• Research, Theory, and Analysis

    For years now, this phrase has been the tagline for Ideas & Perspectives, our flagship publication. The phrase not only reflects the content of our advisory letter, but it resides at the core of Independent School Management’s raison d'être—supporting private-independent school leaders.

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Spread of Academic Success in a High Schools Social Network

Released February 2013. Application of social network analysis to education has revealed how social network positions of K-12 students correlate with their behavior and academic achievements. However, no study has been conducted on how their social network influences their academic progress over time. In this report, correlations are investigated between high school students’ academic progress over one year and the social environment that surrounds them in their friendship network. The researchers found that students whose friends’ average GPA (Grade Point Average) was greater (or less) than their own had a higher tendency toward increasing (or decreasing) their academic ranking over time, indicating social contagion of academic success taking place in their social network.

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Best Practices in Teacher Pay for Performance Models

Released December 2012. In this report, Hanover Research examines four aspects of performance-based compensation: pay forperformance systems, evaluating teachers of non-tested subject areas, evaluator training and reliability of evaluation ratings, and student and teacher outcomes. Although the research is based on public school systems, elements may be applicable in a private school setting.

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Kindness Counts: Prompting Prosocial Behavior in Preadolescents Boosts Peer Acceptance and Well-Being

Released December 2012. At the top of parents’ many wishes is for their children to be happy, to be good, and to be well-liked. Our findings suggest that these goals may not only be compatible but also reciprocal. In a longitudinal experiment conducted in 19 classrooms in Vancouver, 9- to 11-year olds were instructed to perform three acts of kindness (versus visit three places) per week over the course of 4 weeks. Students in both conditions improved in well-being, but students who performed kind acts experienced significantly bigger increases in peer acceptance (or sociometric popularity) than students who visited places. Increasing peer acceptance is a critical goal, as it is related to a variety of important academic and social outcomes, including reduced likelihood of being bullied. Teachers and interventionists can build on this study by introducing intentional prosocial activities into classrooms and recommending that such activities be performed regularly and purposefully.

2012 ISM Re Enrollment Results

High Expectations and Student Success

Released November 2012. In this report, Hanover Research examines the role of expectations, both those of teachers and of students, on academic outcomes of student learning. The research has examined how expectations should be framed and communicated in order to maximize achievement and drive each student, no matter the caliber of his or her starting point, to achieve beyond where he or she began. This brief report highlights the role that expectations play in student learning, achievement, and goal-setting, with an emphasis on the work of John Hattie and Carol Dweck.

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Great Expectations: Teachers' Views on Elevating the Teaching Profession

In early 2012, Teach Plus conducted its first national survey of teachers. One thousand and fifteen (1,015) teachers from around the country responded, 49% with 1-10 years of classroom experience and 51% with 11 or more years of experience. The survey examined three areas of reform that are central to teachers: standards and accountability, teacher effectiveness and evaluation, and working conditions. The findings paint a picture of a new generation of teachers who have high expectations for their students and a strong desire to build a profession based on high standards.

Effective Practices

Implementing Middle School Block Scheduling and Team Teaching

Released November 2012. In the following report, Hanover Research summarizes best practices for implementing a block schedule at the middle school level. To begin, this report discusses the basic tenets of block scheduling and identifies several different block scheduling models. Following this, the report briefly covers several issues related to student instruction and curriculum associated with block scheduling, as well as issues related to the implementation of block scheduling. The report concludes with a discussion of teacher teaming, a practice which has been recommended by a number of educators, researchers, and experts.

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