Marshall Memo 631

A Weekly Round-up of Important Ideas and Research in K-12 Education

April 4, 2016

 

 


In This Issue:

1. Dylan Wiliam on feedback that makes a difference to students

2. Angela Duckworth on uses and misuses of assessing character traits

3. Thomas Guskey on evaluating and planning professional development

4. The seemingly impossible demands of the modern principalship

5. Rethinking traditional teacher compensation and support

6. Effective exit interviews

7. Making good use of the final minutes of a class

8. Interactive writing 101

 

Quotes of the Week

“Most of us are infected by what learning theorists call ‘illusions of fluency,’ which means that we believe we have obtained mastery of something when we have not.”

            James Lang (see item #7)

 

“Feedback is only successful if students use it to improve their performance… If our feedback doesn’t change the student in some way, it has probably been a waste of time.”

            Dylan William (see item #1)

 

“[W]e’re nowhere near ready – and perhaps never will be – to use feedback on character as a metric for judging the effectiveness of teachers and schools.”

            Angela Duckworth (see item #2)

 

“If we truly wanted to attract, retain, and support the best and brightest principals, we would focus on making their jobs more doable.”

            Robert Evans (see item #4)

 

“When a stack of papers sits on my desk, I walk out of my classroom and clear my thoughts of writing assignments and literary passages. I explore the parts of the school I rarely see: the music rooms where students sing, the woodshop where the smell of cut wood fills the hallway, the cacophonous cafeteria. I feel uplifted seeing my students in the world outside my classroom. I return energized and ready to teach – whether I like it or not.”

            Patrick O’Connor, a Massachusetts high-school English teacher, in “Why Good

Teachers Don’t Have to ‘Like’ Teaching” in Education Week, March 30, 2016 (Vol.

35, #26, p. 20-21), www.edweek.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Dylan Wiliam on Feedback That Makes a Difference to Students

(Originally titled “The Secret of Effective Feedback”)

            In this article in Educational Leadership, assessment expert Dylan Wiliam reports the startling research finding that students often learn nothing from the comments and grades their teachers write on their papers – in fact, many students learn less when teachers provide feedback than when they write nothing at all. “The apparently simple process of looking at student work and then giving useful feedback turns out to be much more difficult than most people imagine,” says Wiliam. “The only important thing about feedback is what students do with it… If our feedback doesn’t change the student in some way, it has probably been a waste of time.”

            Two examples: An English teacher tells a student that her composition will be better if she reverses the sequence of the third and fourth paragraphs. The composition will improve, but the teacher did the intellectual heavy lifting and the student probably learned very little. Similarly, if a teacher corrects arithmetic errors, there’s nothing left for the student to do except calculate the score. “The real issue is purpose,” says Wiliam. “We need to use the information we obtain from looking at the student’s work – even though that information may be less than perfect – and give feedback that will move the student’s learning forward.” Here are his suggestions for teachers:

            • Design tasks and ask questions that make students’ thinking visible. This means more prep work for the teacher, especially in math classes, but frontloading well-framed tasks makes it much more likely that feedback will be useful. We won’t always get it right, says Wiliam, but he reassures us with a reminder that batting .300 in the major leagues is considered very good.

            • Make feedback into detective work. A math teacher might return a 20-question test to a student with the comment, “Five of these are incorrect. Find them and fix them.” This approach ensures that students receiving feedback do as much work as the teacher who provides it. It also makes students look at their work with a more analytical eye.

            • Build students’ capacity for self-assessment. The ultimate goal of feedback should be to get students to the point where they can self-correct without the teacher looking over their shoulder. Instrumental music teachers understand this intuitively, and focus the 30-40 minutes they spend with their students each week on developing the skill of being able to notice mistakes and improve technique in the hours of solo practice. “Contrast this approach with most content-area teaching in schools,” says Wiliam, “where teachers seem to believe that students make most of their progress when the teacher is present, with homework as a kind of optional add-on.”

