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January 21, 2011 10:21 am

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Meeting the Challenge: The Role of School Leaders in Turning Around the Lowest-Performing High Schools from the Alliance for Excellent Education. This policy brief recommends policies that focus on a schoolwide, systematic approach to improving professional learning and collaborative practices.

Return on Educational Investment by the Center for American Progress. This report measures the “educational productivity” of more than 9,000 districts and shows that districts getting the most for their money tend to spend more on teachers and less on administration, partner with their communities to save money and have school boards willing to make unpopular decisions, like closing underenrolled schools

Cracking the Student Aid Code: Parent and Student Perspectives on Paying for College by the College Board. This study finds that many parents have little understanding of how much it costs to attend college and of financial aid options.  And that the knowledge deficit is biggest for those who already have the least access to higher education: students from Latino families and from low-income backgrounds.

Improving Undergraduate Learning: Findings and Policy Recommendations from the Social Science Research Council. This study finds that 45% of students show no significant improvement in the key measures of critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore years.

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