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K-12 Education

Efforts to help strengthen and improve public education are central to the Albert Shanker Institute’s mission. This work is pursued by promoting discussions, supporting publications and sponsoring research on new and workable approaches to ensuring that all public schools are good schools. As explained by Al Shanker below, these efforts are grounded in the belief that a vibrant public school system is crucial to the health and survival of the nation:

"...I believe that public education is the glue that has held this country together. Critics now say that the common school never really existed, that it’s time to abandon this ideal in favor of schools that are designed to appeal to groups based on ethnicity, race, religion, class, or common interests of various kinds. But schools like these would foster divisions in our society; they would be like setting a time bomb.

"A Martian who happened to be visiting Earth soon after the United States was founded would not have given this country much chance of surviving. He would have predicted that this new nation, whose inhabitants were of different races, who spoke different languages, and who followed different religions, wouldn’t remain one nation for long. They would end up fighting and killing each other. Then, what was left of each group would set up its own country, just as has happened many other times and in many other places. But that didn’t happen. Instead, we became a wealthy and powerful nation—the freest the world has ever known. Millions of people from around the world have risked their lives to come here, and they continue to do so today.

"Public schools played a big role in holding our nation together. They brought together children of different races, languages, religions and cultures and gave them a common language and a sense of common purpose. We have not outgrown our need for this; far from it. Today, Americans come from more different countries and speak more different languages than ever before. Whenever the problems connected with school reform seem especially tough, I think about this. I think about what public education gave me—a kid who couldn’t even speak English when I entered first grade. I think about what it has given me and can give to countless numbers of other kids like me. And I know that keeping public education together is worth whatever effort it takes."

Albert Shanker, 1997

  • Citizen Power Challenge Grant Winners

    Classroom projects such as learning about global cultural perspectives as a way to build compassion, planning a community garden to promote healthy eating, combating bullying, learning American Sign Language and building a health and wellness library are some of the 15 winning projects in the Citizen Power Challenge. The challenge, funded by the Aspen Institute’s Pluribus Project, is sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers, the Albert Shanker Institute and First Book. More information and list of winners.

  • 2016-2017 Conversations

    List of the 2016-2017 Conversations. Please note that due to the election, the first Conversation will be held the third Wednesday in November. There will be no December Conversation. The Conversations will resume in January, February, March, April and May.
  • Eugenia Kemble Memorial Service, October 5, 2018

  • Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education Conversation Series

    Sponsored by the Albert Shanker Insitute and the American Federation of Teachers, this monthly conversation series is designed to engender lively and informative discussions on important educational issues. We invite speakers with diverse perspectives, including views other than those of the Albert Shanker Institute and the American Federation of Teachers. What is important is that these participants are committed to genuine engagement with each other. Watch the past conversations and register for upcoming conversations.
  • The Allocation of New Students to New York City High Schools

    A research project documenting the characteristics and assignment of students who enter New York City's high school choice process for the first time.

  • Let’s Talk: Professional Development Modules

    The highest rate of vocabulary development (and corresponding acquisition of background knowledge) occurs during the preschool years. This makes preschool a crucial time for effective, content-rich instruction. Accordingly, the Institute has developed a series of Common Core State Standards (CCSS)-aligned modules, which are designed to strengthen the ability of early childhood educators to impart rich, academic content in fun, developmentally appropriate ways. The modules cover the academic domains of oral language development, early literacy, early science, and early mathematics.

  • CTE 2014: Career Training for the Knowledge Economy

    This conference, sponsored by the New York Citywide CTE Advisory Council, the United Federation of Teachers, and the NYC Department of Education, with support from the CTE Technical Assistance Center of New York State, the American Federation of Teachers, the Albert Shanker Institute, and the Association for Career and Technical Education. was a special addition to the annual professional development day for New York City CTE teachers.

  • The Social Side of Education Reform

    The Social Side is a lens that brings insight into a critical oversight in educational reform and its policies: Teaching and learning are not solo accomplishments but social endeavors -- they are best achieved, through trusting relationships and teamwork, instead of competition and individual prowess.

  • A Novel Approach To Understanding Teachers' Work & Work Context

    The University of Wisconsin and the Albert Shanker Institute are jointly developing the Educator Day Reconstruction Method, which provides a new and flexible way of measuring teachers' work and the broader context where it unfolds.

  • The Good Schools Seminars

    This seminar series is part of an effort to build a network of  union leaders, district superintendents, and researchers to work collaboratively on improving public education through a focus on teaching. It emerges from the Albert Shanker Institute’s role as sponsor of provocative discussions about education and public policy reform.

  • Democracy Web

    Democracy Web is a unique collection of online resources designed to help high school and college teachers illustrate key principles of democratic governance in a “compare and contrast” format that challenges students to think critically across cultural, historical and national contexts. The site’s key elements include country studies, an interactive map and a well-respected categorical rating system that offers an overview of the basic architecture of democracy and a framework for analysis.

  • March on Washington Lesson Plans

    The year 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of one of the most historic moments in United States history – the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

  • Fulfilling The Promise Of a Quality Education for All: 21st Century Career & Technical Education

    This New York City conference (co-sponsored with the UFT) was designed to allow participants to share their expertise in CTE policy, practice, and research, as well as to deepen their understanding of how quality CTE can serve to expand the educational and career horizons of all students.

  • Supplement, Not Supplant: The Continuing Challenges of Getting Federal Education Dollars to The Intended Beneficiaries

    November 13, 2019

    Sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute and the American Federation of Teachers

    Lunch will be served. The Conversation is free, but registration is required.

    Panelists include:

  • Zombie Education Reform

    October 9, 2019

    Zombie Education Reform: Without A Meaningful Base in Research Evidence, Can Support for Online Charters and Education Vouchers be Sustained? Sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute and the American Federation of Teachers. Speakers: Brian Gill, Senior Fellow, Mathematica; John Jackson, President and CEO, Schott Foundation for Public Education; Christopher Lubienski, Professor of Education Policy, Indiana University; Fellow, National Education Policy Center, University of Colorado, Macke Raymond, founder and director, Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), Stanford University. Watch the video.

