grant will capture data-driven validation research around the expansive range of activities needed to foster safer school environments, including emotional, physical and digital safety, emergency preparedness, school facilities, culture, and community engagement.

“Parents, students, teachers and administrators expect schools to be safe, secure, and supportive for teaching and learning, but little research has been done to date to measure the effectiveness of the solutions that we purchase to address safety and well-being,” explains Dr. Sandra Elliott, Chief Academic Officer at GG4L. Bryan Goodwin, CEO of McREL comments, “We hope that by joining this partnership, McREL can contribute to building a better evidence base that helps educators and parents make informed decisions about which approaches will work best for their students and schools.”

This Impact Grant is made possible through generous sponsorships from corporations and philanthropy. For more information on the list of sponsors and participating GG4L Members please visit the GG4L website at https://gg4l.com/impact/safer-schools/

About Global Grid for Learning (GG4L)

Embracing the belief that our nation’s education system impacts our future, GG4L is building innovative public and private partnerships mindfully structured to harness the power of data to solve big school challenges such as school safety, literacy, college and career readiness and student wellness. With privacy and security top of mind, GG4L’s 3-way partnership between schools, industry and philanthropy, actively champions continuous cycles of improvement informed by data. By facilitating affordable access to proven solutions and efficacy data, GG4L fuels rapid innovation in education. As a membership-based Public Benefit Corporation, GG4L is committed to voluntarily meeting higher standards of corporate purpose, accountability and transparency.

About McREL International

McREL is a non-profit education research and development organization that turns knowledge about what works in education into practical, effective guidance for educators across the U.S. and around the world. Schools and school systems turn to McREL for high-quality research and evaluation, professional development and coaching, and strategic planning and implementation support for improvement and innovation projects.

For more information please visit https://gg4l.com or contact GG4L at 205599@email4pr.com.

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Related Links

https://gg4l.com

Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works wins Learning Magazine 2019 Teachers’ Choice Award for Professional Development

November 15, 2018

Denver, Colorado – Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works, co-published by McREL International and Thoughtful Education Press, has earned a Learning® Magazine 2019 Teachers’ Choice AwardSM for Professional Development.

Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works gives teachers 51 ready-to-use instructional techniques to help their students develop deeper understanding and broader application of what they are learning.

Published in January 2018, the book combines McREL’s well-known research and analysis on the most effective instructional strategies with Thoughtful Education Press’s award-winning Tools for Today’s Educators resources. Co-written by former teacher and McREL instructional trainer Cheryl Abla along with Dr. Harvey Silver and his colleagues from Thoughtful Education Press, Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works provides teachers with a brief synopsis of key research and the benefits of each tool, along with simple step-by-step instructions, classroom examples, reproducible handouts, and tips from real teachers who have used the tool with their students.

The Teachers’ Choice Award winners are selected after review by a panel of practicing educators who test the products in their classrooms.

“As a 25-year veteran teacher, I loved that this [book] provides practical, not theoretical, techniques that can be used right away in the classroom,” said one of the reviewers. “The book makes it really easy to find tools to fit your grade level, content area and student needs.”

Silver, a leading education expert who has been helping schools improve instruction for more than 40 years, says two things distinguish this book from other texts about instruction. “First is the research base. McREL’s Classroom Instruction That Works research is the gold standard for a reason. It reshaped the entire field, and we are proud that this research anchors our book. The second difference maker is the book’s practicality. The tools are so classroom-friendly that teachers can use them tomorrow. These tools really are the simplest and most effective way to make research-based instruction an everyday reality in any classroom.”

Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works is available at https://store.mcrel.org and https://toolsforclassroominstructionthatworks.com .

