New paper on effective high schools
Marisa Cannata, Thomas Smith, and Katherine Taylor Haynes have published a new paper in AERA Open. This article, “Integrating Academic Press and Support by Increasing Student Ownership and Responsibility” reports the results of our intensive case study research on higher and lower performing high schools in one of our partner districts. Using a mixed methods study of high schools selected on the basis of value-added indicators, they conducted a comparative case study to understand what differentiated schools that “beat the odds” from those that struggled to improve student achievement. They found that the higher-value-added schools enacted practices that integrated academic press and support in ways that fostered student efficacy and engagement. These findings contribute to the larger literature on school effectiveness by highlighting the importance of the student culture of learning and noncognitive student characteristics. They do so by identifying student ownership and responsibility as a critical area for research on school effectiveness and improvement.
There are two particularly unique and timely aspects to this research. First, this research answers a call for more research-practice partnerships to further understanding of effectiveness within a single district context. This helps us understand not only “what works”, but why and how these schools make certain programs work. Second, this research coincides with increased interest in the socioemotional/non-cognitive aspects of students’ experiences. As such, this research helps to situate the attention to socioemotional learning in the broader literature on school effectiveness.