• Common Core State Standards, Factors Influencing Student Achievement, Responsive Coaching, Teacher Evaluation, Autism

  • JP works with schools providing training on how to ameliorate teacher weaknesses brought to light through the process of teacher evaluation.

  • JP brings together several critical factors in the development of an effective school.

  • JP Associates offers our sites grant writing assistance. Take advantage of our experience writing successful grant requests.

  • JP partners with schools and districts across the country to provide intensive professional development for scientifically-based programs.
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Principals should be literacy leaders in their schools

Strong leadership improves teacher quality and gives students the reading skills they need for life

 

Most organizations recognize the critical importance of strong leadership. But Steve Tozer, director of the Center for Urban Education Leadership at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says education institutions have been late to that insight, focusing on the teacher-student relationship to the near exclusion of all others.

That may not be serving students well.

A 2011 Wallace Foundation report on best practices in principal leadership highlights that education research shows most school variables have only small effects on learning when considered on their own.

“The real payoff comes when individual variables combine to reach critical mass,” the report's authors write. “Creating the conditions under which that can occur is the job of the principal.”

Strong principals have created environments that get teachers excited to come to work and students excited to come to school. They prioritize collaboration and professional learning so teachers continue honing their craft long after they get their first job or achieve tenure. They set high priorities for all students, regardless of family background, and set goals and pair them with a plan for achieving them.

They turn their schools into outliers.

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Math skills in preschool help kids succeed later on

WASHINGTON — A new study suggests preschoolers are more likely to do well with math when entering kindergarten if they grasp two basic concepts: words associated with numbers, and the quantities they represent.

 

The word ‘two,’ for example, means a pair of things, such as your eyes.

 

“It seems kind of mundane to us, but it’s actually a very difficult process for kids,” said psychologist Dave Geary, from the University of Missouri Department of Psychological Sciences and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience.

 

Preschoolers are also more likely to have later success with math, Geary said, if they understand that addition and subtraction mean you get more or have less of something.

 

“What we found was that kids who were a little bit delayed in the learning of the meaning of these number words really weren’t very fluent at processing numbers when they hit kindergarten,” Geary said.

 

The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, included 112 preschool children ranging from 3 to 5 years old. It evaluated their math skills upon entering and leaving preschool.

 

Geary and his team will continue to follow the children through first grade.

 

They believe the current study’s findings could help narrow the focus of what kids are taught before kindergarten and lead to greater success later in school.

 

When working with very young children to build basic math skills, Geary suggests using groups of three or fewer items. “So you start with one and you add one more — how many is that? Or you start with three and you take away two, how many is that?” Geary explained.

 
 

 

The Best Schools In The World Do This. Why Don't We?

For a moment, let's pretend.

That everything you know about America's public education system — the bitter politics and arcane funding policies, the rules and countless reasons our schools work (or don't) the way they do — is suddenly negotiable.

Pretend the obstacles to change have melted like butter on hot blacktop.

Now ask yourself: What could — and should — we do differently?

This question drove a bipartisan group of more than two-dozen state lawmakers and legislative staffers on an 18-month journey. Their mission: study some of the world's top-performing school systems, including those in Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, Ontario, Poland, Shanghai, Singapore and Taiwan.

Today the group, part of the National Conference of State Legislatures, released its findings, titled No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State.

The report is full of takeaways. Here are three of the biggest:

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Measuring the impact of poverty in education

U.S. Secretary of Education John King's voice wavered slightly during the July 27 conference call, as he recounted his personal battles with poverty and homelessness. 

"I know schools can save lives, because schools saved mine," King said. "Public school teachers gave me a sense of hope, created an environment that was structured and supportive. I understand school can be the difference as a safe and supportive place for students facing homelessness."

King was addressing members of the media about new proposed policies under the Every Student Succeeds Act, which will support mandated local liaisons in school districts to help identify and offer resources to students who classify as homeless. They will also help to clarify the unique needs of therising homeless student population, which includes more than 1.3 million children throughout the country — more than half of the nation's total number of school children.

 

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3 Things People Can Do In The Classroom That Robots Can't

How should schools best prepare kids to live and work in the second half of the 21st century?

In previous eras, the job of school was simple: Teach them math and reading skills. Have them learn some basic facts about the world.

Today the challenge is a lot different. Most people all over the world, even in the poorest countries, have much easier access to a calculator, a dictionary and great swaths of knowledge in their pockets.

And technology isn't just expanding access to knowledge. It's also redefining opportunity. To put it bluntly, more and more people — in all kinds of jobs from truck driver to travel agent to lawyer — are in danger of being replaced by software on the job.

A 2013 study from Oxford University famously estimated that 47 percent of all jobs are in danger of automation. And earlier this year, the World Economic Forum said 5 million jobs might be gone in just the next four years.

 

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