View this email in your browser

January 2020 Newsletter

Dear Knowledge Network members,  

Welcome to our first newsletter of the new decade. It’s hard to believe that half of the 2019-20 school year is complete. We hope that all of our readers enjoyed a relaxing holiday season. It is time to get back to the business of education.

This month’s newsletter offers one original Wing Institute paper on the very important topic of school principals and leadership. Jan Donley analyzes the available research on what are the essential skills needed for school principals to be successful. 

We are including summaries from five recent studies that we hope you will find of interest. This research includes work on declining enrollment in teacher preparation programsimpact of school financing, student dropout rates, teacher preparation best practices, and a summary of issues of equity from the most recent National Assessment of Education Progress report.

The newsletter closes with a look back at a Wing Institute Data Mining article on the topic of class-size reduction and its impact compared to common education interventions.


The Wing Institute

Did you know?

  • Since 2010 the number of teachers enrolling in teacher preparation programs has declined by 33%, while the number of students graduating from preparation programs has declined by 28%. (Partelow, 2019)
  • The U.S. spent $12,800 per student in elementary and secondary education, 35% higher than the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development average of $9,500 per student. (NCES Report, 2019)
  • Over the past 40 years, dropout rates have declined from 14.1% in 1976 to 6.1% in 2016. (NCES Report, 2018)
  • Before the 2019-20 school year, an estimated $680 billion will be spent on public school education in the United States. This compares to total US defense expenditures of approximately $652 billion. (NCES Fast Facts, 2019)
  • 40% of the schools in the U.S. have at least one police officer stationed inside a school building (Harper’s Magazine, 2019)

Wing Original Papers

School Principal Competencies (Wing Institute Original paper)


Research has consistently shown that principals play a critical role in determining the quality of teaching, and in turn, student learning and achievement. Recent meta-analytic reviews suggest that effective principals are highly competent in the following areas: 1) establishing and conveying the school’s vision, goals and expectations by modeling aspirational practices and promoting data use for continuous improvement; 2) building teachers’ professional capacity by providing targeted and job-embedded professional development, protecting instructional time, and selecting educators who are the “right fit” for the school; 3) creating a supportive organization for learning by sharing and distributing leadership, understanding and building on diversity, and strategically acquiring and allocating resources; 4) facilitating a high-quality student learning experience by developing and monitoring curriculum, instruction, and assessment, and creating learning environments that are personalized, safe, and orderly; and 5) connecting with external partners who can support fulfillment of school goals, and building productive and collaborative relationships with families. Read more


Why are fewer teachers completing teacher preparation?


What to Make of Declining Enrollment in Teacher Preparation Programs. This policy report provides a look at the decline in the enrollment of American teacher preparation programs, along with potential consequences for schools and the students they serve. The analysis offers education policymakers with insight into the complex issues involved in maintaining sufficient numbers of qualified teachers. While enrollment in teacher preparation programs has declined by more than one-third since 2010, the analysis described in this report paints a more complex and nuanced picture than the national numbers portray. The study finds significant variations among states in the change in enrollment in teacher preparation programs. Read More

How important is school financing to student success?


Does School Spending Matter? The New Literature on an Old Question. The impact of school finances on student achievement has long interested educators. Research conducted before the mid-1990s suggested a link between the available resources provided schools and student outcomes, but much of this research is correlational. Because correlational research cannot imply causation, studies of a more rigorous nature are needed if policymakers are to redesign school financing that predictably maximizes learning for all students, regardless of the parent's socio-economic status. Recently published studies employing larger data-sets and based on quasi-experimental methods offer a clearer understanding of how schools might be better funded. This paper of United States school finances finds evidence to support the importance of providing equitable funding across school districts. These results have important policy implications and suggest areas for future research. Read More

What does the latest data tell us about student dropout rates?


Trend in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2018. This report provides the most recent year of data available for each dropout and completion rate, summarizes long-term trends, and examines the characteristics of high school dropouts and completers. Five rates are presented to provide a broad perspective on high school dropouts and completers in the United States: the event dropout rate, the status dropout rate, the status completion rate, the adjusted cohort graduation rate, and the averaged freshman graduation rate. The report also provides information about individuals who completed an alternative high school credential. Read More

What practices make for the best teacher preparation?


Research Synthesis of Meta-Analyses of Preservice Teacher Preparation Practices in Higher Education. Identification of best practices in teacher preservice training remains one of the top goals of education reform. This research synthesis of teacher preparation practices examines meta-analyses on the topic to identify those practices that predictably lead to effective classroom instruction. The paper examines practices such as teacher degrees, preparation models, methods of course delivery, technology-based instruction, cooperative learning practices, instruction methods, field experience, field experience supervision, and induction practices. A cluster of six practices was associated with a medium effect size of preservice teacher training and positive educational outcomes. The highest impact practices include; extended student teaching (ten or more weeks), simulated instruction with practice, coaching and feedback, critical thinking instruction, micro-teaching, peer instruction, and course-based learning practices. Low impact practices identified in the study are teacher degree, number of education classes, explanation-based teaching methods, teacher certification, extended preparation programs, first-year teaching seminars, and teacher induction. The study finds high impact training practices to be reliable indicators that produce the most effective teachers. The results are consistent with previous research supporting course instruction linked to classroom teaching experiences, coaching while working with children in classrooms, frequent feedback based on observations of the preservice teachers performing tasks using evidence-based teaching methods. Read More

What does the 2019 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) Results Tell Us About Equity in K-12


Examining the NAEP 2019 Results in Terms of Equity. Benchmark indicators are critical tools to help education stakeholders track their education system’s performance (1) over time, (2) in comparison to other similar level education systems and (3) across student groups.  They also can provide critical information regarding the “equity” in a system.  In other words, to what extent does a student’s ethnicity, socio economic status, or location predict/impact their education performance.  One of the most respected tools for answering this question is the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), as it disaggregates test data by student ethnicity, socio-economic status, and location of schools.  The most recent test results (NAEP 2019) suggest we have significant inequities in our K-12 education system. Read More

Data Mining

How does class size reduction measure up to other common educational interventions in a cost-benefit analysis?

Why is this question important? Given the limited resources that are available for the education of children, it is important to select interventions that have the greatest impact we can afford. Using Stuart Yeh's effectiveness cost ratio formula, a rough comparison can be drawn comparing class size reduction with other educational interventions. Read More

Copyright © 2020 Wing Institute, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp