Bibliography: Climate Strategies

Mochizuki, Yoko; Bryan, Audrey (2015). Climate Change Education in the Context of Education for Sustainable Development: Rationale and Principles, Journal of Education for Sustainable Development. Although the role of education in addressing the challenges of climate change is increasingly recognized, the education sector remains underutilized as a strategic resource to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Education stakeholders in many countries have yet to develop a coherent framework for climate change education (CCE). This article underscores the critical role that education can and should play in addressing and responding to climate change in all of its complexity. It provides rationales as to why CCE should be addressed in the context of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Advancing CCE in the context of ESD, or Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development (CCESD), requires enhancement of learners' understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change and their readiness to take actions to address it. The article presents key organizing principles of CCESD and outlines key knowledge, skills, attitudes, dispositions and competences to be fostered through it. [More] Descriptors: Climate, Sustainable Development, Educational Principles, Role of Education

Karpudewan, Mageswary; Roth, Wolff-Michael; Bin Abdullah, Mohd Nor Syahrir (2015). Enhancing Primary School Students' Knowledge about Global Warming and Environmental Attitude Using Climate Change Activities, International Journal of Science Education. Climate change generally and global warming specifically have become a common feature of the daily news. Due to widespread recognition of the adverse consequences of climate change on human lives, concerted societal effort has been taken to address it (e.g. by means of the science curriculum). This study was designed to test the effect that child-centred, 5E learning cycle-based climate change activities would have over more traditional teacher-centred activities on Malaysian Year 5 primary students (11 years). A quasi-experimental design involving a treatment (n?=?55) and a group representing typical teaching method (n?=?60) was used to measure the effectiveness of these activities on (a) increasing children's knowledge about global warming; (b) changing their attitudes to be more favourable towards the environment and (c) identify the relationship between knowledge and attitude that exist in this study. Statistically significant differences in favour of the treatment group were detected for both knowledge and environmental attitudes. Non-significant relationship was identified between knowledge and attitude in this study. Interviews with randomly selected students from treatment and comparison groups further underscore these findings. Implications are discussed. [More] Descriptors: Elementary School Students, Knowledge Level, Climate, Global Approach

Cardichon, Jessica; Roc, Martens (2013). Climate Change: Providing Equitable Access to a Rigorous and Engaging Curriculum, Alliance for Excellent Education. This report examines how implementing rigorous and engaging curriculum aligned with college- and career-ready standards fosters positive school climates in which students are motivated to succeed, achievement gaps narrow, and learning and outcomes improve. It includes federal, state, and local recommendations for increasing access to high-quality, high-standards curriculum for all students and is the third in the Alliance's series on school climate. [Contains endnotes.] [For "Climate Change Series: Federal, State, and Local Policy Recommendations for Creating a Positive School Climate," see ED557933.] [More] Descriptors: Climate, Environmental Education, Access to Education, Curriculum Development

Cardichon, Jessica; Roc, Martens (2013). Climate Change: Implementing School Discipline Practices That Create a Positive School Climate, Alliance for Excellent Education. Middle and high school students subjected to harsh school discipline policies and practices such as suspensions and expulsions are more likely to disengage from the classroom and course work, and increases their chances of dropping out, according to this new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education. The report recommends implementing measures that address discipline in fair and equitable ways so that schools and districts can improve school climate and ensure that all students graduate from high school ready for college and a career. [Contains endnotes. For "Climate Change Series: Federal, State, and Local Policy Recommendations for Creating a Positive School Climate," see ED557933.] [More] Descriptors: College Readiness, Career Readiness, School Culture, Outreach Programs

Matthewman, Sasha (2014). Clearing the Ground for a Greener New Zealand English, English Teaching: Practice and Critique. In the context of public and policy concerns about human induced climate change, it is striking that dominant models and histories of English teaching marginalise the environmental significance of English as a school subject (Matthewman, 2010). This is in spite of a growing body of ecocritical work within English and cultural studies which has explored the relationship between cultural texts and environmental thinking (Buell, 2005; Clark, 2011; Garrard, 2012; Glotfelty, 1996; Kerridge & Sammells, 1998). This article explores the potential for teachers in New Zealand to clear the ground for a "greener" version of English. This could be facilitated by a number of features which are unique to the New Zealand context. These include the powerful (though contested) imagery of New Zealand's environmental purity; the historical relationships of New Zealanders to the land; the integration of Maori environmental values into educational policy; the relative openness of the national curriculum in New Zealand; the absence of a dominant canon and tradition of English teaching; and the recent turn towards New Zealand literature (with its strong emphasis on links to the land) in literary choices for study. The article will examine traditions of English in New Zealand against the social, cultural and environmental factors which offer the potential for ecocritical versions of English to emerge within new models of teachers' professional practice. [More] Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Educational Change, Change Strategies, English Instruction

Oyugi, Jacob L. (2015). Rational and Challenges of Competency-Based Education and Training: The "Wickedness" of the Problem, Journal of Education and Practice. Our students will continue to be confronted with many environment and sustainability issues during their lifetimes because they are unpredictable, serious and complex by nature. These issues challenge not just our technologies but our universities and educational institutions, values and way of living and interaction. Competency-based education and green skills for work and life in post-2015 Africa will involve dealing with very complex problems. These problems go beyond the capacity of any one organization to understand and respond to, and there is often disagreement about the causes of the problems and the best way to tackle them. These problems are called "wicked" problems. These wicked problems quite often have become policy issues. There are numerous examples of wicked policy issues such as climate change, environment degradation, and sustainable development. Usually, part of the solution to wicked problems involve changing the behaviour of groups of citizens or all citizens. Other key ingredients in solving or at least managing complex problems include successfully working across both internal and external organizational boundaries and engaging citizens and stakeholders in policy making and implementation. Wicked problem require innovative, comprehensive solutions that can be modified in the light of experience and on-the-ground feedback. All the above can pose challenges to competency-based education approaches and their implementation. This discussion paper explores the characteristics of wicked problems and challenges they pose for competency-based education approaches. Although developing effective ways to tackle wicked problems is an evolving art, this paper contributes by identifying some of the rationale that seem to be required. The first part of this paper introduces the concepts of competency-based education and the wicked problems. The second part of the paper discusses the characteristics/challenges of wicked problems in the context of competency-based education. The third part suggests possible strategies/rationale for taming wicked problems. The last part draws conclusions and finally proposes the way forward. [More] Descriptors: Competency Based Education, Problem Solving, Climate, Sustainable Development

Skerratt, Sarah (2013). Enhancing the Analysis of Rural Community Resilience: Evidence from Community land Ownership, Journal of Rural Studies. Resilience, and specifically the resilience of (rural) communities, is an increasingly-ubiquitous concept, particularly in the contexts of resistance to shocks, climate change, and environmental disasters. The dominant discourse concerning (community) resilience centres around bounce-back from external shocks. In this paper, I argue that it is necessary to query this dominant, singular conceptualisation for two main reasons. Firstly, through reviewing the international literature, it is possible to construct a spectrum of (community) resilience research concepts from "reactive bounce-back" through to "proactive human agency", where the latter increasingly questions the reactive stance of much community resilience analysis. Secondly, the new findings I present from 17 community land trusts (CLTs) in Scotland demonstrate processes of proactive change being implemented by communities-of-place, rather than simply as reactions to external shocks or events. Communities' aimed-for outcomes are far wider than shock-absorption, and include deliberately building their skills and capacity-base in a context of constant change, rather than in anticipation of singular events. As a result of bringing together empirical findings with a wider review of the resilience literature, I conclude that to persist with only the dominant narrative of a reactive, shock-related definition of (community) resilience unnecessarily constrains our analysis, since it bypasses evident proactive processes and wider adaptability outcomes. I further conclude that we need to continue to problematise resilience as a concept, in order to be more accurate with its usage. This is important in itself, and, I argue, a necessary precursor to enhancing dialogue between resilience and other concepts such as social capital. [More] Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Climate, Social Capital, Resilience (Psychology)

Smith, Robert Elijah (2013). Insecure Commitment and Resistance: An Examination of Change Leadership, Self-Efficacy, and Trust on the Relationship between Job Insecurity, Employee Commitment, and Resistance to Organizational Change, ProQuest LLC. This study was designed to examine the mediation role of self-efficacy and the moderating roles of change leadership strategy and trust on the change attitudes of job insecure employees. Using job insecurity theory (Greenhalgh, 1983), Chin & Benne's (1961) seminal classification of change leadership strategies and the tripartite model of attitudes (Breckler, 1984; McDougal, 1909) as a theoretical basis, data were collected from two samples of employees including a manufacturing firm (n = 275) and a retail company (n = 350). The samples and study hypotheses were analyzed using hierarchical multiple regression analysis. As predicted, job insecurity was directly positively related to affective, behavioral, and cognitive resistance to change and self-efficacy partially or fully mediated the relationships. Mixed results were found for the role of trust as well as information and participation-based change leadership strategies in moderating employee resistance to change. In some cases perceived information-based and participation change leadership approaches were associated with increased resistance rather than decreased resistance to change. Power-based change leadership strategies however were found to be consistently associated with more pessimistic employee attitudes. Results support previous findings showing that individuals who believe they will be negatively impacted by organizational change are particularly sensitive to change leadership approaches. The results also suggest that commonly prescribed change leadership strategies such as increased information, communication, and participation during periods of heightened job insecurity may not always be effective in reducing resistance to change but efforts to increase employee self-efficacy may support the coping mechanism employees use to reduce resistance to change attitudes in organizational change climates with moderate levels of job insecurity. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: [More] Descriptors: Multiple Regression Analysis, Job Security, Self Efficacy, Correlation

O'Donnell, Kate; Swanson, Jessica (2016). Trade-Offs at Ella Baker Public Charter School, Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership. This case was written for educational leadership courses, especially ones focused on organizational change. The case explores a principal's first year at school where the student achievement and school climate were not meeting the school's lofty mission. Readers of the case should consider the steps and perspectives taken by the principal during her first year. [More] Descriptors: Charter Schools, Organizational Change, Case Studies, Principals

Ferráns, Silvia Diazgranados; Selman, Robert L. (2014). How Students' Perceptions of the School Climate Influence Their Choice to Upstand, Bystand, or Join Perpetrators of Bullying, Harvard Educational Review. The authors of this article, Silvia Diazgranados Ferráns and Robert Selman, use an emergent framework to explore how the rules of the school culture at different perceived school climates affect early adolescents' decisions to upstand, bystand, or join the perpetrators when they witness peer aggression and bullying. Through a grounded theory approach, they revisit interview data from twenty-three eighth graders in four middle schools, with the aim of building on previous research and refining their theoretical framework to guide future research on bullying. The authors identify four school-level indicators that are salient in students' perceptions of their school climate–safety, order, care, and empowerment–and examine how these indicators combine to configure three types of perceived school climates–negligent, authoritarian, and cohesive. They explore how these perceived school climates influence adolescents' choice of strategy when they witness bullying in school and document a set of student recommendations about what schools can do to prevent bullying. [More] Descriptors: Student Attitudes, Educational Environment, Influences, Attitude Change