Human nature being what it is, many students find it emotionally challenging to be critical of their own work. A good scaffolding strategy is having a class look at an anonymous piece of work and describe the feedback this person should receive, then have students critique the work of a classmate, and finally self-correct. After a task like this, it’s helpful to ask students what they found easy, what they found difficult, and what was interesting. Alternatively, students might be asked what they would do differently if they did the task again. Once students can do this, feedback from others becomes less and less necessary.

“In the end,” says Wiliam, “it all comes down to the relationship between the teacher and the student. To give effective feedback, the teacher needs to know the student – to understand what feedback the student needs right now. And to receive feedback in a meaningful way, the student needs to trust the teacher – to believe that the teacher knows what he or she is talking about and has the student’s best interests at heart. Without this trust, the student is unlikely to invest the time and effort needed to absorb and use the feedback.”

 

“The Secret of Effective Feedback” by Dylan Wiliam in Educational Leadership, April 2016 (Vol. 73, #7, p. 10-15), http://bit.ly/1MMHUx1; Wiliam is at dylanwiliam@mac.com.

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2. Angela Duckworth on Uses and Misuses of Assessing Character Traits

            In this New York Times article, “grit” guru Angela Duckworth (University of Pennsylvania) says she’s pleased with the growing recognition of non-cognitive skills as a key element in students’ life success, including these three clusters:

-   Tenacity, self-control, and optimism – these help students reach their goals;

-   Social intelligence and gratitude – these help students relate to and help others;

-   Curiosity, open-mindedness, and zest for learning – these enable independent thinking.

Working with a number of district, charter, and independent schools, Duckworth and her colleagues have found that giving students feedback on these attributes increases students’ self-awareness and improves their behavior and academic achievement. It’s especially helpful to compare students’ self-assessment on key traits with teachers’ assessments.

But Duckworth is alarmed that some educators are incorporating assessments of character into schools’ high-stakes accountability systems. “[W]e’re nowhere near ready – and perhaps never will be – to use feedback on character as a metric for judging the effectiveness of teachers and schools,” she says. “We shouldn’t be rewarding or punishing schools for how students perform on these measures.”

Duckworth’s concern springs from two limitations inherent in students rating themselves on character traits:

Reference bias – Different schools have different standards for what constitutes “coming to class prepared” (one of the self-control attributes), for example. In one school, it might mean that when the bell rings, you’re at your desk with your notebook open, last night’s completed homework in front of you, and your full attention on the teacher. In another school, the criteria might be more relaxed. Researchers found that students’ self-ratings varied considerably depending on the norms of their schools and weren’t objectively reliable.

Incentives for gaming the system and cheating – Attaching high stakes to character attributes can create extrinsic rewards and punishments that displace the hoped-for intrinsic motivations to behave better. “While carrots and sticks can bring about short-term changes in behavior,” says Duckworth, “they often undermine interest in and responsibility for the behavior itself.”

Duckworth concludes with these observations on the burgeoning study of non-cognitive skills:

-   Character matters.

-   Character is not just innate – it can be cultivated by specific interventions.

-   Getting students to self-assess on character traits can lead to important self-discovery.

-   The ways in which we give students feedback on character can be improved.

-   Scientists and educators need to collaborate to improve character education.

-   Measures of character should not be used as high-stakes accountability metrics.

 

“Don’t Grade Schools on Grit” by Angela Duckworth in The New York Times, March 27, 2016, http://nyti.ms/1SLaHBj

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3. Thomas Guskey on Evaluating and Planning Professional Development

            In this Journal of Staff Development article, professional development expert Thomas Guskey (University of Kentucky) revisits his well-known criteria for assessing professional development experiences:

            • Level 1: Participants’ reactions – Did they like the PD? Did they believe their time was well spent? Did the content and material make sense to them? Were the activities well-planned and meaningful? Was the leader knowledgeable, credible, and helpful? Did they find the information useful? Were the amenities satisfactory? Questionnaires are the best way to gather data on this level of satisfaction.

            • Level 2: Participants’ learning – Did they learn what they came to learn? What new knowledge, skills, attitudes, and dispositions were acquired? Gathering information on this level is a little more difficult than gathering information on the “happiness quotient” at Level 1.

