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Playing the Teacher Evaluation Game – A Race to Nowhere

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For the past two years, the Department of Education, state departments of education and education foundations have proffered “teacher effectiveness” initiatives focused on evaluation systems, but none has truly moved the needle when it comes to closing the student achievement gap. Are evaluation systems the answer to poor academic achievement in the classroom?

Braincandy: Healthy Food for Ill Conceived Minds

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Even experienced teachers lack good resources for discovering and documenting the common scientific misconceptions held by learning minds. Braincandy.org, a nonprofit born from a Stanford research study, aims to change that.

What Money, Biking & Psychology Have In Common

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Personal finance has a lot in common with riding a bike. Think back, how did you learn how to ride a bike? In my case, somebody told me what to do and how to move. However, that wasn't enough to really learn how to bike. I had to try, fall, stand up again, practice and eventually, I was able to hold the balance and biking became intuitive.

60+ Top Articles On Blended Learning

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Blended learning buzzed at conferences this year and across the education market. iNACOL, the leader in the blended learning space, created a new definition for the term. We've seen it in classrooms, heard it from teachers, and talked about it at Getting Smart. Featured in the articles below, Getting Smart highlights the new ideas and innovations surrounding blended learning.

Integrating Computer Science Into Everyday Subjects

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Information technology is the fastest growing field of our age and is predicted to remain so for decades to come. Unfortunately, computer science teaching is not keeping up. Increasingly, schools and colleges are teaching students how to use particular pieces of software, but neglecting to teach them about how computers actually work or how they are programmed.

Online Learning Studies Must Evaluate Individual Student Trajectories

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The “gotcha” research on charter schools and innovation continues, with the latest aimed at K12 Inc.’s online schools. There are plenty of important policy and oversight research questions around the performance of charter schools and online schools, but unsupported claims like the latest from the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) are frustrating and unproductive.

What the PGA Can Teach Us About Value-Added Modeling

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Value-added modeling, or VAM, is an analogous method of attempting to gauge teacher effectiveness. Technically, SGP is most similar to a variation of VAM known as Student Growth Percentiles (we’ll distinguish the two as SGPGolf and SGPEd). Like SGPGolf and unlike more traditional VAMs, SGPEd does not attempt to explicitly account for the myriad drivers of results such as peer effects, poverty, gang involvement, or home life.

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