Simply Better: Doing What Matters Most to Change the Odds for Student Success

Simply Better: Doing What Matters Most to Change the Odds for Student Success

Simply Better: Doing What Matters Most to Change the Odds for Student Success

Simply Better: Doing What Matters Most to Change the Odds for Student Success

Synopsis

We already know what works in schools; we just need to focus on getting it right. This is the premise of Simply Better: Doing What Matters Most to Change the Odds for Student Success, which offers a practical, research-based framework for improving student achievement. According to author Bryan Goodwin, decades of research have shown time and again that focusing on the following five essential practices can vastly increase students' chances of doing well in school:

• Guaranteeing that instruction is challenging, engaging, and intentional

• Ensuring curricular pathways to success

• Providing whole-child student supports

• Creating high-performance school cultures

• Developing data-driven, high-reliability district systems

Whether at the district-, school-, or classroom-level, educators don't need to reinvent the wheel or pursue the latest trends to ensure that students succeed. This powerful book reveals what research clearly shows works best in schools, and provides a valuable blueprint for turning that knowledge into visible results.

Excerpt

I would not give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I
would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity
.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Overwhelming and discouraging—that’s sometimes how this business of improving schools can feel.

I spend a good deal of my time at education conferences, where I’ve logged many hours in exhibit halls. At most big shows, these halls fill warehouse-sized rooms and feature row upon row of vendors selling new gadgets, programs, tools, you name it—a veritable cornucopia of education solutions.

I often see educators roaming the aisles of these halls with furrowed brows, their heads swimming with new ideas from the sessions they just attended, now being confronted with a bazaar of products and programs, all claiming to deliver results for kids. Add to that the countless articles, reports, books, and blogs, and the whole overload of information can be overwhelming, if not entirely distracting.

In 2009, I was part of a team of researchers at Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL), a nonprofit education research and development organization with funding from the Stupski Foundation, that launched a major, yearlong effort to capture what’s currently known about . . .

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