  • Teaching Sexual Consent & Egalitarian Relationships in a "Me Too" Era

    May 8, 2019

    Wednesday, May 8, 2019 from noon to 2:00 pm, 555 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001. What should schools, from pre-K through college, be doing to educate our youth into responsible and respectful conceptions and practices of sexuality? Given the number of questions that have arisen around sexuality, such as the emergence of a multiplicity of LGBTQIA sexual identities, what constitutes an educational approach to sexuality that is respectful of all? When and where is it appropriate -– and, indeed, feasible -– for schools to intervene in the social interactions of youth and what forms should such interventions take? From a variety of perspectives, from K-12 schooling to higher education to legislative, our panel discussed these questions. Watch the video.
  • Cutting Through the Clutter of School Finance Data and Research

    April 25, 2019

    April 25, 2019, 12:00-1:30pm. Despite an emerging political and empirical consensus about the importance of adequate and equitable funding for high-quality K-12 education, the complex, esoteric field of school finance can be frustrating for policymakers, parents, and the public. How can school finance data and research be presented in an accessible and policy-relevant manner, while also preserving the necessary rigor and sophistication? Register here.

  • Leading While Muslim Book Discussion and Reception

    April 16, 2019

    Book Discussion and Recpetion with Debbie Almontaser and Randi Weingarten. Leading While Muslim examines the lived experiences of American Muslim principals who serve in public schools post-9/11 to determine whether global events, political discourse, and the media coverage of Islam and Muslims have affected their leadership and spirituality.

  • Teaching: Art, Craft, or Science?

    April 10, 2019

    Teaching: Art, Craft, or Science? In the modern era, the debates over teaching have increasingly focused on views that have seen teaching as an art, a craft or a science – different ways of conceiving of the intersection of knowledge and practice. Our panelists include education scholars with rich bodies of research in support of different conceptions, and educational practitioners who have reflected deeply on the meaning of their own teaching practice. Watch the video here.
  • Civic Education: Is There Common Ground?

    March 13, 2019

    Civic Education: Is There Common Ground, March 13, 2019, noon, 555 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, DC. Speakers: Leo Casey, Executive Director, Albert Shanker Institute; Peter Levine, Research Professor in Philosophy, Tisch College Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship; Public Affairs, and Research Professor in the Tufts Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute at Tufts University; Jessica Marshall, co-author, “Let’s Go There: Making A Case for Race, Ethnicity and a Lived Civics Approach to Civic Education ;doctoral candidate, Northwestern University; former Director of Social Science and Civic Engagement for the Chicago Public Schools; Joe Rogers, Director of Public Engagement and Government Affairs, Center for Educational Equity, Teachers College, Columbia University. Watch the video.

  • The Right to Vote and the Future of American Democracy

    January 9, 2019

    THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED


    Today, American democracy is in crisis, and voter suppression is at the center of that crisis. There is ample evidence that it has been used to thwart the democratic will of “we the people” in a different states and in a number of recent elections. Our panel gathers not to belabor the self-evident – that voter suppression is morally wrong and injurious to democracy – but to discuss, from a variety of perspectives, what we should be doing to end it.
  • 2013-2018 Conversations

    November 27, 2018

    Co-Sponored by the Shanker Institute and the AFT, they are held the second Wednesday of the month during the school year from noon to 2:00 pm at 555 New Jersey Ave, NW. Watch all the conversation videos 2013-2018..

  • The 2018 Elections: What Do They Mean for American Education?

    November 27, 2018

    What are the implications of the results of the 2018 election for American education, in Washington D.C,. in state capitols and in the nation’s schools and classrooms? From a variety of perspectives ranging from political actor to scholar, our panelists will address this question. Speakers: Domingo Morel assistant professor, political science, Rutgers University; visiting scholar, Annenberg Institute for School Reform, Brown University; Michael Petrilli, president, Thomas B. Fordham Institute; research fellow, Stanford University's Hoover Institution; executive editor, Education Next; distinguished senior fellow, Education Commission of the States; Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers and Albert Shanker Institute. Moderator: Michelle Ringuette, assistant to the president for labor, government & political affairs, American Federation of Teachers. Watch the video.
  • How To Create A More Collaborative Workplace For Teachers

    September 20, 2018

    Join Public Agenda and the Albert Shanker Institute for a free 1-hour webinar on Thursday, Sept. 20 to explore how educators can work together to foster collaboration among teachers. To register and receive updates leading up to the event, please click here.
  • Charter School Expansion & the Viability of Public Education

    May 9, 2018

    There is vital economic dimension to the American promise of a free, quality pubic education for all of its youth. In its simplest aspect, government needs to provide adequate funding to public schools. As the recent wave of teacher strikes and protests have highlighted, many states are far from meeting that basic obligation. A more complex economic aspect is how government funds are distributed and used. The growth of charter schools, and the resultant diversion of public funds from public district schools to charter schools, had added a new element in the distribution and use of public funds, raising a series of questions. From a variety of perspectives and grounded in studies in different states, our panel addressed these issues.  Watch the video.

  • Teaching in Context Book Reception at AERA 2018

    April 15, 2018

    Teaching in Context book reception at the American Education Research Association annual meeting, Sunday April 15, 2018, 6:30-8:00 p.m., New York Marriott Marquis Hotel, 1535 Broadway, Astor Ballroom, New York NY. More information and registration.

  • Academic Freedom in an Age of Political Polarization

    March 14, 2018

    Academic freedom is best understood, John Dewey once wrote, as freedom of education: the freedom of students to learn the knowledge and skills of citizenship in a democratic society and the freedom of teachers to teach in ways that cultivate these skills and knowledge. As such, academic freedom is not only indispensable for the educational mission of the university, but vital to the safeguarding of freedom in the larger society. Dewey’s vision of academic freedom as a public good, essential for democracy itself to flourish, has come under attack in recent years. In a hyper-partisan moment, when issues as different as climate change and gun violence have been crudely polarized and politicized, academic freedom too has been targeted by those who believe that the university should not be teaching critical and independent thinking, but propagating a particular political ideology. Provocateurs now use public events to spark disruption, initiate violence and attack intellectual diversity on campus, rather than engaging in productive dialogue and mutual learning. From a variety of different perspectives, our panel addressed the issues raised by the need to defend academic freedom in an age of political polarization. Watch the video.
  • Puerto Rico: The Road to Recovery and Reconstruction

    March 1, 2018

    Puerto Rico: The Road to Recovery and Reconstruction (#rebuildPR), March 1, 2018, co-sponsored by Albert Shanker Institute, American Federation of Teachers and Hispanic Federation. With the future of Puerto Rico hanging in the balance, this national conference focused on what needs to be done to rebuild the Puerto Rican economy and its educational system in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.  Watch the video.

     

  • Is the Promise of ESSA Being Actualized?

