Podcast Episodes #41-50

Episode 50
Kentucky’s School Reform Efforts Bear Fruit
Meaningful incentives for teachers in the state’s school-based performance award program included a desire for positive public recognition growing out of a sense of professional pride, intrinsic rewards associated with seeing students achieve, and a fear of negative publicity.

Episode 49
Alignment is Critical to Successful Reform
Webb’s work aims to help educators think more clearly about the concept of alignment and to examine what it means for expectations and assessments to be in agreement.

Episode 48
Let’s Renovate Our School Finance Systems
States’ current district-based finance structures require significant modification, if not a complete overhaul, to produce a system that fairly and adequately responds to fiscal and curricular goals of the future.

Episode 47
Link Funding to Standards Reform
School-based financing is consistent with standards-based reform initiatives that set clear directions (such as standards and assessments) at the state or district level, and then give schools the responsibility and the authority for meeting student performance objectives.

Episode 46
More Math Coursework Benefits All Students
Students of every racial-ethnic group and SES group benefit from additional mathematics coursework in high school, despite differences in gender and in racial-ethnic heritage.

Episode 45
Keeping Families and Schools Together
Families and Schools Together (FAST) creates structured opportunities for families of elementary school students to participate in repeated, positive, personal experiences with their children in the school setting.

Episode 44
Aligning State-Level Standards and Assessments
Correspondence between state-level standards and assessments tends to be only moderate, particularly in terms of depth of knowledge and range of knowledge, according to a study by Norman Webb and colleagues. They analyzed the alignment of assessments and standards in mathematics and science in grades 3 though 10 and in four states.

Episode 43
Teacher Research Spurs Professional Development
A study of teacher-research activities nationwide shows teacher-researchers gaining a new sense of confidence from conducting research, beginning to see themselves as learners, and developing closer relationships with their students and colleagues.

Episode 42
Professional Development in Classroom Assessment
Formative assessment is almost nonexistent in U.S. classrooms, but it has been shown to help teachers with instructional decision making, interpreting students’ written and verbal responses, and eliciting or responding to student ideas during the course of instruction.

Episode 41
Writing Skills Shaped by Classroom Discourse
Teaching students to construct effective arguments lies not just in the narrow confines of writing instruction, but in the larger classroom context.


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