Griffin, Kimberly A.; Muniz, Marcela; Smith, Edward J. (2016). Graduate Diversity Officers and Efforts to Retain Students of Color, Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice. This qualitative study explores how 14 institutional agents (graduate diversity officers or GDOs) work towards improving retention for graduate students of Color. Consistent with Lovitt's framework of graduate student retention, findings reveal GDOs implement diverse strategies that promote opportunities for academic integration, social integration, and the development of cognitive maps. GDOs' effectiveness was challenged by limited financial and institutional support, as well as the campus and departmental climate, limiting efforts to promote academic integration. [More] Descriptors: School Holding Power, Academic Persistence, Student Personnel Services, Qualitative Research

Borsuk, Alan J. (2015). Wisconsin High Schools Learn from New PISA Test: International Comparison Drives Efforts to Improve, Education Next. This article explores Kettle Moraine High School's experience of participating in the PISA-based test, known in the U.S. as the OECD Test for Schools. The high school is located on the western edge of Milwaukee. Starting with a trial run in 2012 that involved more than 100 U.S. schools, the OECD Test for Schools has been offered to individual American schools in an effort to provide local school administrators with an international benchmark. School-¬≠level results can be compared to those obtained by economies that administer the PISA. The percentage of Kettle Moraine students rated as proficient or advanced in reading and math on Wisconsin's standardized tests has been consistently above the state average in recent years. The local school board did not want to settle for being unduly content, so they set a goal of having graduates meet "international expections," which resulted in their participation in the OECD test. The results of the test taken in 2014 showed that Kettle Moraine High looked good, but not that good compared to global high performers. Kettle Moraine educators met before the beginning of the 2014-15 school year to review the previous year's test data and students' answers to school climate questions posed by the test. Changes were implemented, and Kettle Moraine participated in the OECD Test for Schools a second time in February 2015. When the results from the second year's tests arrived in May, there were encouraging signs. The scale score for Kettle Moraine High School students was particularly improved in reading, with 9 percent scoring in level five, the second-¬≠highest level. The science score also rose, but the math scores were unchanged; 9 percent of students scored in level five in science, and 15 percent scored in levels five or six in math. Patricia Deklotz, superintendent of the Kettle Moraine School District, appreciates the perspective the test provides on how Kettle Moraine students are doing–measured against the world–plus the insight into what school leaders otherwise would not know about their students, including how the students see their school experience. [More] Descriptors: High Schools, Comparative Testing, Comparative Education, Comparative Analysis

Jaekel, Kathryn S. (2015). Recommendations from the Field: Creating an LGBTQ Learning Community, Learning Communities: Research & Practice. This article details the creation of a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) learning community. Created because of research that indicates chilly campus climates (Rankin, 2005), as well as particular needs of LGBTQ students in the classroom, this learning community focused upon LGBTQ topics in and out of the classroom. While overall the learning community was successful, recommendations of increasing partnerships with other campus offices is detailed. In addition, critical questions of reframing learning communities as being essential for identity are outlined. [More] Descriptors: Homosexuality, Communities of Practice, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Sexual Identity

López-Yáñez, Julián; Altopiedi, Mariana (2015). Evolution and Social Dynamics of Acknowledged Research Groups, Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education Research. Changes in higher education institutions characteristic of a knowledge society are strongly affecting academic life, scientists' working conditions and the social dynamics of scientific groups. In such situations, it is important to understand the different ways in which these groups are tackling the structural dilemmas posed by the changes affecting academic and scientific cultures. To this end, a research project on Andalusian acknowledged research groups was developed whose findings are discussed here. The project emphasised the importance of the groups' social dynamics, particularly their patterns of relationships, organizational culture, leadership configurations and social climate. The paper pays particular attention to the four cases studied in the second, qualitative, stage of the inquiry, whose disciplinary fields included ecology, fluids engineering, archaeology and neuropsychology. A conceptualisation of the main stages experienced by the groups in their evolutionary process is offered. Next, the main problems and dilemmas faced by the groups at each stage and the ways in which they confront them are depicted. In conclusion, some suggestions are provided as to how higher education institutions and administrations could successfully support the development of scientific research groups. [More] Descriptors: Scientific Research, Teamwork, Group Dynamics, Social Psychology

Hayes, Matthew (2013). The Impact of Effective Scheduling on the Climate and Culture in a Large Comprehensive High School, ProQuest LLC. Scheduling in any school or organization plays a vital role in the effectiveness that stakeholders' needs are met. The administration at a large comprehensive high school in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School District realized that in order for their school to meet the changing needs of its student body, it had to build a culture and climate that created opportunities for all stakeholders in the organizations to be successful. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to determine the level of impact an effective schedule has on the climate and culture of a large comprehensive high school. The comprehensive high school that was used in this study underwent a drastic demographic shift within the period of six months. During this time the economically disadvantaged percentage of students attending the school more than doubled, and the once neighborhood school reached into a more urban community of a neighboring city. The administration utilized a creative master schedule to implement various strategies and programs, such as professional learning communities, a response to intervention program, an enrichment and acceleration block and mastery learning to better meet the needs of all stakeholders. The results indicated that there was a significant difference between evaluations that were conducted before, during and two years after the demographic shift at the school. Through a three-tier evaluation system of teachers' responses, evidence was shown that would suggest that the master schedule has a significant impact on the climate and culture of the school. Future schools and organizations that have gone or are going through a drastic change in the demographics they serve will be able to utilize these findings and recommendations to better meet the needs of the stakeholders in their organization. This is a study about effective scheduling and program implementation that could just as easily be about implementing transformational change through the restructuring of an individual's mental models. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: [More] Descriptors: Scheduling, School Schedules, High Schools, School Culture

Patterson, Shawna M. (2013). Layers of Critical Engagement: Exploring the Intersections of Leadership, Critical Theory, and Learning, About Campus. In this article, the author provides a model that juxtaposes leadership, critical theory, and learning to address the needs of educators, the organization, and students. This model provides educators with a foundational approach to nurture students' critical consciousness through self-awareness and to actualize transformational change within their institution. The Layers of Critical Engagement help educators to frame and employ multiculturalism through identity development processes and contexts. College and university educators require training and exposure to experiences that will aid them in becoming self-reflective, in recognizing institutionalized otherblindness, and in manifesting productive ways in which they can serve as actively engaged advocates for change. In this regard, they position themselves within the institution as cultural workers who have successfully negotiated the application of the Layers of Engagement. Students need these cultural workers to generate genuine relationships with diverse populations and to help them develop into culturally competent citizens. The Layers of Engagement impact student learning by challenging students to construct a critically conscious lens, which empowers them to enhance their cognitive abilities and to involve themselves in implementing transformational change at the institutional, regional, and global levels. In order for this synthesis to transpire, the organization must reflect safe, inclusive, and intercultural themes. Members of the campus community should exhibit several forms of diversity, each sharing vocabulary and customs that encompass all constituencies and subcultures. This climate will foster global citizenship and will accommodate positive, sustainable change. [More] Descriptors: Cognitive Ability, Subcultures, Cultural Pluralism, Change Strategies

Brennan, Deborah D. (2015). Creating a Climate for Achievement, Educational Leadership. As the first principal of a new Title 1 school in Texas, Deborah Brennan faced the challenge of where to begin improving instruction when a school's population bears no resemblance to the traditional Response to Intervention pyramid (in which 75-85 percent of students flourish with Tier 1 instruction). In contrast, nearly 300 of the 850 students entering Robert P. Hernandez Middle School had failed the state assessment in reading. Even more had failed in math. Brennan realized that it wasn't only academic support Hernandez students needed to thrive; they also needed social-emotional skills that would enable them to learn. Brennan describes how (relying heavily on teacher collaboration and processes that helped students set goals and track their own performance) she guided strengthening of the academic side of the school–and also created a strong, relational school culture to heighten kids' social-emotional skills and attachment to the middle school. [More] Descriptors: Middle Schools, School Culture, Social Development, Emotional Development

Livock, Cheryl (2016). Walking the Tightrope: Market Drivers versus Social Responsibility with Implications for Language, Literacy and Numeracy, and Inclusive Teaching, International Journal of Training Research. For the past two years TAFE Queensland Brisbane and one of its amalgamated branches, Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE, have been conducting a collaborative action research project investigating how best to support their very diverse vocational students to successfully complete their studies. This is in a climate of devaluing vocational education, reflected in drastically diminishing funding, with spending per VET student plummeting over a 10-year span (1999-2011) by 25%, with public vocational providers such as TAFE receiving even more severe funding cuts in the past three years, losing thousands of highly qualified teaching staff. This paper therefore addresses how, in this difficult, marketised VET environment, successful language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) and inclusive teaching practices can be effectively delivered to maintain the engagement of an increasingly diverse student cohort and how ongoing, follow-up learning support needs to be funded adequately and provided flexibly for continued student engagement. [More] Descriptors: Social Responsibility, Commercialization, Action Research, Student Diversity

Townsend, Tony; Acker-Hocevar, Michele; Ballenger, Julia; Place, A. William (2013). Voices from the Field: What Have We Learned about Instructional Leadership?, Leadership and Policy in Schools. This article documents perceptions of superintendents and principals when working under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2004-06. It uses data collected through the Voices 3 Project to consider three factors associated with instructional leadership as applied under NCLB, defining the school's mission, managing the instructional program, and promoting a positive school learning climate. Findings include that the narrowness of the curriculum objectives, the top-down hierarchical nature of decision making in the system, and the pervasively negative and punitive environment impact on the work of instructional leaders. The article argues that new approaches and leadership models are needed. [More] Descriptors: Educational Environment, Educational Change, Instructional Leadership, Federal Legislation

Young, Abe Louise (2013). LGBT Students Want Educators to Speak up for Them, Educational Horizons. In a school of 1,000 students, up to 100 will be gay, lesbian, or bisexual; 10 will be transgender; and one will be intersex (biologically neither male nor female). If their lives are average, 87 of them will be verbally harassed, 40 of them will be physically harassed, and 19 will be physically assaulted in the next year because of their sexual orientation or gender expression. The youth make clear that it is not being lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) that causes these problems. The problems are the outcome of intolerant actions and speech by peers, parents, teachers, clergy, and strangers. Changing a school's climate can seem as impossible as changing the direction of the tides, but educators must take the temperature of a school climate, map a route, establish rules, and hand out safety gear. For over four months, the author interviewed 30 youth and learned while listening to them that educators need to enter the conversations of students. Not just listen in or overhear the lunchroom roar–but position themselves as eager learners and conversation partners inside and outside of classrooms. In this article, the author shares four ideas that resulted from some inside talk from middle, junior high, and high school LGBT students on how educators can protect and respect them. [More] Descriptors: Homosexuality, Advocacy, Teacher Role, Attitude Change