    February 14, 2018

    Now that the states have completed and submitted their first ESSA plans, it is an appropriate time to ask if the promise of ESSA is being realized. Which states and districts have used this new freedom to draw back from testing overreach, establishing more balanced approaches to student promotion, teacher evaluation and school accountability? Are states and districts using ESSA to provide the needed resources and supports to struggling schools, almost all of which serve students with the greatest needs? If ESSA’s promise is not being realized, why not? What, if any, role has a Trump/DeVos Department of Education played in the first fruits of ESSA? Our panelists addressed these questions among others. Watch the video.

  • Teaching Democratic Citizenship When Democracy is at Risk

    January 10, 2018

    Today, the U.S. finds itself in a crisis of democracy, in which the future of our liberties and our republican form of government hang in the balance. Almost daily, we see attacks against the rights of citizenship, especially on the right to vote, and against the rule of law, an independent judiciary and a free press. Demagogic attacks are regularly launched against “other” Americans—immigrants and refugees, people of color, Muslims and Jews, and LGBTQ people. What role should American education play in responding to this crisis of democracy? How should we teach democratic citizenship in our schools and universities to ensure that the “whole mass of the people” can see that it is their interest to preserve the republican government established by the founders to sustain liberty and democracy? How can America’s educators ensure that their classrooms and lecture halls are places where students learn to recognize demagoguery, oppose bigotry and resist tyranny? Two of our nation’s leading public intellectuals, Harvard professor Danielle Allen and Yale professor Timothy Snyder, joined AFT President Randi Weingarten to discuss these questions. . Watch the video.
  • Austerity Politics and American Education

    November 8, 2017

    Soeakers: Ivy Bailey, Michael Fabricant and Gary Miron. Watch the video.
  • Deborah Meier Book Event and Reception

    October 25, 2017

    Wednesday October 25, 2017. More information

  • Daniel Koretz Book Reception

    October 16, 2017

    Monday, October 16, 2017, 4:00 to 6:30 pm, 555 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, D.C.
  • Vouchers and Education: What Do History and the Research Tell Us?

    September 13, 2017

    As Congress considers the Trump-DeVos proposals for a national voucher program, what can we learn from the history of vouchers and from the research on the performance of voucher systems? From a variety of perspectives, our panel addressed this question. Panelists: Martin Carnoy, Vida Jacks Professor of Education, Stanford Graduate School of Education; Leo Casey, Executive Director, Albert Shanker Institute; John Jackson, President and CEO, Schott Foundation for Public Education; and Ning Rui, Senior Study Director, Westat. (Full bios.). Watch the video.
  • 2016-2017 Conversations

    June 30, 2017

    Co-sponsored by the Shanker Institute and the American Federation of Teachers.
  • School Integration By Race & Class: A Movement Reborn?

    June 7, 2017

    In recent years there have been signs of a resurgent grassroots movement to integrate schools. From a variety of perspectives, our panelists examined the state of segregation by race and class in America’s schools, and the promising initiatives and practices that are emerging in the renewed movement to integrate America’s schools. Watch the video.

  • In An Age of Scapegoating, Making School A Safe & Nurturing Place for Youth

    May 10, 2017

    From a variety of different perspectives and work with different populations of vulnerable students, our panel examined the challenges facing American educators and the best practices educators have developed to address them. Watch the conversation..

  • School Turnarounds: What has Worked and What Has Failed

    April 12, 2017

    Our panel of researchers and practitioners addressed this question by examining both the current state of research and on-the-ground efforts at school improvement that have worked. Watch the conversation video.

  • The Role of School Organization, Social Capital and Collaboration in the Improvement of Teachers and Teaching. From Research Findings to Policy Proposals

    April 6, 2017

    Current education policies haven’t sufficiently leveraged the organizational and interpersonal aspects of schools which can benefit educators and students collectively. Instead, the focus has been primarily on technical and individual-level approaches. However, a focus on individuals seems insufficient and limited; a simultaneous and equally strong focus on strengthening the organizations where teachers work appears sorely needed.

  • Promoting Children's Well-Being

    March 8, 2017

    Promoting Children's Well Being. This panel examined 21st century approaches to a culture of health in and with schools. Watch the video.

  • AFT: One Hundred Years of Social Justice Teacher Unionism

    January 11, 2017

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 555 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001. Watch the Conversation.

     

  • Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education Conversation Series 2013-2016

    June 8, 2016

    Sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute and the American Federation of Teachers, this conversation series held the second Wednesay of the month during the school year, is designed to engender lively and informative discussions on important educational issues. Watch the videos from the last three seasons.

  • Educating English Language Learners in an Age of Anti-Immigrant Scapegoating

    June 8, 2016

    Most students who immigrate to the United States enter our schools as English language learners (ELLs). These students face the challenge of simultaneously learning a new language and the same subject material as students for whom English is the native language, while struggling to adapt to a new, often alien culture. Few groups are more poorly served by our schools. The divisive, hateful rhetoric of racial, ethnic and religious bigotry that has been unleashed in the current presidential election campaign has increased the obstacles faced by these students, and left them shaken and unsure about their place in American society. What is the appropriate response of American educators to this critical situation? What must be done to provide English language learners with the quality education that addresses their specific needs? What pedagogical strategies best meet the needs of English Language Learners? What must be done to provide students with a pathway to citizenship and full incorporation into American society? How should educators confront expressions of prejudice and bigotry against immigrant students and other English language learners? Our panel will address these and other questions from different vantage points and experiences.

    Speakers include: Steven Choi, Executive Director, The New York Immigration Coalition and Joe Luft, Executive Director, Internationals Network for Public Schools, Inc. Watch the video.
  • New Visions of Collective Bargaining in American Education

    May 11, 2016

    May 11, 2016. When the first collective bargaining agreements in American education were negotiated a half century ago, they were largely focused on wages, working conditions and due process. School district officials resisted the inclusion of educational issues as encroachments on “management prerogatives.” Meanwhile, the fledging teacher unions modelled themselves after progressive unions, such as the United Auto Workers and the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, using industrial-style contracts as a template for their own collective bargaining. But the democratic idea that teachers should have a collective voice in their educational workplace could not be contained within such limited parameters. For a generation, teacher unions have struggled, with increasing success, to expand collective bargaining into the professional sphere. Our panel will investigate some of the most promising efforts on that front around the country, as teacher unions find new ways to negotiate contracts for educational innovation and improvement and build new partnerships with community around that work. Watch the video.

  • Educating Tomorrow's Teachers: Are U.S. Education Department Regulations for Schools of Education a Help or a Hindrance?