            • Level 3: Organizational support and change – These are key elements that must be in place “back home” for a professional learning experience to bear fruit. For example, if teachers attend a workshop on cooperative learning, master the key principles and practices, and return to their district full of enthusiasm, only to find that their students will be graded on a curve in a highly competitive environment, the PD won’t have much impact.

            • Level 4: Participants’ use of what they learned – Did the new knowledge and skills make a difference in teachers’ professional practice? Data on this question can be gathered only by thoughtful classroom observations in participants’ schools.

            • Level 5: Student learning outcomes – This is the true bottom line: Did the professional learning benefit students in specific, measurable ways? It’s important to look at a broad range of possible outcomes, measured in valid and reliable ways that are linked to the intervention. Data could come from student test scores, performance tasks, grades, student surveys, staff questionnaires, and other measures. Suppose, for example, that students’ test scores went up as a result of changed professional practices – but more students dropped out.

            Guskey closes with three important implications from this model for evaluating professional development:

-   Each of the five evaluation levels is important.

-   Tracking effectiveness on one level tells very little about impact at the next level.

-   When planning professional learning, the order of these levels must be reversed. “The most effective professional learning planning begins with clear specification of the student learning outcomes to be achieved,” says Guskey, “and the sources of data that best reflect those outcomes. With those goals articulated, school leaders and teachers then work backward.”

 

“Gauge Impact with 5 Levels of Data” by Thomas Guskey in Journal of Staff Development, February 2016 (Vol. 37, #1, p. 32-37), no e-link available

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4. The Seemingly Impossible Demands of the Modern Principalship

            In this article in Education Week, consultant/psychologist Robert Evans reports that on a recent trip to Dublin, he learned that principals in Ireland are just as stressed-out and exhausted as principals in the United States. A recent study found that Irish principals scored very low on all measures of physical and mental health, coping, relationships, happiness, and self-worth. Many work 66 or more hours a week, deal with many student issues including bullying, threats, and actual violence, and continue to do school-related tasks during vacations. All this results in elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is known to shorten lifespans.

In his workshops, Evans often asks school leaders to rate themselves on a 1-2-3-4-5 scale (strongly agree to strongly disagree) on these statements:

-   I generally sleep soundly.

-   I spend enough time with family and friends.

-   I’m not worried about my health.

-   I don’t feel guilty about missing school for my own professional growth.

-   I take my full vacation and don’t work during it.

-   Most weeks I receive at least one professional compliment.

-   Someone above me cares about my development.

-   Each day I get to do what I’m best at and care most about.

Principals’ self-ratings tend to cluster in the 30s – a very disturbing finding. “The pressures and expectations placed on principals are increasingly untenable,” says Evans. “If we truly wanted to attract, retain, and support the best and brightest principals, we would focus on making their jobs more doable.”

            Evans is especially interested in the last two items on his survey. Researchers have found that a boss who cares about your development and having an opportunity every day to do what you do best are key elements to work success. Brandon Busteed of Gallup Education, who has studied workplace dynamics, says that rather than trying to correct weaknesses, “the most successful people focus primarily on building on what they’re naturally good at and turning those talents into strengths.”

            Sadly, says Evans, stressed-out principals in the U.S. seem to be taking less time to attend professional conferences and commune with colleagues. “Stress is almost always intensified by isolation,” he says, “and almost always reduced by connection and support. This is especially true when one has little control over the sources of stress. Connection and support are not just niceties: They are life-sustaining and competence-enhancing.”

 

“Principals, Get Your Irish On” by Robert Evans in Education Week, March 30, 2016 (Vol. 35, #26, p. 20-21), www.edweek.org; Evans can be reached at rob@robevans.org

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5. Rethinking Traditional Teacher Compensation and Support

            In this Journal of Staff Development article, Karen Hawley Miles (Education Resources Strategies) and Anna Sommers (a high-school English teacher) make the case for shifting district human-capital resources in four ways:

            • Restructure compensation and career paths. It’s widely agreed that teacher salary increments based on education credits and additional degrees “have minimal impact on teaching effectiveness,” say Miles and Sommers. Better to shift some of those funds toward extra compensation for some teachers based on demonstrated performance, increased responsibility, and contributions to the school and district. Three districts that have moved in this direction are Denver, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, and Los Angeles.