Praise from education professionals for Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works

“Harvey Silver and colleagues have made a great framework even better.” – Robert J. Marzano, co-founder and Chief Academic Officer, Marzano Research

“This book is packed with powerful, easy-to-use tools. Anyone who wants to improve teaching—teacher, coach, administrator, anyone—will find it incredibly useful.” – Jim Knight, author of The Impact Cycle and Better Conversations

“This book is an ideal resource for meeting the growing call for ‘best first instruction.’ It is strongly aligned to the Classroom Instruction That Works research base, and it provides high-impact tools that help educators turn the research into powerful classroom practice.” – Bj Stone, co-author, Classroom Instruction That Works (Second Edition)

“As a principal of an elementary school I am constantly looking for resources for my teachers. So often the resources I find are filled with ‘what’ teachers should be doing with little support on the ‘how.’ This book was designed for busy teachers that need a ‘how’ they can use the next day. It provides great tools backed by solid research that will benefit new and veteran educators alike.” – Kellie Roe, Principal, Clear Sky Elementary, Colorado

“This book of practical tools meets teachers at the crossroads of easy, effective, and exhilarating. All educators will benefit from incorporating these tried-and-true tools into their repertoires.” – Nicholas DiSanto, Instructional Lead, Affinity Field Support Center, New York

About McREL International

McREL is a non-profit education research and development organization that turns knowledge about what works in education into practical, effective guidance for educators across the U.S. and around the world. Schools and school systems turn to McREL for high-quality research and evaluation, professional development and coaching, and strategic planning and implementation support for improvement and innovation projects.

About Thoughtful Education Press

Thoughtful Education Press is the publishing division of Silver Strong & Associates, an educational consulting and publishing company that provides custom professional development and practical resources to schools and districts throughout the country. Through its own channels and strategic partnerships with schools, districts, and leading national publishers, Thoughtful Education Press produces a range of resources for educators on a variety of topics—including award-winning books, professional learning guides, customized workshop designs, and classroom posters.

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New McREL Book Highlights Power of Curiosity in School, Work, and Life

September 19, 2018

Denver, Colorado — McREL International, a global leader in education research and professional development, today announced the publication of Out of Curiosity: Restoring the Power of Hungry Minds for Better Schools, Workplaces, and Lives, by Bryan Goodwin, the company’s president and CEO.

Drawing from research and reporting in education, management, and the social sciences, Goodwin constructs a compelling case that curiosity is the key to success in school, at work, in relationships, and our civic lives. Readers of Out of Curiosity will learn how to:

  • Inspire innovative teaching and learning.
  • Spark more meaningful conversations and relationships.
  • Avert calamitous boardroom decisions.
  • Generate high levels of personal happiness.
  • Regain civility in our civic and political worlds.

“We’re all born with curiosity; it’s an innate human characteristic. But, starting in childhood and accelerating through adulthood, far too many of us let our curiosity lapse,” said Goodwin. “The good news is, there are things we can do to reawaken our curiosity, to stir up our interest in learning something new about ourselves and the world around us.”

Out of Curiosity is inspired by and builds upon McREL’s Curiosity Works™ resources that support curiosity among teachers, leaders, and learners at every level of learning.

Print and e-book versions of Out of Curiosity are available from McREL (store.mcrel.org) for $18.95.

Praise from advance readers

“Goodwin’s masterful melding of research, real-life experiences, and thought-provoking questions left me committed to putting curiosity at the forefront of how I learn, lead, and live.” – Fred Ende, assistant director of curriculum for PNW BOCES and author of Professional Development That Sticks.

“With heavy doses of wit, research, and real-talk, Out of Curiosity explores a rather obvious—but often untrodden—path to improvement: in work, in school, in relationships, and even politics. This is a book I couldn’t put down, and I’ll read it again and again!” – Pete Hall, president, Strive Success Solutions

“A thoughtful analysis of why curiosity is a missing element in so many lessons, with specific suggestions on how the best teachers tap students’ innate desire to explore the unknown” – Kim Marshall, The Marshall Memo

“Bryan reminds us that wonder and curiosity are natural forces in all of us that need to be rekindled in our schools if we are to make learning engaging and meaningful.” – Harvey Silver, education coach and consultant, co-founder of Silver Strong & Associates, and co-author of The Core Six, The Strategic Teacher, and Tools for a Successful School Year

About McREL

McREL is a non-profit, non-partisan education research and development organization that since 1966 has turned knowledge about what works in education into practical, effective guidance and training for teachers and education leaders across the U.S. and around the world.

