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September 2020 Newsletter

Dear Knowledge Network members,  

The Wing Institute offers research and analyses on issues of concern to our readers. The opening of the fall term offers the greatest challenges faced by American educators in over 100 years.  We hope this newsletter will prove helpful in providing information to successfully navigate these unchartered waters. Fortunately, there is research to assist administrators, teachers, and parents make the best of this awful situation.
This issue contains four Covid-19 resources:
  • The Summer Slide: Fact or Fiction?
  • How powerful is leadership?
  • What are the effects of principals on critical outcomes?
  • What is the impact of Covid-19 on children?
Additional content includes:
  • Models of Leadership
  • Distributed Leadership
  • Data Mining: How Effective Are Principals in Assessing Teacher Skills?
We are confident that our education system will get through these troubling times and emerge stronger than ever.  
Stay safe,
The Wing Institute

Did You Know?

Reopening Schools

The number of children contracting Covid-19 continues to grow in total numbers and grow at a faster and faster rate.
•  As of 9/24/20, the total number of children with Covid-19 was 624,890, an increase of 148,451 over the last 4 weeks.  The growth in total cases has increased every single week since April 16, increasing from 2% per week to the current rate of 10.5% per week. 
•   In addition to the total number of cases increasing, the percentage of children who contract Covid-19 is also growing at an alarming rate.  The rate of growth of children getting the virus as increased by 29% over the past two weeks, going from 729 cases per 100,000 children to 829.*
•   As of the above date, 5,164 children diagnosed with Covid-19 required hospitalization, an increase over the last four weeks of 1,000 (24%).  However, the rate of hospitalization (1.8%) has remained the same as the previous four week period.  *
•  To date, 109 children have lost their lives as a result of Covid-19.   This is an increase of eight from the pervious month.  Children’s mortality continues to be 
significantly lower rate than that of adults. *                    
Public schools are choosing among three models for starting the school year:  full in-person, hybrid/partial, and remote learning only.  The following data comes from a follow-up survey of 7.0% of the nation’s public school systems serving 36% of its K-12 students.  The first survey was completed on August 17, the second September 23.  
•   In August, 13% of the enrolled students of the sampled schools were going to schools that subscribe to a full in-person model.  In September the percentage was the same  **
•   In August, nineteen percent of students are starting the school year with a hybrid/partial model.  **
•   Sixty-eight percent of students are starting the school year with a remote learning only model.  **

American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association

** Education Week, School Districts’ Reopening Plans: A Snapshot

Wing Institute Original Papers

Leadership Models

Several major school leadership models have served to identify and organize the research literature regarding what is known about the competencies and characteristics of effective school leaders to enhance understanding and inform practice. Instructional leadership, which considers how school leaders influence teaching and learning and includes functions such as developing the school’s mission/vision/goals, managing every facet of the instructional program, and ensuring a positive school climate, has been consistently shown to influence teaching quality and student outcomes through several decades of research. The most recent models of instructional leadership have broadened to include examination of how factors, such as school context and teacher leadership, moderate the influence of instructional leadership.Read more   

Donley, J., Detrich, R., States, J., & Keyworth, (2020). Leadership Models. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

Distributed Leadership

Distributed leadership, in which the principal shares certain leadership work with teachers to optimize student and school outcomes, has emerged as a leading school leadership model, and indeed is reflected within recent principal leadership standards. The model’s origins lie in research that suggested that principals cannot “do it alone,” in today’s complex and challenging school environments, and that teachers have often performed leadership work that was not acknowledged. Rather than simple task delegation by principals, distributed leadership involves teacher leaders and administrators collaborating together to perform leadership practices, and sharing responsibility for outcomes. Research has shown positive associations between distributed leadership and a variety of teacher and student outcomes, including teachers’ professional efficacy and teaching effectiveness, and student academic performance. Read more   

Donley, J., Detrich, R., States, J., & Keyworth, (2020). Distributed Leadership. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

Effective Instruction During Covid-19

Are disadvantaged students at greater risk when they miss out on school?

The Summer Slide: Fact or Fiction? For over fifteen years, it has been conventional wisdom that disadvantaged students fall behind their advantaged peers during summer breaks. Correlational research appears to support this conclusion, Wing Institute Data Mining. This pattern has led researchers such as Alexander, Entwisle, and Olson (2007) and Allington & McGill-Franzen (2018) to conclude that differential gain/loss over the summer thoroughly explains the gap in achievement advantaged and disadvantaged students. Recent studies of summer slide are finding results that call summer slide into question (Kuhfeld, 2019; Quinn et al., 2016), or agree that summer losses are similar for advantaged and disadvantaged students (Atteberry & McEachin, 2020). Read more  

How powerful is leadership?

