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Research Center

Online social networking includes much more than Facebook and Twitter. It is any online use of technology to connect people, enable them to collaborate with each other, and form virtual communities, says the Young Adult Library Services Association. Social networking sites may allow visitors to send e-mails, post comments, build web content, and/ or take part in live chats.

Following the publication of a 2004 report by the Alliance for Excellent Education (Biancarosa & Snow, 2004), the topic of adolescent literacy emerged as an issue of concern. It recently has received increased attention thanks to the latest round of studies and calls for additional federal funding (Cassidy, Valadez, Garrett, & Barrera, 2010).

A new report by the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality (TQ Center) highlights efforts across the nation to address a key point in the No Child Left Behind law and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARR A)—the equitable distribution of high-quality teachers across all schools.

The average score for eighth-graders on the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAE P) was the highest ever, but only 39 percent scored at or above the proficient level (Lee, Grigg, & Dion, 2007). Even fewer high school seniors (23 percent) were proficient (Grigg, Donahue, & Dion, 2007). “The sharp falloff in mathematics achievement in the U.S. begins as students reach late middle school, where, for more and more students, algebra course work begins,” the National Mathematics Advisory Panel said in 2008 in its final report.

Schools and districts that serve a large number of English language learners (ELL s) have found it helpful to develop a comprehensive program that addresses the specific needs of the population they serve. But what about districts that experience a sudden influx of ELL students? In these places, no ELL program may be in place, and existing staff may not be trained or experienced in teaching students whose first language is not English.

What constitutes a 21st-century education? The answers vary (Walser, 2008), but 10 states have already adopted the framework used by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (, and more states are preparing to do so. The Partnership’s Framework for 21st Century Learning specifies student outcomes in four areas:

Writing, whether fiction or nonfiction, is a creative process. Even a letter requires writers to arrange words and ideas to make meaning. According to the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, creative processes such as writing engage the mind at the highest level of cognition (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001). How can teachers help students become better writers? Recent research provide answers.

Teacher collaboration and professional learning communities are frequently mentioned in articles and reports on school improvement. Schools and teachers benefit in a variety of ways when teachers work together. A small but growing body of evidence suggests a positive relationship between teacher collaboration and student achievement.

Educators may sometimes feel they are in a race against several clocks-the class period, the school day, the semester, the academic year, high school exit exams and so forth-as they prepare students for academic success. What can district leaders do to appropriately address issues of time and time management? How can they ensure that what is most important-student learning-is not at the mercy of things that are less urgent? As leaders weigh their options, research offers some important reminders.