    April 13, 2016

    Controversial new regulations for teacher education have been proposed by the U.S. Ed Dept. Although there are objections to the regulations, the controversy centers on the proposed measures of teaching performance -- student test scores, as seen through the prism of value-added measurements, and surveys. Are there better alternatives? Can they be replicated at scale? Given the need for teacher ed schools to prepare teachers to do well from day one, what is the best way to ensure that all teacher prep programs are of the highest quality? Wed., April 13, noon to 2:00 pm. Watch the video.

  • Education Research and Teachers Unions

    April 9, 2016

    AERA2016 Presidential Session, Washington, D.C. Panelists: Deborah Lowenberg Ball, Ellen Bernstein, Leo Casey, Susan Moore Johnson. Watch the panel video.
  • The Social Side of Education: How Social Aspects of Schools & School Systems Shape Teaching & Learning

    April 8, 2016

    The notion that teaching and learning are social endeavors may seem obvious. Yet, the implications of that statement for research, policy and practice are less so. This conference foregrounds recent evidence showing that social aspects of schools and school systems deeply influence school improvement. The conference will also encourage in-depth debate on the practical implications of this evidence. Watch the videos here.

  • "No Excuses" Schools and the Education of Impoverished Students of Color

    March 9, 2016

    "No Excuses" Schools and the Education of Impoverished Students of Color. March 9, 2016, noon to 2:00 pm, 555 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001. More information and registration Watch the video..

  • Conversation on Teacher Diversity

    March 8, 2016

    Co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, Howard University School of Education,Teach For America, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Albert Shanker Institute, this panel discussed why teacher diversity is important and how it can be strengthened through recruitment, retention, and continued support for teachers of color. Watch the video and downloard the ASI report here.

  • Where We Live and Where We Learn

    February 10, 2016

  • Teacher Tenure: An Outmoded "Job For Life" or Essential Right to Due Process?

    January 13, 2016

    In this panel, we will explore divergent viewpoints by focusing on what tenure laws actually consist of, how they work in practice, how they might be improved, and, of course, their impact on important outcomes such as teacher retention and student achievement. Watch the video.
  • Quality Teaching: Individual and Social Approaches

    December 7, 2015

    This two-panel conversation focused on theresults of the annual “PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes toward the Public Schools,” and their implications for policy and practice, taking on the question of how government, schools of education, school districts and schools can promote, nurture and support quality teaching. Watch the video.

  • Positive Alternatives to Suspending And Expelling Misbehaving Students in Early Childhood Education

    November 4, 2015

    Recent research and news reports show that even very young children--and particularly young children of color--can be subject to harsh and overly punitive school disciplinary practices. At the same time, the need for schools to be safe and orderly places to teach and to learn remains a top priority in poll after poll of parents and the public.These are the issues our speakers will discuss.

  • Creating Safe & Supportive Schools II: Next Steps

    November 4, 2015

    The focus of this Good Schools seminar was to share effective policies and strategies to enhance school climate, mitigate behavior problems, and support improved performance, with special attention to supporting labor-management teams as they work to comply with new rules and guidelines on behavior management. The discussion bridged a wide range of topics, including: schools as caring communities; providing the social, emotional and medical supports that students need; the challenge of implicit bias; and alternative behavior and classroom management strategies

  • Florida Education Reform Under Jeb Bush: Miracle or Mirage?

    October 14, 2015

    The panelists examined the Florida reforms and their educational impact from a variety of perspectives—from the educational frontline in classrooms and schools to the overview of system analysts.. Watch the video.

  • Ten Years After the Deluge: The State of Public Education in New Orleans

    September 9, 2015

    The first panel from 12:00-2:00 pm will focus on "New Orleans After the Deluge: What Happens To A Community Dispossessed," taking up the broader questions of the post-Katrina economic and political changes in New Orleans and how they shaped developments in its public schools. The second panel from 2:15-4:00 will focus on "Public Education in New Orleans: What Is The State of New Orleans Schools After A Decade of Market Reforms?," and will address the specific question of the current state of the city’s public schools.

  • Teaching Voting Rights

    July 14, 2015

    Using the C3 framework developed for teaching social studies and civics with the Common Core, this workshop will investigate the use of inquiry lessons to teach the theme of voting rights. This panel is part of the AFT's TEACH conference. Watch the panel.

  • Working Together Matters for Improvement

    July 13, 2015

    Improvement is as much about the capacities of educators and school leaders (human capital) as it is about the capacities and resources that are created between them (social capital) at all levels of the school organization and broader school system. This panel is part of AFT's TEACH Conference. Watch the video.

  • The Use of Value Added in Teacher Evaluations

    July 13, 2015

    In this workshop, Matt Di Carlo discusses the strengths and weaknesses of value-added models, with a particular emphasis on their use in teacher evaluations. This event was part of the AFT´s 2015 TEACH conference. Watch the video.

  • Gauging the Impact of School-Based Health Care On Students’ Health, Wellbeing and Educational Outcomes

    June 12, 2015

    Co-sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Public Health Association, and the National Association of School Nurses. Watch the video.

  • The Affordability Crisis: Rescuing the Dream of College Education for the Working-Class and Poor

    June 10, 2015

    Speakers: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sara Goldrick-Rab, Beth Huang, Zakiya Smith; Moderator: Mary Cathryn Ricker. Watch the video.

  • Strategies for African-American Economic Emancipation

    May 29, 2015

    A panel sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute at the Fighting Inequality Conference at Georgetown University.

  • Education and Economic Policy in an Age of Political Polarization: Is There a Good Way Forward?

    May 13, 2015

    Is there a way for education and economic policy to escape from the paralyzing dynamic of political polarization that has confounded progress on so many issues?  Watch the Conversation.

  • In Defense of the Public Square

    May 1, 2015

    A robust and vibrant public square is an essential foundation of democracy. It is the place where the important public issues of the day are subject to free and open debate, and our ideas of what is in the public interest take shape. Watch the sessions.

  • Opportunities to Learn: Equity in American Education- Looking Backward, Looking Forward

    April 8, 2015

    In an era of growing racial and class segregation in American education, what must be done to provide every student with a genuine opportunity to learn? April 8, noon-2:00.

  • Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education Conversation Series, 2014-2015

    April 8, 2015

    Co-sponsored with the American Federation of Teachers and held the second Wednesday of every month during the school year, this series is designed to engender lively and informative conversations on important educational issues. We invite speakers with diverse perspectives. Watch videos from the conversations.

  • Fairness & Effectiveness in School Discipline

    March 14, 2015

    How do we teach discipline and maintain order, while protecting against the effects of persistent, unconscious biases? How do we ensure that schools are warm, welcoming, fair, and effective in the treatment of all students? Watch the video.