            • Shift funds from general coaching to job-embedded content experts and teacher leaders working with teacher teams. “School systems typically provide few formal opportunities for teacher leadership,” say Miles and Somers, “and they invest little to develop teacher leadership.” A better strategy, they believe, is selecting highly effective teachers, training them carefully, giving them increased pay and reduced class schedules, and putting them in a leadership role with teacher teams or content areas. The authors believe this is a much more productive strategy than generalist coaches spread thinly across a school or district. Examples of successful teacher leader programs are Touchstone Education’s Merit Prep, D.C.-based Ingenuity Prep, Aspire charter schools, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Strategic Staffing Initiative.

            • Extend and maximize teacher time for collaborative learning and planning. Working against this are state learning-time requirements coupled with collective bargaining agreements, daily scheduling imperatives, and the desire to avoid pulling teachers away from their students during instructional time. But some districts have orchestrated early-dismissal and late-arrival times and other scheduling and staffing variables to create weekly team collaboration time. Achievement First charter schools, working with 45 percent more annual hours than most regular public schools, have created 117 annual hours for collaborative planning that takes place within the instructional day.

            • Leverage and coordinate teacher support through curriculum, assessment, evaluation, and technology. The key is to get these components supporting each other – for example, curriculum content driving professional development, interim assessments providing data for teacher teamwork, and the teacher supervision and evaluation system providing information and coaching on carefully chosen classroom skills and pedagogical knowledge. Miles and Sommers point to Achievement First schools as an exemplary model in this area. In AF schools, the “deliberate orchestration of different functional areas ensures that goal setting, training, instruction, data gathering, analysis, feedback, and revision are coordinated as complementary streams of activity,” say the authors. “The overlapping structure allows different decision makers to be aware of simultaneous efforts and reinforce and share a common vision.”

 

“Take a Whole New Look at How to Use Resources” by Karen Hawley Miles and Anna Sommers in Journal of Staff Development, February 2016 (Vol. 37, #1, p. 26-30, 42), no e-link available

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6. Effective Exit Interviews

            In this Harvard Business Review article, Everett Spain (U.S. Military Academy at West Point) and Boris Groysberg (Harvard Business School) report on their study of how exit interviews were conducted and used in 210 organizations across 35 countries. They found that exit interviews didn’t always produce valuable information: asked to name a change that was made based on speaking to employees as they departed, fewer than a third of executives could give a specific example. “It’s not surprising,” say Spain and Groysberg, “that many people we spoke with believe that exit interviews have a negative return on investment.” One reason is that in most organizations, exit interviews are conducted by HR, treated as an operational duty rather than a strategic opportunity, and often shared with managers only on request.

In addition, say the authors, many organizations use exit interviews as an excuse not to have meaningful retention conversations with current employees. Exit interviews “should not be the first conversation a company has with an employee about his or her feelings and ideas,” say Spain and Groysberg. Employees should regularly be asked questions like these:

-   Are we helping you be effective in your current job?

-   Are we helping you build a successful career?

-   Are we helping you have a fulfilling life?

Retention conversations revolving around questions like these are key to surfacing professional and personal issues before they lead to an untimely departure.

Even under the best circumstances, employees leave, and that’s where exit interviews can be very helpful to an organization. Of course such interviews will produce useful information only if departing employees are completely honest, and there are several reasons why this is not always the case: time pressure as employees leave for a new position; lack of motivation to share their feelings; not wanting to say anything negative about a supervisor they like (or don’t like); and not wanting to jeopardize a good reference.  

