June 18, 2006

Most Effective Biology Instruction North Carolina has done a study I had hoped Tennessee would do. North Carolina state testing results were used in regression and residual analyses of student achievement. This analysis allowed for identification of the “most effective” and “least effective” biology teachers in Wake County Public Schools (WCPSS). The study found that the “most effective” biology teachers were focused on the delivery of biology instruction; resisted distractions from their classroom efforts; maximized student use of class time; studied and planned with other teachers using the North Carolina Biology Standard Course of Study; focused all student time on the Standard Course of Study goals; carefully planned teacher controlled student activities; and used data to guide their instructional practice.This research study developed a value-added instructional improvement analysis model. Now, how's the best way to help teachers adopt these practices? A. Hire a tough, disciplined Superintendent and CIO who'll demand that teachers focus on these principles? B. Teacher-Led Instructional Improvement? I'm voting for B, and I submit Bellevue Schools as evidence supporting my choice. What's more, I was talking about Bellevue when I was on the Board. Mike Riley started lesson study in Bellevue the year before we began it here. He stuck with it. We hired a superintendent who dumped it. Which looks like the better choice now? The <funny> thing is, I asked our search consultant back in 2000 about Mike Riley. His response? "He spends too much time out in the schools." Really. Of course, that's the same search consultant who...

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