  • A Diverse Teacher Force

    March 13, 2015

    There is concern that, as the U.S. population and student body is growing more racially and ethically diverse, the teacher workforce does not yet reflect this diversity. In fact, diversity should go beyond having more black and brown teachers in front of students. Diversity is also about equipping all teachers (regardless of race) to work with heterogeneous classrooms and diverse schools. Watch the video.

  • Is There A Pension Crisis?

    March 11, 2015

    Elected officials seeking to diminish the pensions of public sector employees have argued that they are responding to a fiscal crisis. Is this crisis real or contrived? March 11, noon-2.
  • ESEA at 50: The Federal Government and Equity in American Education

    February 18, 2015

    The basic provisions of Title I have barely changed in 50 years, and neither has the persistent inequality of educational opportunities offered to poor children. What more should Congress do? Watch the video.

  • The Emergence of the "Precariat": What Does The Loss of Stable Well-Compensated Employment Mean For Education?

    January 14, 2015

    The emergence of the global knowledge economy has revolutionized the nature of work in America – for the worse. Watch the Conversation.
  • Losing Our Way: Book Event with Bob Herbert and Randi Weingarten

    December 1, 2014

    In his 18 years as an opinion columnist for the New York Times, Bob Herbert championed the working poor and middle class. After filing his last column in 2011, he set off on a journey across the country to report on Americans who were being left behind in an economy that has never fully recovered from the Great Recession. The portraits of those he encountered fuel his new book, Losing Our Way.

  • The Next Generation of Differentiated Compensation: What Next?

    November 12, 2014

    This panel will examine the terrain of teacher compensation from a number of different perspectives, offering their recommendations on what a good compensation policy would entail. Watch the Conversation.

  • How Do We Get Experienced, Accomplished Teachers Into High Need Schools?

    October 8, 2014

    From a variety of different perspectives, our panel will address two vital questions: What are the systemic causes of this mismatch of educational resources and educational need? What policies could be adopted to remedy this mismatch, and attract experienced, accomplished teachers into schools with high educational need? Watch the Conversation.

  • This is Not A Test: Jose Vilson Book Event

    September 24, 2014

    This book follows the author through his coming-of-age story, beginning as a naïve young man growing up in the drug-tainted, community-centered projects of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and continuing through his struggles to mature and give back through a career teaching middle school math.

  • A New Social Compact for American Education: Fixing Our Broken Accountability System

    September 10, 2014

    Twelve years after the passage of No Child Left Behind and five years into Race to the Top, America finds itself in a ‘test and punish’ system of school accountability that poorly serves the nation and its students. Watch the Conversation.

  • Conversation Series, 2014-2015

    September 1, 2014

    Sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute and the American Federation of Teachers, this conversation series is designed to engender lively and informative discussions on important educational issues. We deliberately invite speakers with diverse perspectives, including views other than those of the AFT and the Albert Shanker Institute. What is important is that these participants are committed to genuine engagement with each other. Watch the past conversations and register for upcoming conversations.

  • Educational Justice and the Integration of American Schools

    June 11, 2014

    As we mark the sixtieth anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the promise of that historic decision remains unfulfilled. Watch the Conversation.
  • Governing American Education: The Elusive Public in Public Education

    May 14, 2014

    The American ideal of “public education” has historically included a robust and complex conception of what it meant for education to be “public.”
  • American Education in Global Perspective

    April 9, 2014

    Since the 1995 introduction of the TIMSS studies and the 2000 start of the PISA assessments, much ink has been spilled on where U.S. students stand vis-à-vis their international counterparts
  • Good Schools IX / Creating Safe and Supportive Schools

    March 25, 2014

    How do we ensure that all schools are warm, welcoming, fair, and effective in the treatment of all students? How do we maintain safety and order, while protecting against the effects of the persistent, unconscious biases that plaugue our society?

  • The Future of Teacher Education and Preparation

    March 12, 2014

    Each panelist provides his or her diagnosis of American teacher education and a program for its improvement.
  • Philanthropy and Democratic Education: Friends or Foes?

    February 12, 2014

    Ever since their emergence in the early twentieth century, major philanthropic foundations have played a funding role in American education.
  • Disrupting the Prison Pipeline

    January 8, 2014

    How do we ensure that our schools become vehicles for escaping poverty and constructing meaningful, productive lives as democratic citizens, and not the starting point of an institutional arrangement that ends in mass incarceration?
  • Early Childhood Education: The Word Gap & the Common Core

    December 11, 2013

    Given states’ difficulties in implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) thoughtfully, many early childhood educators have begun to worry about what the NAEYC refers to as “a downward pressure of increased academic focus and more narrowed instructional approaches.”
  • Quality Assessments for Educational Excellence

    November 13, 2013

    The conversation focused on federal and state policy on student assessment, with an eye to identifying policies that would promote best assessment practices.
  • Fulfilling The Promise Of a Quality Education for All: 21st Century Career & Technical Education

    October 10, 2013

    This New York City conference (co-sponsored with the UFT) was designed to allow participants to share their expertise in CTE policy, practice, and research, as well as to deepen their understanding of how quality CTE can serve to expand the educational and career horizons of all students. Participants also considered a statement of recommendations on what needs to be done to develop and support quality CTE programs in U.S. education.

  • Civic Purposes of Public Education and the Common Core

    October 9, 2013

    One of the primary purposes of public education is to foster an engaged and well-educated citizenry: For a democracy to function, the "people" who rule must be prepared to take on the duties and the rights of citizens.
  • The Use And Misuses of Value-Added in Teacher Evaluations: Three Perspectives

    September 11, 2013

    Nationally-recognized experts, Linda Darling Hammond, Douglas Harris and Thomas Kane will present and discuss concrete proposals for how to incorporate test-based performance measures into new teacher evaluations
  • Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education Conversation Series, 2013-2014

    September 2, 2013

    Co-sponsored with the American Federation of Teachers and held the second Wednesday of every month during the school year, this series is designed to engender lively and informative conversations on important educational issues. We deliberately invites speakers with diverse perspectives, including views other than those of the AFT and the Albert Shanker Institute. What is important is that these participants are committed to genuine engagement with each other. Watch the Conversation videos.

  • Good Schools VIII / Doing Assessment Right

    March 2, 2013

    In the wake of No Child Left Behind, the demands on educational testing are heavier than ever – from diagnosis to instructional improvement to gate-keeping to accountability for students, teachers, and schools. What would a useful assessment system look like at the state and local levels? What are the conceptual and practical issues that must be confronted to achieve such a system?

