White Papers and Brochures



November 18th, 2013

Teacher evaluations and local flexibility: Burden or benefit?

School Improvement Network conducted study of 50 state department of education officials who are responsible for implementing teacher evaluation policy to better understand state teacher evaluation policy and how much flexibility districts have at the local level to implement state requirements. The goal was to inform ourselves, school districts and local schools how much freedom and flexibility, or lack thereof, they have to innovate on behalf of their own teachers and students particularly when it comes to using technology to achieve their professional development needs. 

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August 1st, 2012

How to Help Teachers Become More Effective in the Classroom

Studies show that a growing number of American students are enrolling in college—more than ever before. This good news, however, is offset by the fact that fewer than half of enrollees actually complete their degrees. Clearly, we are getting better at placing our children in college, but in our haste to do so we have overlooked a very important fact—many of them are not even prepared to go.

This paper explores the current deficit of college and career readiness among K-12 students, and posits increased teacher effectiveness as a solution to that problem. The paper outlines strategies for creating effective teachers schools and district-wide; describes how to dismantle potential roadblocks to achieving teacher effectiveness; and recommends tools for making 100 percent of teachers effective, and 100 percent of students college and career ready

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March 30th, 2012

Avoiding Foreclosure on Education

We’ve heard it on the news. We’ve seen it in polls. Politicians argue about it in city, state, and federal legislatures. American schools and test scores cannot seem to keep pace with the rest of the world. And while politicians and parents are busy looking for whom to blame, only a few seem to be looking for a solution.

As the recession continues to close its fists around federal budgets, lawmakers have decided to take money away from education in this time of economic crisis and increased global competition, and students face the repercussions. Districts are only receiving a portion of their requested budget, and students are impacted by every cut that administrators have to make.

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March 30th, 2012

6 Questions Administrators Must Ask about Online PD

The market for online professional development is growing at an explosive rate. Online professional development offers many benefits, including more efficient training that costs less than traditional “sit-and-get” training sessions, and districts are demanding more products.

The decision of which product best fits a district’s needs is also growing increasingly difficult. What is the benefit of a community? Do we need one topic, or a plethora of topics and experts? Will teachers use the training tools that the district buys? How can instructional leaders encourage educators to use job-embedded training? Why do districts need an observation tool?

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March 30th, 2012

Solving Your Classroom Management Challenges

There is strong evidence to suggest that classroom management is the most pressing challenge in American schools today. Many of the education problems we see appearing on the front pages of newspapers and magazines can be traced directly back to it. The following paper explores this growing issue and the developments that are driving it. It pinpoints diverse classrooms, the rise of the so-called “digital native,” and unprecedented, rapid shifts in culture as three of the principle problems that are making it difficult for educators to properly manage the contemporary classroom. The paper finally offers professional development as the most effective strategy for solving the problems of classroom management, and outlines the features that educators should look for when choosing PD to deal with them.

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