Quaboag teacher Billie Moberg (right) reviews her student survey results with Principal Colleen Mucha.

Learning from Our Students

Surveys offer performance feedback to teachers

Most teachers are accustomed to feedback from principals and coaches, but some have started hearing from the people who know them best: students. Last year, over a million K–12 students took surveys developed by educational services companies to rate how well their teachers teach, and many others took locally developed surveys. A growing number of states and districts allow the use of these surveys as part of teacher evaluation systems, and a few even require their use. For example, student surveys account for 5 percent of teachers’ evaluation scores in Memphis and for 15 percent in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Continue

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Getting a Jump on College

Every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at 8:39 a.m., Tony Mao files into his sophomore-level University of Connecticut engineering course in applied mechanics. Mao is not a university student. He’s a high school senior at the private Christian Heritage School in Trumbull, Conn., who spends his free time playing on the coed varsity tennis team and writing college application essays.

Part of a skyrocketing number of students attending high school and college simultaneously, Mao (who got a perfect score on the SAT in math) plans to use the courses so he can skip ahead on his route to a career in architecture.

But it’s not just precocious high achievers like Mao who are benefiting from this phenomenon that is most often referred to as “dual enrollment” but is also known as “dual credit” or “concurrent enrollment.” Increasingly, educators and other advocates are touting dual enrollment as an effective way of helping underserved students—including first-generation college-goers, low-income racial minorities, and even dropouts—to obtain a college degree. Continue

Editor's Note

Dear Reader,

I write to tell you that with this issue, the Harvard ­Education Letter will cease publication in both print and online formats. For 30 years this bimonthly newsletter has fulfilled its unique mission of bridging the worlds of research and practice to examine important trends in education.

Quality reporting, writing, and in-depth analysis have always been our top priority here at 8 Story Street.
While the Letter maintained its editorial independence with pride, our efforts were aided tremendously by the insights of our faculty advisers and longtime advisory board members at our home in the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). With contributions by top-notch education journalists, HGSE faculty members, and countless other expert contributors from across the country, the Letter has served a savvy audience of educators, policy makers, and advocates. Continue

Ripe for Change

Jane S. Hirschi, Foreword by David Sobel

Ripe for Change

Jane S. Hirschi, Foreword by David Sobel

Hire Better Teachers Now

Dale S. Rose, Andrew English, and Treena Gillespie Finney

Hire Better Teachers Now

Dale S. Rose, Andrew English, and Treena Gillespie Finney