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For more information, please contact:

Roger Fiedler, marketing director, 303-632-5579, rfiedler@mcrel.org

McREL and CTAC call for strategies that focus on, and honor, educators’ career-long professional development

August 29, 2018

The chief executives of McREL International and the Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC) have collaboratively published a white paper, “Improving Teacher Practice: Debunking the Myth of Conventional Wisdom,” that urges schools and districts to think systemically about development of teacher talent in order to make bigger difference in student outcomes.

The paper’s authors, McREL CEO Bryan Goodwin and CTAC Founder and Executive Director Bill Slotnik, call out a widespread but, according to recent research, inaccurate belief that new teachers’ expertise and talent is mostly innate, and generally peaks and plateaus within their first few years of teaching. The authors present an alternative, evidence-based viewpoint that most teachers do continue to get better throughout the course of their careers.

“Many districts and schools indicate their need to reset their approach to developing the talent of teachers,” said Slotnik. “By combining reimagined hiring protocols, modeling, peer coaching, and self-directed learning, teachers as well as schools will improve performance trajectories and increase impact.”

To support teachers’ continued growth, the authors recommend fundamental changes in the way schools and districts recruit, hire, train, evaluate, and support teachers over their entire careers. They show how to create a growth-oriented human capital management system that connects and aligns a school district’s personnel, professional development, and instructional practices.

“Smart companies in every industry know that employee talent needs to be developed over entire careers, even if they’re hiring the best and the brightest to begin with,” said Goodwin. “In education, professional learning should be approached as an embedded, lifelong, mutually beneficial partnership between school districts and teachers.”

The paper is freely available on each organization’s website (www.mcrel.org and www.ctacusa.com).

In addition to publishing this paper, McREL and CTAC are launching a talent development consortium to assist districts that seek to improve and innovate their human capital management policies, procedures, and practices.

About McREL International

Headquartered in Denver, McREL is a non-profit education research-and-development organization that conducts research and evaluation and analyzes best practices in teaching and school leadership, and transforms that knowledge into strategic guidance, training, and resources for educators.

About CTAC

Headquartered in Boston, CTAC is a non-profit organization that provides technical assistance, research and evaluation, and public policy consulting at local, state, and national levels to achieve significant, long-term improvements in student achievement, teacher effectiveness, and organizational capacity.

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For more information: 
Natalie Nier, CTAC communications manager, 617.423.1444, nnier@ctacuse.com
Roger Fiedler, McREL marketing director, 303.632.5579, rfiedler@mcrel.org

Discovery Education’s Spotlight on Strategies Content Now Aligned to McREL International’s Six-Phase Model for Learning

May 29, 2018

*The following is a press release from Discovery Education, regarding a partnership project with McREL.

Silver Spring, Md. (May 29, 2018)Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today announced it has aligned its popular Spotlight on Strategies content to McREL International’s six-phase model for learning.  The alignment of this popular series of digital professional learning resources to McREL’s model helps educators quickly chose the appropriate classroom tactics for aiding the acquisition and recall of information. McREL International is a non-profit, non-partisan education research and development organization that since 1966 has turned knowledge about what works in education into practical, effective guidance and training for teachers and education leaders across the U.S. and around the world.

Available in all Discovery Education Techbooks and Streaming services, the Spotlight on Strategies or SOS series offers creative, research-based instructional videos and supporting materials developed for teachers, by teachers. An example of an SOS can be found in a short video about the A-E-I-O-U strategy, through which students interpret information from images or videos they have viewed, write down their thoughts next to five descriptive categories, then pair-share their favorite parts.  This strategy provides scaffolding that helps students look for and remember key ideas about the information presented in the video segment and provides a conversation structure for debriefing with classmates and reporting out.