Tripney, Janice; Kenny, Caroline; Gough, David (2014). Enabling the Use of Research Evidence within Educational Policymaking in Europe: Lessons from the EIPEE Project, European Education. Despite a political climate demanding evidence-informed decision making in education both within individual countries and at the international level, empirically grounded European research in this field is scarce. This paper reports on a European Commission-funded study that sought to identify and analyze different initiatives across Europe aimed at furthering research-informed policy making in education, one of a number of comparative analyses in this emerging field. The nature and extent of activity in this area is outlined and an analytical framework is developed to assist understanding. Potential reasons for the observed variation among countries are discussed, along with some of the methodological and conceptual challenges involved in undertaking empirical work in this area. Practically, it is hoped that the results of the mapping exercise and the framework provide a platform for further empirical and conceptual research on research use, an area of study that until recently has been largely ignored by education researchers. [More] Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Educational Policy, Evidence, Policy Formation

Steinberg, Matthew P.; Lacoe, Johanna (2017). What Do We Know about School Discipline Reform? Assessing the Alternatives to Suspensions and Expulsions, Education Next. What evidence supports the call for discipline reform? How might alternative strategies affect students and schools? In this article, the authors describe the critiques of exclusionary discipline and then examine the research base on which discipline policy reform rests. They also describe the alternative approaches that are gaining traction in America's schools and present the evidence on their efficacy. Throughout, they consider what they know (and don't yet know) about the effect of reducing suspensions on a variety of important outcomes, such as school safety, school climate, and student achievement. In general, they find that the evidence for critiques of exclusionary discipline and in support of alternative strategies is relatively thin. In part, this is because many discipline reforms at the state and local levels have only been implemented in the last few years. While disparities in school discipline by race and disability status have been well documented, the evidence is inconclusive as to whether or not these disparate practices involve racial bias and discrimination. Further, the evidence on alternative strategies is mainly correlational, suggesting that more research is necessary to uncover how alternative approaches to suspensions affect school safety and student outcomes. [More] Descriptors: Discipline, Discipline Policy, Administrative Principles, Suspension

Shriver, Timothy P. (2013). A New Paradigm?? for Inclusion, State Education Standard. Education experts and political leaders frequently agree that in spite of many changes, American schools continue to remain in need of reforms that will expand the circle of opportunity for all children. Few such leaders, however, recognize young people themselves as a critical leadership constituency in effecting the needed reforms. Special Olympics Project UNIFY is attempting to reverse this long history of oversight with a first: not only is the goal to empower young people to lead reform efforts, but even more to empower those who are often wrongly seen as a burden and to unleash them to be leaders, too. Creating positive, nurturing school communities begins with creating positive relationships among students and this is especially critical for students who are traditionally marginalized, at-risk, or alone. Special Olympics Project UNIFY shows promise of becoming a powerful lever for empowering students to build friendships, foster welcoming communities, and create healthy learning environments for all students. The challenge for the inclusion movement in the coming years is to shift from a movement largely focused on support for children with disabilities to a movement focused on engaging all young people in promoting a unified culture and climate. [More] Descriptors: Inclusion, Educational Change, Student Leadership, Student Empowerment

Nese, Rhonda N. T.; Horner, Robert H.; Dickey, Celeste Rossetto; Stiller, Brianna; Tomlanovich, Anne (2014). Decreasing Bullying Behaviors in Middle School: Expect Respect, School Psychology Quarterly. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline across 3 middle schools was used to assess the impact that teaching all students to follow the" Bullying and Harassment Prevention in Positive Behavior Support: Expect Respect" intervention had on bullying behaviors. The 3 schools were using School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and as part of this effort all students in each school had been taught to discriminate "respectful" versus "nonrespectful" behavior. The "Expect Respect" intervention included, 3 1-hr lessons over a 6-month period to learn (a) how to signal "stop" when encountering nonrespectful behavior, (b) how to follow a "stopping routine" when asked to stop, (c) how to utilize the "bystander routine" when you are a witness to disrespectful behavior that does not stop even after the perpetrator has been asked to, and (d) how to recruit adult support if bullying behaviors endured. Before intervention implementation, 8 students from each school were engaged in focus groups to define the perceived need for bully prevention, and the bully prevention routines that best fit the social culture of their school. Data assessing the fidelity of intervention implementation indicate that the program was used with high fidelity and that in each of the 3 schools a reduction of verbal or physical aggression in the cafeteria was documented via direct observation. No consistent patterns were found with respect to the conditional probabilities that bystanders or recipients of bullying would use the bully prevention routines. No consistent changes were reported in student pre–post rating of school climate. [More] Descriptors: Bullying, Middle School Students, Prevention, Behavior Modification

Thompson, Charles L.; Henry, Gary; Preston, Courtney (2016). School Turnaround through Scaffolded Craftsmanship, Teachers College Record. Between 2006 and 2010, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction intervened in 128 low-performing schools, combining approaches consistent with school restructuring and transformation. In improved schools, local educators reconstructed key school functions, a distinctly nonlinear process more like the work of skilled craftsmen than that of design engineers that we refer to as "scaffolded craftsmanship." We interviewed key stakeholders in 12 high schools to learn about the dynamics accounting for the improvement or stalemate at each school. In sum, in the improved schools we studied, the turnaround process was not a matter of initial external design and subsequent implementation, but a non-linear process of planning, inventing, adjusting, and re-planning as well as a process of learning, doing, and learning from doing. The improvement generally began with the installation of new leadership and involved four main components: new commitment, climate, and culture; improved knowledge and skills; strategically organized and managed structures and supports for instruction; and strengthened external support. Our findings suggest that judicious personnel replacement followed by professional development and coaching targeted to key functions may be a more effective method for implementing school turnaround than the structural approaches promoted via NCLB sanctions and Race to the Top. [More] Descriptors: School Turnaround, Low Achievement, Interviews, High Schools

Trowler, Vicki (2013). Leadership Practices for Student Engagement in Challenging Conditions, Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education. Student Engagement is the investment of time, effort and other relevant resources by both students and their institutions intended to optimise the student experience and enhance the learning outcomes and development of students, and the performance and reputation of the institution. As such, it has affective, behavioural and cognitive dimensions, which may manifest congruently or oppositionally. The current popularity of the concept derives from a large body of evidence suggesting that student engagement improves a range of desirable outcomes. A study funded by the Leadership Foundation to uncover leadership practices that enhanced student engagement revealed the importance of climate, resourcing, communication and values. The article concludes with some suggestions of how the findings might usefully be applied in a higher education setting. [More] Descriptors: Student Participation, Student College Relationship, Educational Practices, Leadership Styles

Markle, Robert S.; Lamont, Andrea E. (2013). A Guide for Ensuring Quality Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices in Schools, Communique. This article discusses some key components of implementing innovations in schools and presents a guide for quality implementation of school programs. While it is more of a broad overview than a detailed toolkit, this information will help introduce more systemic thinking into schools and improve implementation so as to increase the chance of achieving successful outcomes. This article describes the Quality Implementation Tool (QIT)–a tool specifically designed to assist organizations with the planning and implementation process. The QIT involves six components: (1) developing an implementation team; (2) fostering a supportive school climate; (3) developing an implementation plan; (4) professional development; (5) practitioner-developer collaboration; and (6) evaluating implementation. The QIT enables schools to take a closer look at the implementation process to explicitly and methodologically work through the tasks that are needed to implement an innovation with quality. [More] Descriptors: Program Implementation, Evidence, Best Practices, Quality Assurance

Mayberry, Maralee; Chenneville, Tiffany; Currie, Sean (2013). Challenging the Sounds of Silence: A Qualitative Study of Gay-Straight Alliances and School Reform Efforts, Education and Urban Society. We explore the efficacy of one increasingly familiar strategic intervention designed to disrupt antigay school environments–Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs). Despite the increasing popularity of GSAs, there has been little research on the ways in which they do–and do not–impact school climate. The ubiquity of antigay and homophobic attitudes throughout schools highlights the importance of documenting the advantages and disadvantages of this tactical intervention. Using research with GSA student members, GSA advisors, high school principals, and district-level administrators from a case study of high schools, we identify school practices that either support or destabilize antigay school environments: Silence and passive resistance, the provision of safe spaces, and attempts and challenges to breaking the silence. We then explore the limitations of current efforts to create safe-school environments for sexual minority youth and end by discussing how systemic school reform efforts could be used to transform the broader social context. [More] Descriptors: Homosexuality, Intervention, Educational Environment, Peer Acceptance

OECD Publishing (2016). School Leadership for Learning: Insights from TALIS 2013. The OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) is the largest international survey of teachers and school leaders. Using the TALIS database, this report looks at different approaches to school leadership and the impact of school leadership on professional learning communities and on the learning climate in individual schools. It looks at principals' instructional and distributed leadership across different education systems and levels. Instructional leadership comprises leadership practices that involve the planning, evaluation, co-ordination and improvement of teaching and learning. Distributed leadership in schools explores the degree of involvement of staff, parents or guardians, and students in school decisions. How are principals' and schools' characteristics related to instructional and distributed leadership? What types of leadership are favoured across countries? What impact do they have on the establishment of professional learning communities and positive learning environments? The report notes that teacher collaboration is more common in schools with strong instructional leadership. However, about one in three principals does not actively encourage collaboration among the teaching staff in his or her school. There is room for improvement; and both policy and practice can help achieve it. The report offers a series of policy recommendations to help strengthen school leadership. [More] Descriptors: International Assessment, National Surveys, School Administration, Leadership Styles

Klar, Hans W.; Brewer, Curtis A. (2013). Successful Leadership in High-Needs Schools: An Examination of Core Leadership Practices Enacted in Challenging Contexts, Educational Administration Quarterly. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the ways principals in three high-needs middle schools enacted core leadership practices in concert with their immediate contexts to institutionalize comprehensive school reforms and support student learning. Research Methods: The schools were selected from a geographically stratified sample of public middle schools in a state in the southeastern United States. Multiple linear regression was used to identify schools performing better than expected considering their levels of poverty and other school-related factors. The final three schools, one from each geographic region, showed steady increases in academic achievement and school climate following the arrival of their principals. Data were primarily collected from interviews with principals, teaching and nonteaching staff, and parents using protocols adapted from the International Successful School Principalship Project. Findings: The findings explicate the large degree to which the leadership practices and beliefs that influenced student achievement in these schools were adapted to and commensurate with each school's immediate context. Furthermore, they illustrate how principals used these practices to institutionalize school-wide reform efforts as vehicles for leading change within their schools. Implications: The findings substantiate research on successful school leadership in high-needs middle schools. They also extend this research by examining the way core transformational and instructional leadership practices can be adapted to suit various school contexts and institutionalize school-wide reform efforts to enhance student learning. Further research is required to understand how principals decide to adapt their leadership practices, and how aspiring leaders can best learn to do so. [More] Descriptors: Success, Leadership Effectiveness, Educational Administration, Disadvantaged Schools

