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Silva, E. (2009). Teachers at Work: Improving Teacher Quality Through School Design. Education Sector.

This brief analyzes ways schools can improve teacher quality through the school design.  It offers suggestions on ways teachers can collaborate through design of the school day and ways teachers schools can be redesigned to reorganize time use throughout the day and year. Many of these techniques may only be applicable to charter schools.

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Barnett, S., Schulman, K. and Shore, R. (2004). Class Size: What’s the Best Fit?. National Institute for Early Education Research.

This policy brief focuses on reducing class size in preschools but is relevant for a broader education context.  The brief explains for the practitioner or policy maker the research on class size, why smaller classes make a difference, and addresses concerns about costs, benefits, and unintended consequences.

 

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Haman, E. & Reeves, J. (2008). Accessing High-Quality Instructional Strategies. California Department of Education & University of California, Davis, School of Education.

This document details why the class-size reduction did not increase access to high quality instruction and narrow the achievement gap: increased demand and movement of experienced teachers to wealthier districts.  It also explores the key question when reducing class size: Are experienced, well-trained teachers available or is there time to develop these teachers?

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Blum, R. (2007). Best Practices: Building Blocks for Enhancing School Environment. Military Child Initiative at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The impact of school environment is discussed and strategies to improve the academic and participatory environment are suggested. Case studies are described.

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Bottoms, G. and Schmidt-Davis, J. (2010). The Three Essentials: Improving Schools Requires District Vision, District and State Support, and Principal Leadership. Southern Regional Education Board.

The authors of this report outline the necessary steps by which district and school leadership can ensure school improvement. Seven strategies are described: these include establishing a clear strategic framework, providing instructional coherence, and providing high-quality data.

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Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement (2009). Developing a Positive School Climate. Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement.

The authors of this brief define school climate and make suggestions for administrators to assess the quality of their school climate. The article lists examples of ways to address specific challenges to improving school climate.

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Center for Social and Emotional Education. (2010). School Climate Research Summary. Center for Social and Emotional Education.

This report suggests that “[s]chool climate is based on patterns of people’s experiences of school life and reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures.” This research brief reviews current trends in school climate and provides suggestions to improve conditions for safety, learning, teaching, and relationships.