Another SOS example is the Table Top Texting strategy, which engages students in content by encouraging them to reflect and respond to videos or images they are presented by creating a written dialogue with their neighbor in the form of a “text thread.”  In this way, students connect to digital content in a way they communicate on a daily basis as they are encouraged to think and respond on a higher level.

McREL’s six-phase model was recently outlined in a McREL whitepaper entitled Student Learning that Works, and consists of:

  1. Become interested in learning,
  2. Committing to learning,
  3. Engaging in learning,
  4. Making sense of learning,
  5. Practicing new learning, and
  6. Applying learning and finding meaning.

Thanks to Discovery Education’s alignment of the over 130 SOS videos and their accompanying support materials to these six phases, educators can now quickly and easily find SOS strategies that support students’ needs no matter where they are on McREL’s model for learning.

“The SOS videos are one of the most useful professional learning resources available to teachers today,” said Susan Bowdoin, a Library Media Specialist in New Mexico’s Albuquerque Public Schools.  “The alignment of the SOS resources to McREL’s six-phase learning model is an incredibly valuable timesaver, as it allows me quickly cross-reference what phase of learning students are in and then choose a strategy that will help them progress to the next level.”

The SOS initiative grew out of the Discovery Education Community. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members in school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing and inspiration.

“Just as McREL is dedicated to helping educators flourish by turning research into solutions, Discovery Education seeks to empower educators worldwide with the content and professional learning they need to accelerate student achievement,” said Jannita Demian, Senior Director, Learning Communities and Instructional Content. “By aligning McREL’s research on learning to Discovery Education’s content, we’ve created an innovative tool educators can use to support the success of all their students.”

For more information about Discovery Education’s services and the Spotlight on Strategies videos, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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About Discovery Education
As the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12 classrooms worldwide, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional learning, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries around the globe. Inspired by the global media company Discovery Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Explore the future of education at DiscoveryEducation.com.

New Book in Award-Winning Series for Teachers Provides 50+ Tools for Great Classroom Instruction and Student Learning

January 16, 2018

Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works, co-published today by McREL International and Thoughtful Education Press, contains more than 50 classroom-ready teaching tools aligned with McREL’s extensive research and analysis of the most effective K–12 instructional strategies.

The new book provides a repertoire of practical techniques teachers can use year-round to support high levels of student learning. The book builds on McREL’s groundbreaking Classroom Instruction That Works research base and best-selling publications, which revealed nine categories of instructional strategies that have the strongest impacts on student achievement.

“McREL’s Classroom Instruction That Works is the gold standard of education research,” said Dr. Harvey Silver, co-author of the new book and co-founder of Thoughtful Education Press, a division of Silver Strong & Associates. “With this new book of tools developed in partnership with McREL, we’re now providing the ‘how’ for putting the power of this research to work in our classrooms.”

Thoughtful Education Press produces the award-winning Tools for Today’s Educators™ book series, including the best-sellers Tools for a Successful School Year and Tools for Thoughtful Assessment. Each Tools book provides educators with a set of classroom-ready tools along with tips for successful implementation.

“For many years, Harvey Silver and his team have developed an amazing set of tools that teachers can take and apply right away in their classrooms to accelerate learning,” said Bryan Goodwin, CEO of McREL International. “By linking our research to these tools, we’re building on 50-plus years of tradition at McREL, translating research into practical solutions for educators that help students flourish”

Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works can be purchased at https://store.mcrel.org and http://toolsfortodayseducators.com.