Hassel, Emily Ayscue; Hassel, Bryan C. (2013). An Opportunity Culture "for All": Making Teaching a Highly Paid, High-Impact Profession, Public Impact. Authors and co-directors of "Public Impact," Emily Ayscue Hassel and Bryan C. Hassel state that, looking back over the decades, no one is really getting what they want. Teachers are no closer to achieving the societal respect and substantial, sustainable rewards for their contributions that they deserve, and student achievement has barely budged, depriving students of an equal shot at the American dream. Some teachers rightly fear that today's reform climate risks demeaning the profession. They see policymakers focusing their energy on removing bad teachers, ending tenure, and eliminating or reducing the extra pay teachers now earn for advanced degrees and experience. Teachers see much less effort to give them more opportunities to advance their careers and develop on the job, and to earn more for it. It is no wonder many teachers are skeptical, if not outright hostile, to the changes afoot. These authors write that they do see a way out, if all can accept that traditional policies have effectively picked most teachers' pockets during their careers, and that reforms need to focus on building an outstanding profession. This report provides a vision that draws on the hopes of millions of teachers, the passion of educators already implementing sustainable models of reach, and the work of diverse stakeholders–reformers, unions, child advocates, parents, and others–who want a better profession for teachers and better outcomes for students. [For "An Opportunity Culture for All: Making Teaching a Highly Paid, High-Impact Profession. Summary," see ED560180; for the introduction, see ED560181.] [More] Descriptors: Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Educational Policy, Administrative Policy

Logan, Jerry; Curry, Janel (2015). A Liberal Arts Education: Global Trends and Challenges, Christian Higher Education. The debate about the effectiveness of the liberal arts curriculum is centuries old, but recent financial and social pressures have placed the survival of the liberal arts in the United States at even greater risk. Using Kimball's (1995) notion of the oratorical and philosophical traditions of liberal education, this article first identifies the critical importance of balancing breadth and depth in the curriculum before honing in on breadth as being in particular danger in the current climate. After analyzing the major threats to breadth in American higher education, the article looks overseas to find a new case for the value of breadth in the curriculum. It focuses on Hong Kong's university system, where a large-scale, multiyear project is underway to graft a fourth year of general education onto a three-year model of discipline- or profession-specific training. The resulting contrast between American institutions discarding curricular breadth while foreign universities rediscover it is telling. This topic has particular relevance for Christian colleges and universities as they seek the holistic development of their students. [More] Descriptors: Liberal Arts, Global Approach, Trend Analysis, Educational Trends

Alexander, Nicola A.; Choi, Wonseok (2015). Looking Beyond School Walls: An Environmental Scan of Minneapolis Public Schools, 2004-2008, Education Policy Analysis Archives. We provide an expanded environmental scan to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) faced by education communities. Grounded in the literature, we identified 48 indicators and grouped them into 6 broad categories: (1) budget levels, (2) funding patterns, (3) community needs, (4) external economic conditions, (5) political culture, and (6) children outcomes. We then created sub-categories for each of these six groupings based on whether the data came from school reports, non-school, governmental data, or not-for-profit entities. From these data, we developed a template with strategic guidelines for education leaders in varying environmental contexts. The discussion integrates school finance, fiscal condition analysis, leadership and organizational research to develop a framework that is then applied to the Minneapolis Public Schools for school years 2004 through 2008. The retrospective examination supports the utility of the strategic guidelines offered in the framework. Education leaders found a mixed educational climate in Minneapolis Public Schools for the years examined. There was cause for concern in the declining revenues for children services by other governmental agencies and increasing numbers of schools not making annual yearly progress. However, there were also opportunities apparent in the number of schools that offered International Baccalaureate and other rigorous programs and the support of schools as indicated by passage of local referenda. [More] Descriptors: Public Schools, Urban Schools, Educational Assessment, Educational Indicators

Smith, Malbert III; Schiano, Anne; Lattanzio, Elizabeth (2014). Beyond the Classroom, Knowledge Quest. We are at a transformative moment in education with the almost universal adoption (forty-five states, the District of Columbia, and four territories) of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). As we move from adoption to implementation of these standards across the country, the climate for educational reform has led to expectations of change that are unprecedented in scope. As educators and policymakers embark on implementing these new standards, they are seeking ways to effectively maximize the use of existing resources and strengthen partnerships in both the public and private sectors. There is no doubt that school and public libraries and librarians across this country play an essential role in reaching this "Holy Grail." With the implementation of the CCSS, libraries should be one of the most valued and trusted resources for teachers, parents, and students. Why are school and public libraries so well positioned to take on this role? A look at the six critical shifts from previous standards to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy (EngageNY n.d.) brings this connection to light. Other than classroom teachers, no other professionals are so well suited to address these core issues as librarians are. The CCSS Initiative stresses the importance of text complexity if we are to successfully prepare students for reading demands after high school. The Common Core cites Lexile measures as key indicators of text complexity and provides recommended Lexile grade bands for reading development to ensure students are on track for college and career text demands. Consistent with the conceptual triangle of text complexity, the Lexile Framework was created within the transactional nature of students' relationship with text. Unlike some quantitative text-complexity tools that are just "text-centric," the Lexile Framework was created through a conjoint measiurement model of both reader text. The Lexile Framework for Reading provides a common developmental scale and measure to match readers with resources and activities that are targeted to readers' ability levels. [More] Descriptors: State Standards, Program Implementation, Models, Reading Programs

Chatterjee, Oona (2014). Equity-Driven Public Education: A Historic Opportunity, Voices in Urban Education. The election of Mayor Bill de Blasio in November 2013 was a historic moment for proponents of student-centered, equity-driven public education. During the campaign, de Blasio ran on an agenda of ending New York City's "Tale of Two Cities" and elevated a comprehensive vision for improving the city's more than 1,800 public schools as a cornerstone of that agenda. His vision includes many of the signature reforms fought for by advocates throughout the twelve preceding years of the Bloomberg administration: the creation of 100 community schools in his first term; supports for struggling schools, rather than school closings; reduced reliance on disciplinary measures that remove students from classrooms; and an accountability system that relies on measures other than standardized tests. The articles in this issue of "VUE" describe how an array of long-standing organizations forged a new level of partnership and drew in dozens of new partners to impact the education debate throughout the mayoral election. While these organizations never collectively endorsed any candidate, their work created a climate where all viable candidates were forced to take clear positions on some of the most heated education questions facing the city. Their work also provided vibrant opportunities for thousands of previously unengaged New Yorkers in communities throughout the city to share their views about education through an innovative and in-depth community engagement effort. [More] Descriptors: Public Education, Educational Opportunities, Community Organizations, Community Coordination

Tiede, Hans-Joerg; Gerber, Larry G.; Turkel, Gerald M.; Kreiser, B. Robert (2014). Faculty Communication with Governing Boards: Best Practices, American Association of University Professors. This article presents a statement prepared by a subcommittee of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) regarding best practices for communication between college faculty and governing boards of colleges. Based on a consideration of relevant AAUP documents and in view of the current climate in higher education, this statement urges greater communication between faculties and governing boards in colleges and universities. Communication between faculty and board members, when it occurs at all, tends to be ritualized, infrequent, and limited to specific agenda items. College and university governance works best when each constituency within the institution clearly understands its role and relationship to the other constituents and when communication among the governing board, the administration, and the faculty is regular, open, and unmediated. This report recommends the following: (1) Every standing committee of the governing board, including the executive committee, should include a faculty representative; (2) New faculty representatives to the governing board should participate in orientation for new trustees; and (3) Direct communication between the faculty and the governing board should occur through a liaison or conference committee consisting only of faculty members and trustees, and they should meet regularly to discuss topics of mutual interest. [More] Descriptors: Governing Boards, Best Practices, Teacher Administrator Relationship, Organizational Communication

Johnson, William L.; Johnson, Annabel M.; Johnson, Jared W. (2014). Strategies for Improving School Performance, Online Submission. The document is from a presentation at the Texas Region VII 2014 Curriculum Conference. The study examined the effects of a three-tiered high school program designed to increase student achievement and Texas end-of-course (EOC) TAKS and STAAR chemistry scores. The student sample (n = 625) consisted 75% high school sophomores and 25% high school juniors. EOC test results showed the presenter's students (on-level, inclusion (IN) special education, limited English proficiency (LEP), economically disadvantaged (EDS), and 504 monitored) scored yearly in the 90% passing range. From 2008 to the present, results indicated that the students made significant academic progress. The three-tiered program components were based on school culture findings, productive classroom management research, and classroom programs and strategies. This program will also apply to 6-12 math and social studies classes. See the document for details about the program. The document's appendix includes: KTBB Article, Tyler ISD Mission Statement, Additional Information about Students, The CFK Ltd. School Climate Profile, TAKS (to STAAR) Information, Failure Intervention Plan, Scantron Form (Decoding EOC Tests), Student/Teacher Information and Article Examples. [More] Descriptors: High School Students, Academic Achievement, Chemistry, Science Instruction

Valentine, Stephen J. (2014). In the Maelstrom of American Independent Education: A School Leader's Guide to Chaos, Change, Competing Agendas, and the Dilemmas that Won't Go Away, Independent School. Today, independent school leaders operate at the fault line of pundits, parents, teachers, staff, students, board members, researchers, consultants, and more. They need to lead key constituents while weighing constituent expectations. They need to know how to sift through the increasing flow of evolving practices, research, and viewpoints regarding what matters most for their schools. How do school heads and other key school leaders manage well in such a landscape? First, it helps to realize that many people working in other industries feel the same way–and that the broader conversation can inform their approach in schools. The Aspen Institute's Communications and Society Program recently released a report that can help educators map the territory. Assembled by David Bollier, a writer and speaker on issues related to the commons (the cultural and natural resources accessible to everyone), this report reflects the insights of a wise and robust group of thinkers regarding the "broader economic and social implications of an economy being redefined by new networks, behaviors, and rules." Not surprisingly, the group expressed some common refrains. John Clippinger, cofounder and executive director of ID3, a research and educational nonprofit, said, "It doesn't even make sense to get a Ph.D. in certain fields because the skill set is obsolete by the time the person finishes." Likewise, John Seely Brown, cochairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge, personalized the issue by saying that "about every 18 months to two years," he has to "completely reinvent the skills and practices" he uses. In other words, leaders in this climate need to prepare themselves and their institutions for "periods of constant two- or three-year cycles of change." It's not enough to work an idea through its phases, Seely Brown says. "We have to be able to pick up new ideas all the time." The idea that school leaders should "pick up new ideas all the time" can act as a powerful focusing agent for school leaders. Mission statements are the guiding light, but how they deliver on these missions has been changing steadily in this promising but complicated new century. School leaders should first acknowledge that these forces exist, and then aim to use them to energize and steer their work. The author suggests three approaches to be considered for managing change: (1) Focus on growth; (2) Run controlled experiments; and (3) Ensure that teams are well networked. When school leaders connect with others, stay open to ideas, and embrace inquiry, they can move fluidly through the maelstrom of these modern times, turning up solutions that help them improve schools. [More] Descriptors: Administrator Guides, School Administration, Governance, Educational Practices