  • Good Schools VII / Turning Around Low-Performing Schools

    November 16, 2011

    Districts across the country are struggling to improve low-performing schools, many using school improvement formulas imbedded in state and federal law. But what can research tell us about the relevance of family and school context to learning? About the “social capital” such contexts produce? About how effective these efforts have been and are likely to be? And about what is really known about “what works” to help schools improve

  • Good Schools VI / Multiple Measures of Teacher Performance: What Does It Mean? How Is It Implemented?

    November 9, 2010

    The quest to define and measure teacher effectiveness has sparked useful research on many different fronts, using different means to gauge various important outcomes. But it has also prompted many ieffective, punitive redesigns of techer evaluation systems. How do we create a system that is clear, fair, and useful for improving practice? 

  • Good Schools V / Pushing the Teacher Evaluation Envelope: Designing the Most Valid and Reliable Systems Possible

    April 27, 2010

    The fifth meeting of district partners in the Albert Shanker Institute’s “good schools” seminar series was convened in the wake of the first round of the Obama Administration’s $4.3 billion Race to the Top competition. Although only two states were declared as winners, scores of others made plans and passed laws that changed state education systems in ways that could be positive or negative, depending on the care with which these changes are planned and implemented.

  • "Modernizing Career and Technical Education (CTE), High School's Neglected Resource for Comprehensive Post-Secondary Preparation."

    February 10, 2010

    In this February, 2010 off-the-record Conversation, top federal and state policymakers, educators, business and labor leaders, practitioners, researchers and other experts with an interest in Career and Technical Education (CTE), including Education Secretary Arne Duncan and American Federation of Teachers and Shanker Institute President Randi Weingarten discussed the achievements and challenges facing high quality CTE. Following the Conversation, one of several sponsored by the Institute on key education topics, the Institute published a Compendium of the issues and questions addressed by the group.

  • Good Schools IV / Using the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act To Advance the Good Schools Agenda

    April 20, 2009

    In addition to shoring up decimated education budgets, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is a possible funding source for state and local education reform efforts. This seminar examines what the law really says and the sorts of projects it might fund to: improve teacher quality, develop effective curriculum, improve the achievement of low-performing students, develop useful assessments, etc.

  • Good Schools III / Teacher Pay and Staffing Policies: What Works, What Doesn’t

    November 19, 2008

    In this November 2008 Good Schools Seminar, panelists including Doug Harris, David Osher, and Randi Weingarten discuss the evidence and policy on compensation and staffing policies for teachers in the U.S.

  • Good Schools II / Developing the Teaching Corps We Need

    January 29, 2008

    This seminar series is part of an effort to build a network of union leaders, district superintendents, and researchers to work collaboratively on improving public education through a focus on teaching.

  • Good Schools I / Unions, Teaching Quality and Student Achievement

    June 4, 2007

    This is the first in a series of two-day seminars, designed to help build a network of union leaders, district superintendents, and researchers to work collaboratively on improving public education through a focus on teaching.

  • What Do We Really Know About High School Dropout Rates & What Can Be Done To Improve Them?

    May 2, 2007

    The reliability of the data on high school dropout and graduation rates and the best way to calculate them have recently become the subject of intense debate, often generating more heat than light. What are the hidden assumptions and implications behind the dueling methodologies? What can we say with some certainty about how many students leave school prior to graduation, when, and why? And, more importantly, what do we really know about the policies and programs that are most effective in preventing dropouts and promoting school success?

  • Performance-Based Pay in Public Education

    June 2, 2006

    Across the country, policymakers are promoting or implementing plans to encourage excellent teaching by linking some portion of teachers’ pay to their performance or to the performance of their schools or students. While these proposals have generated a lot of heated discussion, most of the debate has centered around issues of theory or politics, not efficacy. What is the empirical evidence on the effects of performance-based pay plans, in general? In the public sector? In education? And what can research and experience tell us about the factors that make the implementation of some plans more or less successful?

  • Background Knowledge & Reading Proficiency

    May 19, 2006

    Research has demonstrated that students’ vocabulary and background knowledge are vital to reading comprehension, and that poor children and struggling readers are disproportionately disadvantaged by this fact. What are the implications of these findings for improving curriculum and instruction at the elementary and secondary levels? And how do schools impart this knowledge to students who don’t read well enough to acquire it from the written word?

  • Improving the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics

    May 5, 2005

    Despite the continuing “math wars” debates, there is an emerging consensus on the need for U.S. math teachers to improve both their content and pedagogical knowledge. Key researchers (who were selected using an informal peer review process) have been asked to provide an overview on recent research about what mathematics teachers ned to know and be able to do to improve the performance of all students.

  • Reading Disabilities, Reading Difficulties & School-Based Interventions that Work

    April 13, 2005

    The importance of early reading success to later educational achievement has now become common wisdom. Federal agencies, state governments, and individual schools and districts across the country have initiated programs to improve beginning reading instruction, including strategies to identify struggling readers as early as possible. But what comes next? Once a reading problem is detected, can it actually be averted? And, if so, with what “treatment”? In recent years, neuroscientists and reading researchers have pursued a preventive model of reading instruction that could also be wildly successful. What does this research tell us about what goes on in the brain of a struggling reader, before and after intervention? And how can schools and districts translate this research into classroom materials and strategies that really work to prevent reading failure?

  • Bridging the Gap Between State Standards and Classroom Achievement: A Forum

    March 2, 2002

    Unless states step in to help turn standards into the tools that schools need, the promise of standards-based reform will be lost. That was the message of a March 2002 national forum for state educators, policymakers, teacher unionists, and business leaders on the challenges of curriculum and professional development to meaningful standards-based reform. The event was cosponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute and Achieve, Inc.

  • The Collection and Availability of Teacher Diversity Data: A State-by-State Survey

    This research brief presents a comprehensive summary of the collection and availability of teacher diversity data, based on our 2017 survey of all 51 state education agencies.

  • Teaching in Context: The Social Side of Education Reform

    Teaching in Context (Harvard Education Press, 2017) provides new evidence from a range of leading scholars showing that teachers become more effective when they work in organizations that support them in comprehensive and coordinated ways. The volume is edited by ASI senior fellow Esther Quintero and has a foreword by Andy Hargreaves.

  • The State of Teacher Diversity in American Education

    At the same time that the minority student population in the U.S. has increased dramatically, the percentage of nonwhite teachers nationwide only increased from 12 to 17 percent between 1987 and 2012. This report analyzes the national trends and takes a closer look at what has been happening in nine major U.S. cities, finding that substantial representation gaps between minority teachers and minority students persist.