Spain and Groysberg found a small number of organizations that have been able to surmount these barriers, producing the following benefits:

-   Uncovering issues relating to the organization’s HR – and not just salary and benefits;

-   Understanding employees’ perceptions of the work itself – job design, working conditions, culture, and peers;

-   Gaining insights into managers’ leadership styles and effectiveness – this can reinforce positive leaders and identify toxic ones;

-   Learning about salary and benefits in competing organizations – this can explain why other organizations are successfully poaching;

-   Soliciting ideas for improvement – A good prompt is to ask departing employees to complete the sentence, “I don’t know why the organization doesn’t just ____.”

-   Creating lifelong advocates – treating departing employees with respect and gratitude and showing genuine interest in their opinions fosters positive feelings and may result in them referring others.

From managers who used exit interviews successfully, Spain and Groysberg were able to garner these suggestions:

            • The interviewer – Departing employees were more likely to be honest if the exit interview was conducted by managers one step removed from the employee’s immediate supervisor. These managers, say the authors, “are in a position to follow up immediately and effectively. Their participation signals that the company cares about the opinions of departing employees.” If a second exit interview is conducted, Spain and Groysberg recommend using a skilled outside consultant.

            • The interviewee – The authors recommend making exit interviews mandatory for some employees, especially those with high potential and those regarded as “stars,” who often have valuable insights for the organization.

            • Timing – The best time for exit interviews, say Spain and Groysberg, is halfway between the employee’s departure announcement and the actual departure – “after the initial rush of emotion has died down, but before the employee has checked out mentally.” But another approach is to conduct the interview a month after the employee has left, which can produce a more relaxed atmosphere and gather more information.

            • Time – 60-90 minutes is adequate, with flexibility for more time if a lot of valuable information is coming out.

            • Frequency – Following up an in-person interview with a survey and/or phone call a few weeks later, perhaps after the employee has left, can elicit new information – and sometimes opinions contrary to those shared in person.

            • Method – Experts disagree on which elicits the most honest comments, in-person or telephone interviews. Spain and Groysberg recommend at least one in-person talk, followed up

by a telephone talk and/or a survey.

            • Structure – Asking the same questions in all exit interviews makes it easier to aggregate and compare data – but runs the risk of seeming perfunctory, unintentionally signaling that employees’ ideas aren’t important to the organization. The authors recommend a combination of scripted and spontaneous questions in each interview.

            • Manner – “Interviewers should be trained to listen more than they talk and to avoid displays of authority,” say Spain and Groysberg. “They should be patient and friendly, occasionally asking open-ended questions and speaking only enough to prompt the interviewee or steer the discussion toward an important topic.” It’s important to allow the departing employee to vent about concerns and propose solutions, without the interviewer commenting on them.

            • Information gained – The way the leadership team shares information from exit interviews within the organization should protect interviewees’ candor (especially about bosses) and be timed with key HR and organizational decisions. Whether or not to share exit interview insights with all staff is a judgment call.

            Spain and Groysberg conclude with a quote from an executive summarizing their feelings: “The exit interview reinforces the values of the organization. If it becomes part of your organization’s DNA, it becomes hugely beneficial.”

 

“Making Exit Interviews Count” by Everett Spain and Boris Groysberg in Harvard Business Review, April 2016 (Vol. 94, #4, p. 88-95), https://hbr.org/2016/04/making-exit-interviews-count

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7. Making Good Use of the Final Minutes of a Class

            In this Chronicle of Higher Education article, James Lang (Assumption College) says he’s observed two things in college classrooms over the years: students starting to pack up their things in the last five minutes (intensely annoying to instructors), and instructors hurriedly covering a few more things. “[M]ost faculty members eye the final minutes of class as an opportunity to cram in eight more points before students exit,” says Lang, “or to say three more things that just occurred to us about the day’s material, or to call out as many reminders as possible about forthcoming deadlines, next week’s exam, or tomorrow’s homework… We’re still trying to teach while students’ minds – and sometimes their bodies – are headed out the door.” Lang suggests using a mixture of these closing techniques over time:

            • The minute paper – The teacher wraps up the formal class a few minutes early and asks students to respond in writing to two questions:

-   What was the most important thing you learned today?