Grebenau, Maury (2016). Being #2, Phi Delta Kappan. Educational leaders who are second in command face specific challenges. Dealing with these stresses is integral to being successful in such a position. Seconds in command must learn to deal with that "caught in the middle" feeling: They need to accept what they can't change and change what they can, not get lured into badmouthing their boss, and manage up- that is, push their supervisor to consider different perspectives at times. When seconds in command own their growth areas, push for clear communication, and acknowledge the tensions in their position, they'll experience less stress and become better school leaders. [More] Descriptors: Stress Management, Stress Variables, Middle Management, Career Development

McMaster, Christopher (2015). "Where Is _______?": Culture and the Process of Change in the Development of Inclusive Schools, International Journal of Whole Schooling. The modern school is a multi-layered and complex institution. For inclusive values and practices to embed in educational systems the nature of school culture and the change process must be considered. Qualitative data was gathered during a year-long ethnographic study of inclusive change in a co-educational high school. This paper applies a model of culture to demonstrate that the development of inclusion within a whole school culture is a process of continued personal and collective reflection, re-negotiation, and experience carried out over a sustained period of time. In order to foster the sustained development of inclusive cultures in schools it is vital to understand the nature of change within school culture, and to provide the time to reflect on deeply held beliefs. [More] Descriptors: School Culture, Educational Change, Change Strategies, Organizational Change

Aljohani, Obaidalah (2016). Evaluating Students' Perceptions of Instructional Practices Employed in Adult Education Program at King Saud University, ProQuest LLC. The purpose of this quantitative study was to describe the perceptions of students pursuing an Adult Education graduate degree at King Saud University; the students' perception was examined regarding the teaching practices they received in the classroom. Participants for this study were males and females pursuing Adult Education degrees at King Saud University. It aimed to determine the strengths and weakness of the program's instructional practices in the classroom from graduate students' perceptions. The study's theoretical framework came from adult learning theory and the six assumptions of andragogy: the learners' need to know, self-concept, prior experience, readiness to learn, orientation to learning, and motivation to learn. The theoretical framework came from the five aspects of Islamic teachings: experience, collaboration, learners' interest, seeking knowledge, and practice and application. Through andragogical assumptions and Islamic teachings, graduate students provided their perceptions about instructional practices students received in the classroom. A survey was used to collect data to evaluate the program. To analyze the data, descriptive analysis, including means, standard deviation, and a T-test, was used. A correlation matrix was also used to investigate the relationship among students' perceptions of their educational experiences between andragogical practices and Islamic teachings. The result of the analysis demonstrated correlation. However, the learning activities, one of the andragogical process design elements, showed no significant relationships with the rest of process design elements (climate setting, designing the learning experience, evaluating, preparing the learner, and setting the learning objectives). The essential results of this study were that andragogical principles, andragogical-process design elements, the Islamic-principle teachings, and students' perceptions about the Islamic teachings were applied in the classroom for the adult-education program at King Saud University. There was no statistically significant difference of perception based on gender. Students indicated strengths of the program were self-development including classroom activities and course content. In term of weaknesses, students mentioned using traditional methods (including focus on a test and the lack of human relationships) and a teacher shortage. One fundamental recommendation was that both Islamic teachings and andragogy assumptions should be applied in the graduate classrooms because both methods achieve the university's objective. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: [More] Descriptors: Adult Education, Graduate Students, Student Attitudes, Statistical Analysis

Meyer, Elizabeth J.; Tilland-Stafford, Anika; Airton, Lee (2016). Transgender and Gender-Creative Students in PK-12 Schools: What We Can Learn from Their Teachers, Teachers College Record. Context: A growing body of work reflects the ways in which gender-creative and transgender students are ill-served by current social climates in the vast majority of public schools. Few studies have explored this topic from an educator's perspective. Purpose: This study was designed to develop a conception of the barriers and supports that exist for educators working to create learning environments that affirm transgender and gender-creative students. Participants: Twenty-six Canadian educators who all had direct experience working with gender-creative and transgender students in school settings with an average of 10 years' experience in schools and mean age of 43. Research Design: This project is a Social Action Research (SAR) project designed to identify what are common challenges and why these challenges are present. Data Collection and Analysis: Each educator was interviewed for 60-120 minutes using a flexible interview guide and audio recordings were transcribed for analysis. Data analysis was conducted via an ongoing and exploratory design. We also performed a cross-case analysis to compare experiences and perceptions across teachers in elementary and secondary schools as well as alternative and traditional schools. Findings: We identified barriers and supports experienced by our participants. Barriers included: (1) the pervasiveness of transphobia; (2) high frequency of school transfers; (3) the propensity for gay and lesbian educators to take on an "expert" role; (4) ethnocentrism; (5) relying on a 'pedagogy of exposure' and using certain students as "sacrificial lambs;" (6) the overlapping challenges of working with youth who also have behavioral and learning difficulties; and (7) the balancing act required to navigate complex issues with little training and support. Supports identified were: (1) alternative schools as sites of refuge and spaces where transgender and gender-creative students are reportedly thriving; (2) empowered transgender and gender-creative students; (3) vigilant and protective adults; and (4) best practices. Recommendations: In order to address systemic barriers we advocate for an application of principles and best practices aligned with critical, queer, and anti-oppressive pedagogies. We recommend that schools: (1) develop a more student-centered, flexible curriculum; (2) promote interdisciplinary and project-based learning; (3) model and promote creativity; (4) establish restorative justice programs; (5) reduce or entirely remove sex-segregated activities and spaces; (6) integrate discussions of gender diversity as a social justice issue throughout the curriculum. [More] Descriptors: Teacher Surveys, Teacher Attitudes, Interviews, Sexual Identity

Connolly-Wilson, Christina; Reeves, Melissa (2013). School Safety and Crisis Planning Considerations for School Psychologists. Crisis Management, Communique. In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, people across the country are asking if schools in their communities are safe. School psychologists not only play a pivotal role in answering that question, but they can also provide leadership in helping to ensure a safe school climate. A critical component to answering the safety question is finding a balance of both physical and psychological safety measures. A reliance solely on metal detectors, x-ray machines, and cameras underestimates what is needed for schools to be safe and can miss undercurrents negatively impacting school safety. However, a reliance solely on the attitude of "my school feels safe" can miss critical safety measures needed to limit accessibility and opportunity. Thus, both physical and psychological safety are critical to a comprehensive safe-school approach. This article provides some areas to consider when answering the school safety question from both physical and psychological safety standpoints. Another important area to examine when evaluating school safety is school crisis planning. This article provides some guiding questions for school officials to consider when evaluating whether their school district is prepared to respond to a crisis event. Also provided are guiding principals for crisis plan development and refinement, as well as activities designed to provide assistance in gaining support from key leaders for crisis plan development or revision. [The information in this article was developed from the PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention Training Curriculum. The reader is referred to additional resources at the end of this article for a broader consideration of this topic.] [More] Descriptors: School Safety, Crisis Management, Emergency Programs, School Psychologists

Grantee Submission (2015). Schools to Watch: School Transformation Network, a U.S. Deparment of Education Investing in Innovation (i3) Development Grant. Final Evaluation Report. The Schools to Watch: School Transformation Network Project is a whole school reform model designed to improve the educational practices, experiences, and outcomes of low-performing middle-grades schools. Developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, the four-year project was funded in 2010 by a U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation (i3) development grant. The purpose of the study was to examine the impact of the project on intermediate outcomes such as culture, collaboration, and instructional practices as well as the long term outcome of student achievement. The study employed a quasi-experimental design where two student cohorts were tracked over four years at 34 schools (17 intervention and 17 comparison) in three states. The intervention schools were comprised of persistently low-performing middle-grades schools serving high need students. Comparison schools were selected using key demographics to match to intervention schools. Several process and measurement tools for assessing implementation and intermediate outcomes were used, including surveys, the STW criteria rating rubric, coach's logs, and focus groups. The long term outcome data for the impact study included student English and math achievement scores on annual standardized state assessments. To examine achievement scores between intervention and comparison students, a series of 2-level models (students within schools) were run to assess 8th grade achievement (i.e., after students received all three years of the intervention). Results showed that i3 STW Project schools improved their culture and climate, collaboration practices, leadership practices, STW criteria implementation, and classroom instructional practices. There was no overall intervention effect on either English or math student achievement, however, significant results were found for the highest implemented schools, those project schools that achieved STW designation during the project. The results of the study provide unique insight into the reform process for i3 STW Project schools as well as other middle-grades schools that are struggling to improve. The multiple supports provided by the project combined with the guiding vision of the STW criteria and rubric supported these high need schools to improve contextual factors (i.e., culture, collaboration, leadership, teaching and learning practices), and for a subsample of schools, student achievement. Districts and schools embarking on reform need to focus on collaborative leadership, have a guiding vision, use a continuous improvement model for instructional improvements, and value networking with other schools to gain knowledge. Two appendices are included: (1) Psychometric Properties of the Self-Study Survey Constructs; and (2) Fidelity Matrix for National Forum's STW School Transformation Network Project. Descriptors: Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Quasiexperimental Design, Program Effectiveness

Maxey, Daniel; Kezar, Adrianna (2015). Revealing Opportunities and Obstacles for Changing Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Practices: An Examination of Stakeholders' Awareness of Institutional Contradictions, Journal of Higher Education. Over a period of several decades, non-tenure-track faculty members (NTTF) have become a majority of instructional faculty among nonprofit higher education institutions. A growing volume of research points to a relationship between the poor working conditions or lack of support these faculty members often experience and adverse effects on student learning outcomes. Research also suggests there is limited awareness about the rising numbers of NTTFs and nature of these problems. This study utilized a modified Policy Delphi approach to surface and examine the perspectives of approximately 40 individuals representing a broad range of higher education stakeholder groups (e.g., boards, accreditation agencies, unions) about the causes and implications of rising contingency in the academic workforce. The findings suggest that awareness about how NTTF practices are inefficient and misaligned with stakeholders' common commitments to student learning and the health of the academic profession has the potential to facilitate change. However, conditions were also identified that are currently obstacles for change. This study contributes to a better understanding of factors influencing change in higher education and suggests how a set of resonant values and interests may be evoked by change agents to increase awareness and support for revising or replacing existing NTTF practices. [More] Descriptors: Institutional Characteristics, Tenure, Educational Opportunities, Barriers