What education professionals are saying about Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works:

“Harvey Silver and colleagues have made a great framework even better.”
–Robert J. Marzano, co-founder and Chief Academic Officer, Marzano Research

“This book is packed with powerful, easy-to-use tools. Anyone who wants to improve teaching—teacher, coach, administrator, anyone—will find it incredibly useful.”
–Jim Knight, author of The Impact Cycle and Better Conversations 

“This book is an ideal resource for meeting the growing call for ‘best first instruction.’ It is strongly aligned to the Classroom Instruction That Works research base, and it provides high-impact tools that help educators turn the research into powerful classroom practice.”
–Bj Stone, co-author, Classroom Instruction That Works (Second Edition)

“As a principal of an elementary school I am constantly looking for resources for my teachers. So often the resources I find are filled with ‘what’ teachers should be doing with little support on the ‘how.’ This book was designed for busy teachers that need a ‘how’ they can use the next day. It provides great tools backed by solid research that will benefit new and veteran educators alike. I can’t wait to get this resource in the hands of my teachers!”
–Kellie Roe, Principal, Clear Sky Elementary, Colorado

“This book of practical tools meets teachers at the crossroads of easy, effective, and exhilarating. Thoughtful Classroom tools are always one of my go-to’s for planning professional learning. All educators will benefit from incorporating these tried-and-true tools into their repertoires.”
–Nicholas DiSanto, Instructional Lead, Affinity Field Support Center, New York

About McREL International

McREL is a non-profit, non-partisan education research and development organization that turns knowledge about what works in education into practical, effective guidance for educators across the U.S. and around the world. Schools and school systems turn to McREL for high-quality research and evaluation, professional development and coaching, and strategic planning and implementation support for improvement and innovation projects.

About Thoughtful Education Press

Thoughtful Education Press is the publishing division of Silver Strong & Associates, an educational consulting and publishing company that provides custom professional development and practical resources to schools and districts throughout the country. Through its own channels and strategic partnerships with leading national publishers, Thoughtful Education Press produces a range of resources for educators on a variety of topics—including award-winning books, professional learning guides, customized workshop designs, and online assessments.

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McREL study finds link between school climate and literacy achievement

October 3, 2016

A study taking a closer look at the relationship between staff survey results and student performance at elementary schools across the state of Victoria, Australia, found a statistically significant link between school climate and achievement in literacy at the 5th grade level.

The predictive validity study, conducted by McREL researcher Tedra Clark and Roger Goddard of Ohio State University, focused on the effects on student achievement of five vital areas of school functioning: school climate; school leadership; professional learning; staff safety and well-being; and teaching and learning.

Teachers at 82 elementary and secondary schools across Victoria were asked about these five areas on a school staff opinion survey that McREL developed for the state’s Department of Education and Training. Further investigation showed that, though all five areas were highly interrelated and positively connected to student outcomes in literacy and numeracy, the most significant finding was that staff perceptions of school climate were predictive of 5th grade literacy achievement.

Using various statistical models, the researchers were able to “unpack” this relationship and found that the link occurs on a mediated path: Strong leadership at the school level led to better teacher collaboration and academic optimism, which led to literacy achievement. In other words, school leadership predicts student literacy scores through greater teacher collaboration and academic optimism.

This connection explained over 75 percent of the school-to-school variance in literacy achievement, said Clark. “This model is not only statistically strong,” she said, “but also holds up in different contexts and with different student populations.”

According to McREL Chief Program Officer Robin Jarvis, these findings also support the value of using multiple measures, such as climate surveys, not only to understand the factors affecting student achievement but also “to measure changes in those leading achievement indicators in order to intervene, when necessary, to ultimately improve student achievement.”

For more information on the school climate survey and results analysis, please visit www.mcrel.org/success-stories.

About McREL International

McREL is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that helps educators flourish by turning research into solutions that transform teaching, learning, and leading. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado and with regional offices in Honolulu, Hawaii and Charleston, West Virginia, McREL provides research, evaluation, consulting, and training services to school districts, education agencies, and higher education institutions across the U.S. and around the world. Learn more at www.mcrel.org.

Contact: Roger Fiedler, sr. director of communications and marketing, 303.632.5579 or rfiedler@mcrel.org.