-   What question still remains in your mind?

The first question gets students thinking about the whole class, making a judgment about something important to them, and articulating it in their own words. The second question asks them to consider what they haven’t understood. “Most of us are infected by what learning theorists call ‘illusions of fluency,’” says Lang, “which means that we believe we have obtained mastery of something when we have not.” To answer the second question, students must dig for any confusion or weakness that remains in their own comprehension of the day’s material. Collecting students’ responses (on paper or in electronic messages) gives instructors valuable information on how well the class went and, if things were unclear for a majority of students, a starting point for the next class. Even if the answers aren’t collected, Lang believes that students benefit from retrieving information about the class from memory and clarifying points of confusion and uncertainty.

            • Closing connections – The instructor finishes class five minutes early and tells students they can leave as soon as they have identified five ways the day’s material appears in contexts outside the classroom – current events, personal experiences, popular songs, debates in the school or college, and so forth. “You’ll be amazed at how quickly they can come up with examples,” says Lang. These might be handed in, jotted on the board, or posted on the course website.

            • The metacognitive five – “We have evidence that students engage in poor study strategies,” says Lang. “Likewise, research shows that most people are plagued by illusions of fluency. The solution on both fronts is better metacognition – that is, a clearer understanding of our own learning.” Once a semester, Lang has his students jot down how they studied for a test they’ve just taken. He follows up by comparing test results with study methods: invariably, effective approaches (like self-testing and flashcards) correlate with higher scores, while less-effective methods (like reviewing notes and re-reading material) correlate with lower scores. “Imagine what a difference we could make,” says Lang, “if we all took five minutes – even just a few times during the semester – to offer students the opportunity to reflect on their learning habits.”

            • Closing the loop – If the class began with questions, put them back up on the screen at the end and have students use what they just learned to answer them. If the class began with a question about students’ prior knowledge on the topic, end by asking students to explain how the class confirmed, enhanced, or contradicted what they knew before.

            “We have such a limited amount of time with students,” Lang concludes, “– sometimes just a few hours a week for 12 or 15 weeks. Within that narrow window, five minutes well-spent at the end of class can make a difference.”

 

“Small Changes in Teaching the Last 5 Minutes of Class” by James Lang in The Chronicle of  Higher Education, April 1, 2016 (Vol. LXII, #29, p. A36-37), http://bit.ly/1qoNCLt; Lang’s book on this subject is Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2016); Lang can be reached at lang@assumption.edu.

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8. Interactive Writing 101

            “The work writers do is both exciting and daunting,” say author/consultants Joan Dabrowski and Kate Roth in this article in Literacy Today. They believe interactive writing is a classroom routine that can play a major role in boosting elementary students’ confidence and proficiency as writers. Interactive writing involves the teacher serving as the expert writer for students as they construct a meaningful text, and then “share the pen,” composing with the teacher, all while discussing the details of the writing process. Here are the components of each interactive writing session:

-   Experience – What’s written is motivated and informed by a shared class experience such as a readaloud, special event, or field trip.

-   Prewriting – Teacher and students plan the piece by considering its purpose, audience, and structure.

-   Composing – The teacher facilitates a whole-class discussion focused on the craft of writing, engaging and guiding students as they think through each sentence.

-   Sharing the pen – Teacher and students share the pen (or keyboard) as they write the message on paper (or on a screen).

-   Reviewing – The class revisits the written piece to reinforce concepts from the lesson, with the teacher reminding students to apply the principles to their own writing.

-   Extending – The completed piece of writing becomes an instructional tool (often posted on classroom or corridor walls) to support and advance students’ literacy development.

Why interactive writing? Dabrowski and Roth offer the following rationale:

            • It’s a “small” method that complements and supports other approaches. “Nested within the gradual release of responsibility model,” say the authors, “it is a form of guided writing instruction designed to be part of a balanced program of literacy instruction.” Interactive writing pulls together a classroom’s language and literacy program based on a shared piece of writing.

