News

  • | News from Brown

    Representing a wide variety of disciplines and backgrounds, the scholars join the Brown community this year to guide student-centered learning and engage in high-impact research.

    As the 2022-23 academic year begins at Brown and more than 3,203 new undergraduate, graduate and medical students arrive on College Hill, the University also welcomes a group of 62 dynamic new scholars and educators to the Brown faculty.

    With research and teaching expertise on topics ranging from global health security to climate change, brain science to diaspora studies, and architecture to algorithms, Brown’s newest faculty members represent a wide range of fields, backgrounds and viewpoints. Welcoming faculty with such diversity of experience comes at a time when Brown is developing an operational plan for significantly growing its research enterprise.

  • | The Research Partnership for Professional Learning
    The Research Partnership for Professional Learning (RPPL) has named Dr. Stacey Alicea as its first Executive Director. Her hiring marks a milestone for RPPL, which in just two years has grown from an idea among colleagues to a pioneering network of researchers and professional learning providers dedicated to advancing our understanding of what works when it comes to teacher professional learning.
  • | Education Week

    Teacher professional development absorbs billions of dollars each year and lots of teacher time, yet there’s hardly any evidence that teacher training actually improves teaching. A massive 2014 meta-analysis by the federal Institute of Education Sciences, for instance, evaluated 643 studies of PD in K-12 math instruction and found just two that met the evidentiary bar set by the What Works Clearinghouse and had positive results. Linda Darling-Hammond, a former president of the American Education Research Association, has frankly noted that the “training [educators] receive is episodic, myopic, and often meaningless.” Well, Brown University’s John Papay and Nathaniel Schwartz and Harvard’s Heather Hill—all scholars at the Annenberg Institute—think folks like me are unduly pessimistic on this score. They’ve dug into PD to see what’s working and what we can do better (see their brief here). I thought it worth sharing their take.

  • We’ve created this annual report to give you a taste of the work that we have going on at the Institute. We welcome you to read on to learn more about how we are pursuing equitable, transformative education for just and flourishing societies, and then to join us in our work going forward.

    We look forward to the coming academic year and to work with you and others to reach these important goals.

  • | The 74

    Teach For America, the organization I lead, launched a tutoring initiative in fall 2020 following research that shows that high-dose, high-quality tutoring is one of the most effective ways to combat learning loss. One study that looked at the impact of having a well-trained tutor meet three times a week with a group of up to four students found it came close to providing the equivalent of nearly five months of learning. A 2021 meta-analysis from researchers at Brown University concluded tutoring has a more significant effect on student achievement than smaller class sizes, vacation or summer classes and longer school days or years.

  • | Education Week

    When students test out of an English-learner program, or are reclassified as proficient in English, they report a higher sense of self and a greater belief in their ability to complete challenging academic tasks, a new study finds.

    Past research has examined how exiting students out of English-learner programs—and removing the label of English-learner—impacts students’ academic outcomesMonica Lee, a senior research associate at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, and her co-author James Soland of the University of Virginia, wanted to look at what reclassification means for social-emotional learning, or SEL, outcomes.

  • | The 74

    College students have the power to transform the tutoring landscape and overcome one of the biggest hurdles in bringing tutoring to scale.

    It seems like everyone is talking about tutoring. Some 40% of school districts and charter organizations are talking about investing billions in tutoring and academic skills coaching to address pandemic-related disruptions to learning. Even more policymakers and researchers are discussing ways to create a national tutoring corps, statewide tutoring groups or lists of state-approved tutoring providers to help districts establish strong programs.

  • | The Conversation

    Performance-based funding – a policy in which states fund public colleges based on certain student outcomes, such as how many students graduate – hasn’t benefited all students equally in Tennessee and Ohio. That’s according to a study in which we analyze U.S. Department of Education data on public colleges and universities in these states between 2004-2015.

    We compared institutions in Ohio and Tennessee to institutions in states that did not have performance-based funding policies during the same time frame. In some cases, Black, Hispanic, Native American and Alaska Native students did in fact earn more certificates as well as associate and bachelor’s degrees. However, the gap between them and white and Asian students grew even wider for bachelor’s degrees in Ohio and for certificates in Tennessee.

  • | The Hechinger Report

    The academics found that there was often a tradeoff between “good teaching” where kids learn stuff and “good teaching” that kids enjoy. Teachers who were good at raising test scores tended to receive low student evaluations. Teachers with great student evaluations tended not to raise test scores all that much.

    “The teachers and the teaching practices that can increase test scores often are not the same as those that improve student-reported engagement,” said David Blazar, one of the study’s co-authors and an associate professor of education policy at the University of Maryland College Park. 

    Blazar’s study, “Challenges and Tradeoffs of ‘Good’ Teaching: The Pursuit of Multiple Educational Outcomes,” was co-written with Cynthia Pollard, a doctoral student at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. It was publicly posted in June 2022 as a working paper of the Annenberg Institute at Brown University. 

  • | American Educational Research Association (AERA)

    John B. Diamond, professor of sociology and education policy in Brown University’s department of sociology and Annenberg Institute for School Reform, has been selected by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) to present the 2022 Brown Lecture in Education Research. The public lecture will take place virtually on Thursday, November 3, 6:00–7:30 p.m. ET.

    Diamond is a leading scholar in the study of race in education and how it shapes instruction and learning in U.S. schools and school systems. His research focuses on the relationship between social inequality and educational opportunity, examining how leadership, policies, and practices shape students' educational opportunities and outcomes. Diamond is an advisory board member of the American Sociological Association (ASA)’s Sociology Action Network and a national planning team member of the URBAN Research Network. He is an AERA Fellow and served as chair of the AERA Minority Dissertation Fellowship in Education Selection Committee.