Bailey, Robert W. (2013). Curriculum Gatekeeping in Global Education: Global Educators' Perspectives, ProQuest LLC. Teaching social studies from a global perspective has been resisted by many since its inception (Kirkwood, 2009). Critics have labeled the theory anti-American and unpatriotic (Schlafly, 1986; Burack, 2001). Others are concerned with its shifting perspectives and apparent lack of core facts (Finn, 1988). Over time, some critics have changed their stance on global teaching and now endorse the idea (Ravitch, 2010). This qualitative case study sought to identify the barriers seven self-proclaimed global educators faced while teaching global themes and to identify the effective gatekeeping strategies for circumventing such obstacles. The goal was to provide a rich, compelling account of committed global educators efforts to the global education paradigm so that others interested in teaching globally could successfully navigate similar conditions. The data was gathered by the use of a survey and a face to face interview. Analysis of the five research questions resulted in a comprehensive overview of effective and practical gatekeeping strategies endorsed by self-proclaimed global educators. The participants, purposefully selected after training with a global education project over a six year period, employed a variety of teaching methods for infusing the theory into their lessons however favored merging global themes into the existing mandated curriculum. Participants found use for each of the eight global dimensions identified, but were guided by personal preference and practicality. Data analysis identified six primary barriers to teaching from a global perspective including 1. a teacher's disposition; 2. the mandated curriculum; 3. the availability of global training and resources; 4. the degree to which a school emphasizes authentic learning as opposed to preparation for standardized testing; 5. the risk and liability involved of teaching controversial topics; and 6. the insight necessary to be able to draw connections throughout time and across a wide variety of content. While the participants were unable to identify a method for circumventing the current climate of standardized testing, they did recommend six gatekeeping strategies that they believed would prove effective including: 1. discouraging non-global educators from entering the teaching profession; 2. officially amending existing curriculum to make room for global teaching; 3. empower teachers to have authority over their curriculum; 4. enhance global education training; 5. teach from a centrist position; and 6. make practical decisions and fragment content when time becomes problematic. Two unanticipated findings presented themselves as participants reflected on their time training with the Global Schools Project. The participants declared that the congenial learning environment and exposure to like-minded colleagues improved their overall teaching ability and confidence as each found the support that can be lacking when teaching in isolation. Participants advised new global educators become committed to personal and professional growth through conferences, trainings, and mentors. They recommended new teachers merge global themes into existing lessons, be persistent when lessons fail, and employ a variety of methods. Finally, they commanded new teachers to develop a passion for their content and empathy for humanity. The participants' perspectives have implications for both teacher education programs and future research. The implications involve potential changes to teacher education programs. Future research should attempt to reveal the purpose that exists, if any, behind the barriers global educators face. Future research should seek to expose how training programs similar to the GSP impact participating teachers. Finally, additional research is needed regarding the purpose of global education as either advocacy oriented teaching or as a neutral method for increasing critical thinking. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: [More] Descriptors: Global Education, Qualitative Research, Case Studies, Barriers

Harris, Buddy (2014). College and Career Readiness: K-12 and Higher Education Collaborating for Student Success. coNCepts. Issue 5, Jan 2014, Hunt Institute. "coNCepts" is a state-specific policy primer of The Hunt Institute. Each issue focuses on a critical topic in education policy, highlights key research for North Carolina policymakers, and prompts discussion of solutions. This issue begins by describing North Carolina's economy as having experienced a remarkable transformation during the past 60 years. Best known for tobacco and hog production during the mid-20th century, North Carolina is now a leader in banking, medicine, bioengineering, and technology. Top-tier universities and research institutions, a favorable business climate, and abundant natural resources have drawn companies from all of over the world to relocate to North Carolina, bringing along career opportunities for well-trained, skilled workers. Unfortunately, too many students are not prepared to take advantage of these opportunities, either failing to earn a postsecondary degree or lacking the required skills to move into the workforce after graduating from high school. The stakes for North Carolina's students could not be higher. Experts predict that by 2018, 59 percent of all jobs in North Carolina will require some type of postsecondary degree or training, yet the state's workforce does not have the education required to meet this demand. In 2011, only 38 percent of North Carolinians age 25 to 64 had an associate's degree or higher, ranking North Carolina 27th out of 50 states. A more educated, highly skilled workforce, with students who graduate from high school college and career ready, depends on higher expectations and tougher standards. Whether planning to attend a four-year institution or certificate program for a skilled trade, North Carolina's students are being challenged by the academic rigor necessary for their success. Students need to leave each education level ready to meet the demands of the next, and this seamless transition requires cross-sector collaboration. This issue of "coNCepts" examines the ways North Carolina's K-12 and higher education systems are working together to ensure college and career readiness for all students by aligning K-12 with postsecondary expectations, creating clearly defined pathways for career training and college preparation, and forming robust partnerships with industry. Presented in this issue are: (1) Preparing For Changing Workforce Demands; and (2) Moving toward Readiness. Considerations for NC Policymakers are also presented. [More] Descriptors: Career Readiness, College Readiness, Higher Education, Elementary Secondary Education

Hess, Frederick M. (2015). Teachers Uncaged: Helping Educators Create Meaningful Change, American Educator. Upon the realization that teachers inhabit a "cage" of their own, but one very different from that which ensnares school or system administrators, the author wrote the book, "The Cage-Busting Teacher," from which this article is drawn. The author spent a year interviewing a couple hundred teachers, teacher advocates, union leaders, and others about the cage teachers inhabit and how they can bust out of it. The results of these interviews show that while teachers lack ready access to "organizational authority" which school and system leaders can use to bust free of their cage, teachers have powerful tools of their own, including the ability to tap the "authority of expertise" and to summon "moral authority." The problem is that most teachers have little understanding of how to marshal and wield these tools. Drawing on the wisdom of savvy practitioners, the author seeks to offer practical guidance on how teachers can do just that. Cage-busting is not a substitute for attention to classroom practice, curriculum, and instruction, but a complement that equips teachers to create the schools and systems where they can do their best work. [More] Descriptors: Professional Isolation, Change Strategies, Educational Environment, Educational Practices

Forman, Adam; Giles, David; Kleiman, Neil; Ko, Jae (2013). Innovation and the City. Part II, Center for an Urban Future. As cities across the country and globe continue to generate new solutions to a wide variety of vexing problems, sharing information about what works and what doesn't has become more important than ever. Yet, outside of a few prominent policies, the vast majority of successful municipal experiments never reach a national audience or, for that matter, policymakers in similarly situated cities. To help bridge this gap, the Center for an Urban Future and NYU Wagner published "Innovation and the City" earlier this summer. Drawing upon hundreds of interviews with mayors, agency chiefs, policy institutes, corporations, labor unions and philanthropic foundations, some of the boldest and most inventive urban policy reforms of the last decade were identified. But, in that report, which was generously funded by Citi Community Development, the policies also had to address important needs in New York City. They also had to be policies that could be realistically implemented in New York, given the City's government structure and political climate. As New York prepares for a new mayor for the first time in 12 years, the thinking was that creating an inventory of the best ideas from other places would be a good way to not only spotlight theoretical solutions but workable programs that others have already started to implement and learn from. During the research process, it was discovered that a lot of promising innovations did not match up well with New York's needs, or addressed problems that the City was already confronting in a different way. So, in this second edition of the report, the criteria has been loosened to include policies that might not work in New York but are important enough to merit replication in other cities.Therefore, this report profiles 25 of the best policy innovations from cities across the U.S. and around the globe– giving mayors and other municipal leaders the ability to learn from their peers and develop new policies based on models that have already proved effective. [Additional research for this project was provided by Adam Eckstein, Kahliah Laney, Christian Gonzalez-Rivera, Emily Laskodi, and Sa Liu. To access Part I of this report, see ED555624.] [More] Descriptors: Innovation, Urban Areas, Mentors, Parents

Darling-Hammond, Linda; Plank, David N. (2015). Supporting Continuous Improvement in California's Education System, Policy Analysis for California Education, PACE. California's new accountability system originated in the radical decentralization of power and authority from Sacramento to local schools and their communities brought about by the Legislature's adoption of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) in 2013. Under California's previous accountability policies and the federal "No Child Left Behind" law, the state set performance targets for schools and districts based almost entirely on students' standardized test scores. Schools that fell short of their targets were subject to a variety of increasingly harsh sanctions, ranging from designation as a "failing" school to reconstitution or closure. California's new accountability system is different from the previous system in nearly every important respect. The new system is grounded in the concept of reciprocal accountability: that is, every actor in the system–from the Capitol to the classroom–must be responsible for the aspects of educational quality and performance that it controls. This publication presents some key elements of California's new accountability system and the state has made three fundamental commitments: (1) To pursue "meaningful learning" for students–through the adoption of new standards and curriculum frameworks more focused on higher order thinking and performance abilities; (2) To give schools and districts the "resources" and flexibility they need to serve their communities effectively–through the new LCFF, which allocates funds based on student needs and allows communities to determine where the funds should be spent to achieve the best results; and (3) To provide "professional learning" and supports for teachers and administrators–through stronger preparation and ongoing professional development. At the same time, the state has adopted three complementary mechanisms to hold schools and districts accountable: (1) Political accountability, operationalized through Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs), created by districts with their communities, updated annually, and reviewed by county agencies. The LCAPs, intended to ensure that resources are used wisely and effectively, articulate local goals for schooling and report outcomes; (2) Professional accountability, through effective licensure, professional development, and productive evaluation, to ensure that educators deliver high-quality instructional and other services to their students; and (3) Performance accountability, to ensure continuous improvement in the performance of schools across the state's eight priority areas, plus other priorities identified locally. The eight priority areas include student achievement, student engagement, school climate, parent involvement, provision of basic services, curriculum access, and implementation of the state's new standards. This kind of unified long-term strategy could enable California to move successfully from a compliance-driven system to one that is capable of system learning and continuous improvement. "Core Accountability Systems" can be found in the appendix. [This report was written with the assistance of Soung Bae.] [More] Descriptors: Educational Improvement, Educational Change, Educational Strategies, Funding Formulas

Annie E. Casey Foundation (2014). Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide. Embracing Equity: 7 Steps to Advance and Embed Race Equity and Inclusion within Your Organization. Advancing race equity and inclusion can sometimes seem daunting and often leaves many wondering how and where to start. One way to achieve social change in an organization is to incorporate race equity and inclusion at every stage of work. The seven steps in this guide provide a clear framework for undertaking this important work. This tool adds to the resources already created by partners who have been working in the field. It works by demonstrating how a race equity lens can be adopted by foundations or other organizations that work directly with systems, technical assistance providers and communities. [This guide was written in partnership with Terry Keleher.] [More] Descriptors: Inclusion, Racial Integration, Guides, Organizational Theories