  • The Albert Shanker Institute Research Grant Program

    The Shanker Institute awards small seed grants to emerging scholars doing promising work in our focus areas of education, labor and international democracy.

  • School Finance and Teacher Pay Competitiveness

    Using data from the School Finance Indicators Database, this report presents an analysis of teacher/non-teacher wage gaps and their relationship with state school spending and fiscal effort.

  • Dal Lawrence

    Dal Lawrence, who passed away on May 15, 2019, was president of the Toledo Federation of Teachers (TFT) for 30 years, as well as the husband of former TFT president, AFT executive vice president and ASI board member Fran Lawrence. (Read more.) Dal and his family generously suggested tax-deductible contributions in his honor be made to the Shanker Institute or to the Toledo Jazz Orchestra, P.O. Box 353123, Toledo, Ohio 43635. Contribute to the Shanker Institute in Dal's memory HERE.
  • The Adequacy and Fairness of State School Finance Systems

    This report presents measures of the effort, adequacy, and fairness of each state's school finance system, using a new public database compiled by researchers at ASI and Rutgers Graduate School of Education.

  • Education for Democracy 1987

    Education for Democracy: A Statement of Principles, is a signatory statement released by the American Federation of Teachers, The Educational Excellence

  • Eugenia Kemble Research Grants

    In honor of its founding executive director, the Albert Shanker Institute announces the creation of the “Eugenia Kemble Research Grants Program.” Tax-deductible donations to this program are welcome. Please make donations through PayPal or by check to the Albert Shanker Institute (555 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001). More information. Watch the Memorial Service.

  • Publications Order Form

    Use this form to order hard copies of any publication. All copies are free unless otherwise indicated.
  • Democratizing Evidence in Education

    This book chapter explores how to make the evidence movement more inclusive so that education stakeholders can meaningfully participate in the production and use of research.

  • Public and Private School Segregation in the District of Columbia

    This research brief presents an analysis of student segregation by race and ethnicity in the District of Columbia, with a particular focus on segregation within and between public and private schools.

  • Elevating Relationships: How Collaboration Shapes Teaching and Learning

  • Al Shanker Remembered on the 20th Anniversary of His Death: Special Blog Series

    Twenty years ago, the legendary president of the American Federation of Teachers, Al Shanker, died.

  • Deconstructing the Myth of American Public Schooling Inefficiency

    Bruce Baker and Mark Weber (Rutgers University) use existing research and original analysis to dismantle the common myth that U.S. public schools spend more money and get worse results than do other developed nations, and provide discussion and analysis of what can and cannot be learned from existing data.

  • Teacher Segregation in Los Angeles and New York City

    This research brief presents a descriptive analysis of the segregation of teachers by race and ethnicity in the nation's two largest school districts, New York City and Los Angeles.

  • Policy Implications at the State and Local Levels Slides

    The Social Side of Education: How Social Aspects of Schools and School Systems Shape Teaching and Learning

    April 8, 2016, Washington, DC

  • The Schools Where Teachers Stay, Grow and Succeed

    The Social Side of Education: How Social Aspects of Schools and School Systems Shape Teaching and Learning

    April 8, 2016, Washington, DC

  • Improving Education Through a Focus on Partnerships Slides

    The Social Side of Education: How Social Aspects of Schools and School Systems Shape Teaching and Learning.

    April 8, 2016, Washington, D.C.

  • Systems, Networks and Relationships Slides

    Social Side of Education: How Social Aspects of Schools and School Systems Shape Teaching and Learning

    April 8, 2016, Washington, DC

  • Competing Strands Of Educational Reform Policy: Can Collaborative School Reform and Teacher Evaluation Reform Be Reconciled?

    As school systems devote tremendous resources to examining the effectiveness of individual teachers, how can we encourage schools to make room for collaborative practices? This paper begins to conceptualize one avenue for reconciling these ideas: Rigurously measuring team teaching and making room for the assessment of team work in schools' evaluation processes.

  • The Social Side Of Education Reform: A Research Primer

    This publication pulls together six important research essays from the social side of eduction blog series. Collectively, these essays make a compelling case that increasing the instructional capacity of schools requires looking beyond individual teacher effectiveness. 

  • Does Money Matter in Education? Second Edition

    A comprehensive review of the empirical evidence on whether and how money matters in education, written by Rutgers Professor Bruce Baker. This is the second edition of this report.

  • Good Schools November 2015 Resources

  • The State of Teacher Diversity Executive Summary

    The State of Teacher Diversity Executive Summary

  • The Evidence on the "Florida Formula" for Education Reform

    A review of the high quality evidence on the "Florida Formula for education success," a package of policies put in place during the late 1990s and 2000s, which focus generally on test-based accountability, competition, and choice.

  • Video: Let's Talk

    This 5-minute video, a part of the Institute’s Let’s Talk initiative, explains how children’s knowledge and language develop in tandem, forming the foundation for all subsequent learning, and what parents and caregivers can do to help.

  • Let’s Talk Foundations: Oral Language Development I

    Oral language—listening and talking—is the primary means by which young children learn about and interact with the world. This training module for early childhood educators offers simple but powerful ideas to support young children build the skills, knowledge, vocabulary, and attitudes that can help prepare them for future academic learning across the content areas. Here, we offer excerpted materials for a workshop on supporting English language learners.

  • Let's Talk PD: Early Literacy Development

    This module for early childhood educators presents an overview of research on the foundations for literacy and how they may be enhanced in early childhood, including applied information to help guide instructional improvement. The materials are designed to be presented as an intensive one-day seminar or can be broken into separate workshops covering the areas of print and book awareness, phonological awareness, letter knowledge and early word recognition, and written expression and curriculum integration. This excerpt includes materials for a professional development workshop on phonological awareness.

  • Social Side of Education Resources

    Relationships, trust, collaboration and social capital are key to educational improvement. Learn more about the social side perspective through these resources.

  • Let’s Talk PD: Early Mathematics Development

    This training module for early childhood educators provides an overview of the research and standards on age-appropriate mathematics development, including practical takeaway materials to help assist in instructional. The most important early childhood mathematical foundations are addressed, including numerical sense and problem solving, building math vocabulary, using math manipulatives, and curriculum integration. The materials may be presented as a very intensive one-day session or broken into separate workshops. This excerpt contains materials for a workshop on curriculum integration.