            • It revolves around a meaningful topic and has a real-world purpose. Interactive writing lessons have both planned and unplanned moments, say Dabrowski and Roth. “Teaching during the lesson is timely and relevant as it adjusts to meet the needs of students.”

            • It attends to both the craft and conventions of writing. The teacher collaborates with students to refine the ideas, words, sentences, and voice of the piece, keeping in mind the audience, purpose, organization, and conventions.

            • It promotes collaboration and community. The class community of writers gets stronger every time interactive writing is used.

            • Interactive writing yields big results. “It requires that teachers and students have many rich conversations about the writing process,” say Dabrowski and Roth. “These discussions strengthen and advance students’ independent writing, which is the ultimate goal.”

 

“Interactive Writing: A Guided Approach for Writing Instruction in Pre-K-5” by Joan Dabrowski and Kate Roth in Literacy Today, March/April 2016 (Vol. 33, #5, p. 44-45), no e-link available; the authors are at joandabrowski@gmail.com and kate_roth@post.harvard.edu; their just-published book is Interactive Writing Across Grades (Stenhouse, 2016).

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About the Marshall Memo

 


Mission and focus:

This weekly memo is designed to keep principals, teachers, superintendents, and others very well-informed on current research and effective practices in K-12 education. Kim Marshall, drawing on 44 years’ experience as a teacher, principal, central office administrator, and writer, lightens the load of busy educators by serving as their “designated reader.”

 

To produce the Marshall Memo, Kim subscribes to 64 carefully-chosen publications (see list to the right), sifts through more than a hundred articles each week, and selects 5-10 that have the greatest potential to improve teaching, leadership, and learning. He then writes a brief summary of each article, pulls out several striking quotes, provides e-links to full articles when available, and e-mails the Memo to subscribers every Monday evening (with occasional breaks; there are 50 issues a year).

 

Subscriptions:

Individual subscriptions are $50 for a year. Rates decline steeply for multiple readers within the same organization. See the website for these rates and how to pay by check, credit card, or purchase order.

 

Website:

If you go to http://www.marshallmemo.com you will find detailed information on:

• How to subscribe or renew

• A detailed rationale for the Marshall Memo

• Publications (with a count of articles from each)

• Article selection criteria

• Topics (with a count of articles from each)

• Headlines for all issues

• Reader opinions (with results of an annual survey)

• About Kim Marshall (including links to articles)

• A free sample issue

 

Subscribers have access to the Members’ Area of the website, which has:

• The current issue (in Word or PDF)

• All back issues (also in Word and PDF)

• A database of all articles to date, searchable

    by topic, title, author, source, level, etc.

• A collection of “classic” articles from all 11 years

Core list of publications covered

Those read this week are underlined.

American Educational Research Journal

American Educator

American Journal of Education

American School Board Journal

AMLE Magazine

ASCA School Counselor

ASCD SmartBrief/Public Education NewsBlast

Better: Evidence-Based Education

Center for Performance Assessment Newsletter

District Administration

Ed. Magazine

Education Digest

Education Gadfly

Education Next

Education Week

Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis

Educational Horizons

Educational Leadership

Educational Researcher
Edutopia

Elementary School Journal

Essential Teacher

Go Teach

Harvard Business Review

Harvard Educational Review

Independent School

Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk (JESPAR)

Journal of Staff Development

Kappa Delta Pi Record

Knowledge Quest

Literacy Today

Middle School Journal

Peabody Journal of Education

Perspectives

Phi Delta Kappan

Principal

Principal Leadership

Principal’s Research Review

Reading Research Quarterly

Responsive Classroom Newsletter

Rethinking Schools

Review of Educational Research

School Administrator

School Library Journal

Teacher

Teachers College Record

Teaching Children Mathematics

Teaching Exceptional Children/Exceptional Children

The Atlantic

The Chronicle of Higher Education

The District Management Journal

The Journal of the Learning Sciences

The Language Educator

The Learning Principal/Learning System/Tools for Schools

The New York Times

The New Yorker

The Reading Teacher

Theory Into Practice

Time Magazine

Wharton Leadership Digest