Sanders, Mark E. (2013). Transforming the Dysfunctional Academic Department: Dialoguing the Disabling Past, Collaborating Positivity for the Future, ProQuest LLC. Leaders new to academic departments that possess dysfunctional histories due to ineffective "management" face many difficulties in the transformation of department dynamics. Indeed, the challenge for transformational department leaders is fostering positive and proactive attitudes among faculty where previous management was hostile, manipulative, or abusive. To engage in rehabilitative–or transformational–methodologies to reinstitute trust and confidence, and to move the department healthily forward, new chairs must find the means to lead through dialogue and through responsiveness to the emotional tenor of the department. This research explores practices wherein the chair may collaborate and partner with faculty to reclaim their professional milieu. Methodologies advancing this exploration include self-study and field study narratives, interviews, and surveys of faculty as these may aid development of transformational strategies. Specifically, the research may help new department chairs meet these objectives: *Convert negative and resistant faculty attitudes into energies useful to change and growth; Inspire and empower faculty, thus fostering collaboration and partnerships for change; Coach, mentor, and model; as a participant-leader, being the example of action; Enable faculty to regard change as deliverable and desirable. The research is significant as new chairs often do not understand the dynamics of the organization they are entering, nor do they know how to solicit useful information from organization members. A faculty scarred by the past is naturally suspicious and, thus, not helpful to new chairs; hence, old disabling behaviors will persist. However, finding ways to dialogue with faculty about prior interactions with department chairs may remedy nonproductive attitudes and behaviors while setting aside incorrect assumptions about new leadership. The intent for this study is to aid academic chairs toward relieving their faculty of past grievances and toward the purposive growing of the department and its programs. Because departmental dysfunction is often the broken mechanism of communication and emotion, a chair, who transforms those concerns, may lead a renewed and repaired organization to change and subsequent growth. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: [More] Descriptors: Educational Administration, Department Heads, Departments, Administrator Role

Govender, Logan (2015). Teacher Unions' Participation in Policy Making: A South African Case Study, Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. This article contends that teacher unions' participation in policy making during South Africa's political transition was characterised by assertion of ideological identity (unionism and professionalism) and the cultivation of policy networks and alliances. It is argued that, historically, while teacher unions were divided along political and ideological lines, they have demonstrated flexibility in contesting for influence in the policy arena. In this regard, teacher unions' agency plays an important part and is reflected in changes in organisational strategies to ensure their independence or prevent marginalisation. The article highlights the threat of state co-optation for teacher unions and suggests that a framework for managing teacher union–state relations based on 'professional unionism' could potentially contribute to more effective education service provision. Comparisons with teacher unions' experiences elsewhere in the world are also made, while recognising the specificity of the South African situation. [More] Descriptors: Policy Formation, Unions, Teacher Associations, Participation

Hewcomb, Whitney Sherman; Beaty, Danna M.; Sanzo, Karen; Peters-Hawkins, April (2013). Finding Our Stride: Young Women Professors of Educational Leadership, Journal of School Leadership. This work is grounded in the literature on women in the academy and offers glimpses into four young women professors' experiences in the field of educational leadership. We utilized reflective practice and interpersonal communication to create a dialogue centered on three qualitative research questions that allows a window into our lives. We share our dialogue around emergent themes, rather than as a transcript of our conversations, for impact and efficiency. These themes form the foundation for ideas for change. Strategies for success are outlined: one-on-one mentor matching for new women faculty and graduate students; mandatory financial support for travel and professional development; gender and cultural sensitivity training for all faculty; an annual review of workload expectations and review of productivity tied to merit raises; institutional efforts to equalize salaries between men and women faculty; on-campus child care options; a commitment to experiment with various course delivery options to help with the work-home balance; and the study of the traditional tenure clock. We conclude with words of encouragement for young women professors and with the goal of helping universities and other faculty understand what young women professors' experiences are like, to encourage social and policy changes aimed toward improvement and greater inclusion. [More] Descriptors: Educational Administration, Leadership Training, Administrator Education, Womens Studies

Goglio, Valentina (2016). One Size Fits All? A Different Perspective on University Rankings, Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management. In roughly a decade, university rankings gained the foreground in the policy arena for higher education and their influence is not going to decrease. However, several methodological shortcomings and warnings about the unintended consequences for national higher education systems have been raised. Against this background, this paper stresses that the individual recipients of information contained in university rankings are currently overlooked. Indeed, university rankings are addressed to a generic recipient, but actually, there are multiple audiences for rankings, and each of these audiences has different needs and each one attributes a different value to information attached to rankings. Referring to a theoretical tool borrowed from bioethics, this paper highlights that the ranking game involves a variety of recipients and that the current setting of the ranking panorama leaves room for gaps to emerge. [More] Descriptors: Universities, Classification, Educational Indicators, Alternative Assessment

Starrett, Teresa Martin; Casey, Pat; Dunlap, Karen (2014). Superintendent Response to the Financial Downturn, Journal of Education and Learning. In this study, 79 local school district leaders from the state of Texas were contacted and asked for their input relating to strategic practices used during an economic downturn. Findings describe how the recent funding cuts affected the varied districts; how the districts fared in comparison with similar districts in the area; steps the district took before and after budget cuts were mandated to ameliorate the financial situation; and strategies/procedures they wished the district had undertaken. Generally, leaders expressed pleasure in the way the downturn had been addressed by policies/strategies/personnel within their own district. The study offers helpful and interesting information to educational leaders who are faced with difficult economic circumstances. [More] Descriptors: Superintendents, Economic Climate, Financial Problems, Retrenchment

Tamtik, Merli; Kirss, Laura (2016). Building a Norm of Internationalization: The Case of Estonia's Higher Education System, Journal of Studies in International Education. The aim of this article is to explain how internationalization that is so widespread today has developed into an accepted standard in local contexts. This study demonstrates that internationalization of higher education can be regarded as a norm-building process that is facilitated through the active behavior of institutional agents. By using the illustrative case of Estonia, the article identifies different stages, actors, motives, and mechanisms that played a crucial role in establishing internationalization practices in Estonia's higher education system. Informed by the data gathered through 28 interviews and three focus groups, the study also reveals the specific contextual conditions that may influence a country's internationalization practices. [More] Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Global Approach, Educational Change

Wright, Melissa; Hill, Lilian H. (2015). Academic Incivility among Health Sciences Faculty, Adult Learning. Academic health centers are under pressure to graduate more health professionals and, therefore, must retain talented faculty members who can educate students in respective disciplines. Faculty-to-faculty incivility is especially relevant to academic medical centers because faculty in the health professions must not only meet university tenure and promotion requirements but also, in many cases, maintain their professional licenses. This article describes faculty-to-faculty incivility, how it manifests itself, the consequences of uncivil behaviors, and strategies to combat incivility among faculty. Grounded in a theoretical framework of empowerment, the article concludes with suggested strategies for addressing faculty-to-faculty incivility and implications for practice. [More] Descriptors: Health Sciences, College Faculty, Collegiality, Teacher Behavior

McBeath, Bowen; Austin, Michael J. (2015). The Organizational Context of Research-Minded Practitioners: Challenges and Opportunities, Research on Social Work Practice. If some practitioners are more research minded than others, then promising approaches for bridging the research to practice gap may be developed by describing research-minded practitioners and examining how to locate and support them. This article follows this basic logic in providing an overview of organizational development and practitioner support models for increasing knowledge use in human service organizations. The article begins with a conceptual profile of research-minded practitioners–individuals with an affinity for empirical inquiry, critical thinking, and reflection allied with a commitment to data-driven organizational improvement–and the organizational settings needed to host research-minded practice. This is followed by a description of the challenges involved in promoting practitioner involvement in using, translating, and doing research and strategies to address these challenges. We conclude with implications for supporting research-minded practitioners and aligning their efforts with organizational improvement processes. The goal of the analysis is to identify the organizational contexts in which research-minded practitioners can thrive as well as new directions for practice research. [More] Descriptors: Organizational Culture, Organizational Theories, Organizational Climate, Research Utilization

Coburn, Cynthia E.; Penuel, William R.; Geil, Kimberly E. (2015). Case Study I: The John W. Gardner Center and Redwood City 2020, William T. Grant Foundation. In the current education landscape, pressures are ever increasing on educational policy and practice to use research to guide improvement. In recent years, federal programs, such as No Child Left Behind, Reading First, and Race to the Top, have all provided strong incentives for the use of research in decision-making. Research-practice partnerships are a promising strategy for improving schools and districts. It often difficult, however, for researchers and district administrators involved in partnerships to learn from one another. It can also be challenging for those interested in developing new partnerships to learn about different ways they might organize their work or anticipate and address the issues they may face. What is needed is a more robust dialogue in which district leaders, researchers, policymakers, and funders speak candidly about the strategic trade-offs partnerships face and the resources that are required for success. The white paper "Research-Practice Partnerships: A Strategy for Leveraging Research for Educational Improvement in School Districts" (Coburn, C. E., Penuel, W. R., & Geil, K. E. January 2013) is an important part of moving that conversation forward by: (1) Defining research-practice partnerships; (2) Identifying the major types of partnerships that operate at the district level; and (3) Describing challenges partnerships face, and strategies for addressing these challenges. To do so, the authors draw on a review of existing research, and illustrate the work of research-practice partnerships in action. The monograph provided here, "Case Study I: The John W. Gardner Center and Redwood City 2020" is a supplement to the white paper, and provides a detailed description of the partnership between the John W. Gardner Center and Redwood City 2020. It includes the history, nature of the partnership, the challenges the partnership has encountered, and the benefits of the partnership. The hope is that the white paper and the supplements can guide those seeking to develop or maintain research-practice partnerships as well as funders of such partnerships. [This case study is a supplement to "Research-Practice Partnerships: A Strategy for Leveraging Research for Educational Improvement in School Districts," ED568396.] [More] Descriptors: Case Studies, Partnerships in Education, Educational History, Organizational Climate

Rickwood, Greg (2015). Cultural Components of Physically Active Schools, Strategies: A Journal for Physical and Sport Educators. It is well known that a large majority of school-age children and adolescents are not active enough to gain the physical and psychological benefits associated with regular moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Schools can play a pivotal role in reversing this trend due to the time students spend in this setting. The purpose of this article is to outline the characteristics of school cultures that inspire students and staff to make physical activity a part of their daily routine. Larger gymnasiums, manicured and modern outdoor play spaces, and new and plentiful sport equipment are important tools for promoting school-based physical activity. However, these artifacts are not as imperative as the values and the relationships among the people who use them. Physically active school cultures have school leaders who agree upon and promote common goals for school-based physical activities, educate new students and staff on the value of physical activity and encourage collegial relationships among students, teachers, parents, administrators, and community partners. [More] Descriptors: Physical Activities, Physical Activity Level, Health Promotion, Institutional Characteristics

