This is interesting and surprising. From Business Insider online.
Two Harvard professors published a study this week that is likely to cause controversy among educators.
Will Dobbie and Roland G. Fryer studied 35 New York charter schools to see whether the traditional models of assessing a school's effectiveness, like class size, were really meaningful. Surprisingly enough, they weren't:
We show that input measures associated with a traditional resource-based model of education – class size, per pupil expenditure, the fraction of teachers with no teaching certification, and the fraction of teachers with an advanced degree – are not positively correlated with school effectiveness.
Here are the factors that were meaningful:
In stark contrast, an index of five policies suggested by forty years of qualitative research – frequent teacher feedback, data driven instruction, high-dosage tutoring, increased instructional time, and a relentless focus on academic achievement – explains almost half of the variation in school effectiveness. Moreover, we show that these variables continue to be statistically important after accounting for alternative models of schooling, and a host of other explanatory variables, and are predictive in a different sample of schools.
The study, published through the National Bureau of Economic Research, collected data including interviews with charter school principals and teachers, student surveys, lesson plans, and video observations.
Dobbie and Fryer recommend implementing the five strategies named above in local public schools.
You can download the entire paper for $5 here.