The Effect of Educational Leadership on Students' Achievement: A Cross-Cultural Meta-Analysis Research on Studies between 2008 and 2018. This meta-analysis examines leadership approaches and the relationship between educational leadership and student achievement. In the literature review identified 151 articles/dissertations, for inclusion in this study. The results revealed educational leadership has a medium-level effect on students' achievement. Read more

What are effects of principals on critical outcomes?

School principals are commonly associated with improving teaching and learning conditions in schools, but what does the research tell us about the leadership strategies principals should focus on to boost student and teacher outcomes. This study offers four chief findings. First, there is evidence for the relationship between principal behaviors and student achievement. Secondly, there is evidence to support the school principal's impact on teacher job satisfaction and effectiveness. Thirdly, research supports the role principals play in improving teacher instructional practices. Finally, principals are essential to sustaining the overall organizational health of the school. The study also concludes that more research is needed to establish a cause and effect relationship lacking in the current research base. Read More

What is the impact of Covid-19 on children?

Combatting COVID-19’s effect on childrenThis extremely thorough report provides the latest information on the impact that Covid-19 is having on children, particularly those who are poorest.  It also outlines steps for governments to take to mitigate these impacts.  From a purely medical perspective, early evidence suggests that children are not the most affected by Covid-19.  It is the Covid-19 related economic and social effects that are having the greatest impact.  Children increasingly face negative consequences from confinement, social distancing, being in challenging living environments, and facing worsening economic situations.   The result is an exacerbation of problems such as poor nutrition, maltreatment, poor sanitation, sexual exploitation, etc.  Additionally, poor children often live in environments that not suite for home learning, with little or no internet and computer resources to participate in remote learning.  The report exhorts governments to greatly accelerate their efforts at providing food, protecting children from child abuse and neglect, offer ongoing physical and mental health services, and create more employment opportunities to help families.  Read More

Wing Institute Recruiting

Search for Education Research Writers


The Wing Institute is recruiting contract-based content writers in the field of evidence-based education. 
We are looking for professionals who can: 
  1. conduct literature reviews;
  2. analyze the relevant data, research, and policies; and 
  3. write succinct overviews for publication on our web site.
Positions to be filled by November 1, 2020.
Please send resume to Jack States at the Wing Institute:

Research topics will focus on the eight education drivers associated with student achievement and success in school. These drivers encompass essential practices, procedures, resources, and management strategies. Specific topics include but are not limited to:  skills for effective teaching, effective teacher training, quality of leadership, and external influences affecting student outcomes.

Those interested must be able to analyze both the quality and quantity of evidence studies to determine if current research meets a threshold of evidence for providing information to support the work of educators.
Criteria for inclusion is based on:
  • Quality: A continua of evidence prioritizing well designed randomized trials and single subject designed studies.
  • Quantity: A continua of evidence spotlighting meta-analyses and replications of single subject designed studies.
Each Overview consists of a summary of the research, graphics as needed, and citations, and supporting conclusions.
  • $2,000 for each Overview (2,500-5,000 words)
  • Author’s name on the publication
  • Working with other professional is the field of evidence-based education
  • Work with internal teams to obtain an in-depth understanding of evidence-based research.
  • Work remotely and supply your own equipment (computer)
  • Plan, develop, organize, write the above documents.
  • Analyze documents to maintain continuity of style of content and consistency with prior Wing Institute documents.
  • Recommend updates and revisions derived from updates in research.
  • Master’s degree in Education, Behavior Analysis, English, Psychology, Communication, or related degrees, is required.
Ability to deliver high quality documentation
  • Ability to communicate complex or technical information easily
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
  • Ability to write from the perspective of education policy makers, school administrators, teachers, and parents

Data Mining


Principals can have a positive or a negative impact on student performance. We know that the ability of principals to identify which teachers are effective and which are low performing plays an important role in this process. What we are not sure of is, how good are principals in performing this vital assessment? 

This data mining article examines an intriguing study titled, Leading for instructional improvement: How successful leaders develop teaching and learning expertise, which opens the door to better understanding how to improve the competency of school principals. The study found that the average principal falls between “novice” and “emerging” in the critical skills that can make a difference in teacher performance and student achievement. Read More

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