Sloan, Tine Falk (2015). Data and Learning That Affords Program Improvement: A Response to the U.S. Accountability Movement in Teacher Education, Educational Research for Policy and Practice. The current U.S. education agenda places unprecedented attention on improving the quality of its roughly fifteen hundred teacher preparation programs. The effort places considerable weight on measuring program effectiveness and includes a push to hold programs accountable for their graduates' effects on student performance. Concerns regarding the use of value-added methodologies for this purpose, combined with unsatisfactory measures historically in use (e.g., multiple-choice tests of teaching knowledge, surveys of program graduates), have led many states to adopt the use of a teaching performance measure (see, e.g., and ). States and programs have allocated significant resources to the use of multiple metrics in the quest for program accountability, but far less effort has been paid to the use of such metrics for program improvement. Given the rather limited research on how programs use these data to improve (see e.g., Peck and McDonald in "New Educ" 9(1):12-28, 2013), the following offers a case analysis of faculty learning as a function of data use for program improvement. In particular, the case presents an analysis of the types of data that mediated faculty learning within a program, and the organizational conditions that facilitated learning and program renewal. [More] Descriptors: Program Improvement, Accountability, Teacher Education Programs, Data

Miller, Lynne (2015). School-University Partnerships and Teacher Leadership: Doing It Right, Educational Forum. Drawing on the author's experience as director of a long-lived school-university partnership, this essay describes how one such organization can "do it right" and enhance the development of teacher leadership in schools. It also provides a cautionary tale about how that same organization can "do it wrong" and achieve the opposite effect. "Doing it right" requires having a set of core beliefs that are enacted through key social practices. "Doing it wrong" violates those core beliefs and practices. [More] Descriptors: Partnerships in Education, College School Cooperation, Teacher Leadership, Program Descriptions

Behar, Steve (2013). The Reallocation of Human Resources to Improve Student Achievement in a Time of Fiscal Constraints, ProQuest LLC. This study compared the allocation of human resources of a K-12 unified school district in Southern California to the Evidence-Based model (Odden & Picus, 2008). Using document analysis and interviews of key administrators of the district, data was input into a spreadsheet to identify gaps between current practice and the Evidence-Based model. Once the gaps were identified, recommendations were made to reallocate human resources toward strategies that research suggests lead to improvements in student achievement. The district demonstrated overall success in improving student achievement over the previous four years. During the same time period, the district, and all schools that were in Program Improvement, except one middle school, successfully exited Program Improvement. This study determined the district had successful programs for staff and students to improve student learning, but there were opportunities to reallocate human resources to continue to improve student achievement. Fiscal limitations prevent the district from funding human resources at the levels recommended by the Evidence-Based model, but other opportunities to reallocate staff exist. This study makes specific recommendations for how this can be achieved, given fiscal constraints, to improve student achievement. Possible reallocation strategies included filling special education instructional aide vacancies with general education instructional aides and using the financial savings to fund extra support tutoring for struggling students, increasing K-3 class sizes and deferring step and column salary increases to generate full-time instructional coaches for all schools, and re-negotiating contract language for the professional work day of teachers. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: [More] Descriptors: Resource Allocation, Human Resources, School Districts, Models

Kezar, Adrianna; Sam, Cecile (2013). Institutionalizing Equitable Policies and Practices for Contingent Faculty, Journal of Higher Education. This study is a qualitative inquiry into the institutionalization of equitable policies for non-tenure-track faculty. Through the theoretical framework of institutionalization, we examine factors and strategies forwarding various policies and practices and the challenges that arise. The results highlight themes throughout the stages of mobilization, implementation, and institutionalization. [More] Descriptors: Higher Education, College Faculty, Adjunct Faculty, Program Implementation

Abril, Carlos R.; Bannerman, Julie K. (2015). Perceived Factors Impacting School Music Programs: The Teacher's Perspective, Journal of Research in Music Education. The purpose of this study was to examine elementary music teachers' perceptions of factors impacting their music programs and teaching positions as well as the actions these teachers take in response to those factors. The following research questions guided the study: (1) What factors are perceived to impact music programs and teaching positions? (2) What is the nature of these factors? (3) How and within what socioecological levels do teachers act on behalf of their programs or positions? (4) To what degree are specific actions, people, and/or groups thought effective in impacting music programs? U.S. music teachers (N = 432) responded to a survey designed to answer these questions. A socioecological framework was used in the design of the survey and analysis of the data. Results suggest that teachers perceive micro-level factors (school) to have a substantial impact on their programs. Teachers' actions were mostly focused on the micro level although many teachers considered meso-level (school district) engagement to be vital for maintaining or improving music programs in a given school district. Besides music-specific policies, macro-level issues (state and national) were not viewed as impacting programs in substantive ways. The further removed a factor from the micro level, the less impact was felt and the fewer actions were taken. [More] Descriptors: Music Education, Music Activities, Performance Factors, Teacher Attitudes

Coburn, Cynthia E.; Penuel, William R.; Geil, Kimberly E. (2015). Case Study II: Research Alliance for New York City Schools, William T. Grant Foundation. In the current educational landscape, pressures are ever increasing on educational policy and practice to use research to guide improvement. In recent years, federal programs such as No Child Left Behind, Reading First, and Race to the Top have all provided strong incentives for the use of research in decision-making. Research-practice partnerships are a promising strategy for improving schools and districts. It is often difficult however for researchers and district administrators involved in partnerships to learn from one another. It can also be challenging for those interested in developing new partnerships to learn about different ways they might organize their work or anticipate and address the issues they may face. What is needed is a more robust dialogue in which district leaders, researchers, policymakers, and funders speak candidly about the strategic trade-offs partnerships face and the resources that are required for success. The white paper "Research-Practice Partnerships: A Strategy for Leveraging Research for Educational Improvement in School Districts" (Coburn, C. E., Penuel, W. R., & Geil, K. E. (January 2013) is an important part of moving that conversation forward by: (1) Defining research-practice partnerships; (2) Identifying the major types of partnerships that operate at the district level; and (3) Describing challenges partnerships face, and strategies for addressing these challenges. To do so the authors draw on a review of existing research, and illustrate the work of research-practice partnerships in action. "Case Study II Research Alliance for New York City Schools" is a supplement to the white paper, and details the history, mission, nature of the partnership, challenges encountered in developing strong partnerships, and the benefits realized from the alliance between the Research Alliance for New York City Schools, and the New York City Department of Education. [This case study is a supplement to "Research-Practice Partnerships: A Strategy for Leveraging Research for Educational Improvement in School Districts," ED568396.] [More] Descriptors: Case Studies, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Educational Improvement

Johnson, Ane Turner (2013). University Agency in Peacebuilding: Perspectives on Conflict and Development in Kenya, Prospects: Quarterly Review of Comparative Education. In 2007, Kenya erupted into violence as a result of heavily contested elections. Because identity divisions lay at the heart of the conflict, the nation's public universities were deeply impacted, at times pitting students, faculty, and staff against one another, and disrupting the ability of Kenyan higher education to contribute to the development process. This qualitative case study explores how faculty and administrators, at two public institutions in a conflict zone, understand and describe their university's contributions to development. Analyzed through the lens of conflict transformation, the data reveal that the universities changed internal policies and practices to accommodate constituents impacted by the conflict and to cut across conflict lines, and that participants shifted in their thinking about the institution's internal and external relationships and purposes. The article has two aims. It offers preliminary heuristics for peacebuilding as a university process, providing a framework of practices and policies that engage university constituencies and may transform conflict. It also shows how conflict changed participants' perspectives about the relationships between themselves, higher education, and development in their country. Further, this article explores a connection between participant beliefs about peacebuilding and development in Kenya. [More] Descriptors: Conflict, Qualitative Research, Case Studies, Teacher Role

Hylander, Ingrid (2014). Entry-Level Activities in System Consultation, Journal of Educational & Psychological Consultation. System-level consultation or organizational development in schools is an area in great need of theoretical models and definitions. The three articles in this special issue provide a unique learning opportunity not only for consultation across borders but also for consultation within the same nation. In my commentary, I limit my remarks to a few general principles about school-based system-level consultation with particular attention to entry processes to consultation. Specifically, I attempt to answer the following questions: (a) Are the principles guiding system-level consultation different from those guiding case consultation? (b) Are there specific principles that guide consultation when working in another country? and (c) Can what we see in these articles to a large extent be described as entry processes to system consultation? [More] Descriptors: Consultation Programs, Systems Analysis, Organizational Development, Educational Principles

Data Quality Campaign (2014). Empowering Parents and Communities through Quality Public Reporting: A Brief for State Policymakers. Publicly reporting timely, actionable, and comprehensible data is one of the most powerful ways states can promote transparency, strengthen accountability, and ensure that everyone with a stake in education–parents, educators, policymakers, researchers, and members of the public and press– has access to the information they need to make good decisions. It is also one of the most visible ways states can demonstrate the tremendous value of their data systems. Currently, however, public reporting efforts in most states are geared toward compliance with state and federal laws, rather than being intentionally designed to meet people's needs. Consequently, most publicly reported data go unseen or unused, limiting their ability to promote and support improvements in student achievement and system performance. Data are powerful tools for informing stakeholder decisions, but they are not likely to be used if they are not presented in actionable formats tailored to specific stakeholder needs. State policymakers must take a leadership role in promoting high-quality public reporting. They can support public reporting as a strategy for improving student performance by taking the following actions: (1) ensuring that publicly reported data are accurate, trustworthy, and safeguarded; (2) maintaining coordination across P-20/workforce entities; (3) ensuring that publicly reported data meet the information needs of all stakeholders; and (4) ensuring that information is easy to find, access, and understand. This brief discusses the following: (1) the effects of transparent data on the actions of parents, administrators, and policymakers; (2) the current landscape of public reporting efforts; (3) examples of high-quality public reporting in Washington, DC, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and Maryland; and (4) recommendations for state policymakers. The following are appended: (1) Stakeholder Questions; and (2) Related Organizational Work. [More] Descriptors: State Policy, Parents, Empowerment, Accountability

Raes, Annelies; Schellens, Tammy; De Wever, Bram (2014). Web-Based Collaborative Inquiry to Bridge Gaps in Secondary Science Education, Journal of the Learning Sciences. As secondary students' interest in science is decreasing, schools are faced with the challenging task of providing adequate instruction to engage students–and more particularly the disadvantaged students–to learn science and improve their science inquiry skills. In this respect, the integration of Web-based collaborative inquiry can be seen as a possible answer. However, the differential effects of Web-based inquiry on disadvantaged students have barely been studied. To bridge this gap, this study deals with the implementation of a Web-based inquiry project in 19 secondary classes and focuses specifically on gender, achievement level, and academic track. Multilevel analysis was applied to uncover the effects on knowledge acquisition, inquiry skills, and interest in science. The study provides quantitative evidence not only that a Web-based collaborative inquiry project is an effective approach for science learning, but that this approach can also offer advantages for students who are not typically successful in science or who are not enrolled in a science track. This approach can contribute to narrowing the gap between boys and girls in science and can give low-achieving students and general-track students an opportunity to develop confidence and skills for learning science, bringing them to a performance level that is closer to that of high-achieving students. [More] Descriptors: Secondary School Students, Secondary School Science, Inquiry, Skill Development