  • Let’s Talk PD: Early Science Development

    This module for early childhood educators provides research-based information on early science development in the three key areas of physical science, life science, and earth science, along with applied information for improving instruction in each area. These materials can be implemented as an intensive, day-long professional development seminar or broken up into a series of workshops. This excerpt contains materials for a workshop on life science.

  • How Relationships Matter In Educational Improvement

    This short video explains some shortcomings of mainstream education reform and offers an alternative framework to advance educational progress. Educational improvement is as much about the capacities of individuals as it is about their relationships and the broader social context.

  • Resources on Testing and School Accountability

    Standardized tests play a dominant role in school accountability systems in the U.S. These resources focus on how testing data can be used and interpreted in an accountability context.

  • The Freedom Schools of 1964

    In 2014, to honor the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, the Shanker Institute began developing resources for teachers in today’s classrooms. These include lesson plans on the Freedom Schools (which will be posted on these pages in the spring of 2015), historical materials, and interviews with some of the teachers who made history.

  • Literacy Ladders

    This curated collection of essays for early childhood educators and others examines the research on increasing young children's language, knowledge, and reading comprehension.

  • March on Washington Lesson Plans

    2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The Institute worked to make a special contribution to this commemoration by publishing lesson plans and materials that K-12 teachers across the country can use in their classrooms.

  • Spending by Major Charter Management Organizations in Three States

    A detailed analysis of spending by the major Charter Management Organizations in three states.

  • Creating a Comprehensive System for Evaluating and Supporting Effective Teaching

    This publication by Linda Darling Hammond was written at the request of and with the input of participants in the Shanker Institute's Good Schools seminars. It discusses the evaluation models that make the most sense and ways to improve teacher preparation, make entry into the profession an educational and developmental experience, and upgrade career and professional development.

  • The Evidence on Charter Schools and Test Scores

    Charter schools are among the most controversial issues in education today, with much of the debate focused on whether they produce better testing results than comparable regular public schools.

  • Call for Common Content

    A statement released by the nonpartisan Albert Shanker Institute and signed by dozens of educators, advocates, policymakers, researchers and scholars from across the educational and political spectrum, highlights one largely ignored factor needed to enable American students to achieve to high levels and become internationally competitive—the creation of voluntary model curricula that can be taught in the nation’s classrooms.

  • American Labor in U.S. History Textbooks

    The study conducted by the Institute in cooperation with the American Labor Studies Center (ALSC) makes the argument that labor history is central to an accurate depiction of U.S. history and argues that a fuller, more balanced depiction of U.S.

  • Muslim Voices on Democracy: A Reader

    A resource for American teachers and students on the turbulent events taking place in many Islamic countries.

  • Best Research to What Works Luncheon Series: Transcripts

    This forum series was designed to highlight best research on key educational issues, then to link these findings to the practical steps that schools can take to improve student achievement. Held periodically from 2002 to 2007, these events brought together a select group of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to discuss crucial issues about which research and practice appear to diverge.

  • Education for Democracy

    Education for Democracy, a signatory statement released by the institute in conjunction with the beginning of a new school year, the second anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and the 40th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, is a new statement calling for improvement

  • Educating Democracy: State Standards to Ensure a Civic Core

    This 2003 study, authored by the late historian Paul Gagnon, evaluates the extent to which state history, civics, and social studies standards across the nation serve to help teachers in their efforts to prepare an informed citizenry.

  • History Research Paper Study

    The Concord Review approached the Albert Shanker Institute for support for a study of the state of the history research paper in United States high schools. The result is this 2002 study conducted by the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut.

  • Early Language and Literacy Development

    What is known about the language and literacy development of young, preschool-age children and how does this relate to their long-term success in school?

  • Bridging the Gap Between Standards and Achievement

    Harvard professor Richard Elmore reviews the research and argues that education reforms that are based on standards and accountability will fail unless policymakers also adopt a strategy to ensure that educators have the knowledge and skill they need to help students succeed.

  • Building a New Structure for School Leadership

    In this major research analysis, Richard Elmore explores the problems with the structure and leadership of public education, while explaining the dangers of public funding for private schools. He urges educators to study the schools whose leaders and best practice are succeeding in meeting high standards, including through the use of collaboration and distributed leadership. 

  • Hart Research Poll of Teachers and Principals

    These early polls show that nation's teachers and principals strongly support higher academic standards, while at the same time harboring serious questions about adequacy of implementation and an overemphasis on testing.

  • The Teaching Gap

    The Institute provided a grant to support the writing of this important book by James Stigler and James Hiebert, which explores the school system's failure to support a culture of professional development for teachers. It compares what's lacking in teacher training in this country with what's working in Japan, where teachers spend time working together to improve their skills.

  • This short presentation explains some shortcomings of mainstream education reform and offers an alternative framework to advance educational progress.

    The emergence of the global knowledge economy has revolutionized the nature of work in America – for the worse. Unionized, well-paying private sector jobs that were once a ladder to the middle class have been decimated.
  • The vocabulary gap between rich and poor children develops very early and it is about more than just words. In fact, words are the tip of the iceberg. So what lies underneath? Find out by watching this three-minute video.

     This panel will examine the terrain of teacher compensation from a number of different perspectives, offering their recommendations on what a good compensation

    If a master designer had created American education as we know it, he would have to be a Robin Hood in reverse, taking from the poor and giving to the rich. American students with all of the advantages of wealth are disproportionately taught by the best prepared, most experienced and most accomplished teachers, while students living in poverty with the greatest educational needs are disproportionately taught by novice teachers who were poorly prepared and who receive inadequate support.

    Twelve years after the passage of No Child Left Behind and five years into Race to the Top, America finds itself in a ‘test and punish’ system of school accountability that poorly serves the nation and its students.

    The United States accounts for 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners; it is no exaggeration to call our national approach to criminal justice “mass incarceration.” And our prison cells are disproportionately filled with poor men of color, especially African-American men. Mass incarceration is one of the paramount civil rights and economic justice issues of our day.

    Given states’ difficulties in implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) thoughtfully, many early childhood educators have begun to worry about what the NAEYC refers to as “a downward pressure of increased academic focus and more narrowed instructional approaches.” But, as the NAEYC’s statement on the CCSS also observed, that “threat also provides an opportunity” for early education to exert more positive, “upward pressure” on the K–12 system.
    The conversation focused on federal and state policy on student assessment, with an eye to identifying policies that would promote best assessment practices.
    One of the primary purposes of public education is to foster an engaged and well-educated citizenry: For a democracy to function, the "people" who rule must be prepared to take on the duties and the rights of citizens.

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