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Friday, April 11, 2008

Tips from District Administration Magazine


District Administration magazine’s “Research Center” has assembled 15 tips taken from over 50 articles. In a previous post, we examined five. In this installment, we examine another five. Full articles are available on their website.


Diagnose reading difficulties sooner rather than later. For children with dyslexia, delay or denial of intervention can have negative long-term consequences. The only way to confirm a suspected diagnosis of dyslexia is through formal testing of reading, language, and writing skills. ("Demystifying Dyslexia," December 2007)

Set students up for success in mathematics. When Robert Dixon and colleagues reviewed findings from 110 experimental research reports in 1998, they concluded that effective mathematics lessons do not require students to apply new knowledge independently until they have demonstrated an ability to apply the new knowledge successfully. ("K8 Math Strategies," March 2007)

Make decisions about early grade retention with care. Several studies show that students who are retained at any grade level are more likely to drop out of school, but simple retention without targeted intervention in grades K3 (especially kindergarten or first grade) is characterized by some as especially risky. Researchers suggest a combination of prevention, targeted intervention, and sustained supports. ("Retention or Promotion? Wrong Question," February 2005)

Make time for social studies in the elementary grades. The 2001 NAEP results in U.S. history found that fourth-graders whose teachers spent more than 180 minutes a week on social studies scored higher when compared to students whose teachers spent less time on the subject. ("Social Studies: Mastering Content and Skills," June 2007)

To get the best teachers, expedite the hiring process. When The New Teacher Project studied hiring in four hard-to-staff urban districts, researchers found that strategic recruitment yielded a multitude of applicants for teaching positions. However, many of the best candidates later withdrew their applications. The majority of those who withdrew cited delays in hiring decisions as their reason for accepting employment elsewhere. ("Recruitment and Retention of Highly Qualified Teachers," July 2007)

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