Leadership Blog


Robert Slavin is the director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University and co-founder and chairman of the Success for All Foundation. Along with guest bloggers, he wrote about how educational policy can be informed by research and innovation and, in turn, promote development and evaluation of promising practices to improve outcomes for all children. This blog is no longer being updated.

Education Opinion Sputnik Moves to New Orbit!
If you've enjoyed reading Sputnik as much as I've enjoyed writing it, I'm sure you'll equally enjoy reading and reacting to my blog at Huffington Post. Farewell Sputnik!
Robert E. Slavin, January 16, 2013
1 min read
Education Opinion Taking the Guesswork Out of Policy
Building up a strong, well-validated set of solutions to the enduring problems of education is the best investment Congress could make in education.
Robert E. Slavin, January 15, 2013
1 min read
Education Opinion What Makes an Effective School Principal? Reality-Based Principal Assessments
Evaluating the effectiveness of school principals is in everyone's best interests-students, teachers, parents, and arguably principals most of all. But what are fair and valid measures of success?
Sputnik Contributor, January 10, 2013
3 min read
Education Opinion Effect Size Matters in Educational Research
Let's say a given program had an effect size of +0.30. Is that large? Small? Is the program worth doing or worth forgetting?
Robert E. Slavin, January 9, 2013
2 min read
Education Opinion Schools That Beat the Odds...On Purpose
The difference between a set of principles and a replicable program is night and day. A replicable program implements similar principles, but does so on purpose, and knows how to do it again and again.
Robert E. Slavin, January 8, 2013
1 min read
Education Opinion Technology without Supports: Like Cotton Candy for Breakfast
Too often, the allure of new technology outweighs practical planning for implementation. Appropriate high-quality professional development and ongoing support for teachers is essential to success.
Sputnik Contributor, January 3, 2013
3 min read
Education Opinion See you in 2013
Sputnik will be on "winter break" until the new year. While we're away, here are a few of Sputnik's top stories from the fall and a seasonal cartoon for you to enjoy.
Robert E. Slavin, December 20, 2012
1 min read
Education Opinion Innovation Step by Step
Genuine progress in educational programs and practice is likely to be gradual, so it is especially critical that support for the R&D process be sustained and steady over time.
Robert E. Slavin, December 18, 2012
2 min read
Education Opinion Transforming Low-Performing Schools
Designing replicable "transformation" programs to help persistently low-achieving schools would seem to be essential, yet it has not happened.
Robert E. Slavin, December 13, 2012
2 min read
Education Opinion Innovative Technology Doesn't Mean Instructionally Innovative
For teachers to utilize technology in a meaningful way, its instructional value must offer options that couldn't exist without the tool.
Sputnik Contributor, November 29, 2012
3 min read
Education Opinion Clicking Our Way to Great Teaching
They have different names, such as clickers, pods, or devices. But whatever you call them, hand-held electronic response devices (ERDs) are showing up in many schools as a means of facilitating formative feedback to students and teachers. The first generation of ERDs gave all students in a class the opportunity to respond at the same time to multiple-choice questions. The next generation allows students to key in numbers and letters to give answers to open-ended questions. A new self-paced learning application, called Questions for Learning (QfL), uses the second-generation devices to pose questions on each student's ERD. QfL allows students to go at their own pace through a series of increasingly difficult questions.
Robert E. Slavin, November 15, 2012
1 min read
Education Opinion Better Teachers or Better Programs?
This post originally appeared on Education Nation's The Learning Curve blog.
Robert E. Slavin, November 8, 2012
3 min read
Education Opinion It's the Right Time to Do the Right Thing
Over a 37-year career in educational research and reform, I've always been an advocate for using proven programs and practices to improve schools. In that time, I don't think I've ever met anyone opposed to the idea in principle. In the academy, there are those who argue about which research designs and measures should count as evidence of effectiveness, but in the world of education practice and policy, this is not the problem. Instead, educational leaders always have a good reason why, even though they strongly support the idea of evidence-based reform, they can't do it right now. They complain that the evidence is never clear, and they don't have the time or expertise to figure out what really works. But mostly, they say it's just not the right time.
Robert E. Slavin, November 1, 2012
2 min read
Education Opinion Sunset for Textbook Adoption in California
There is great news from California. The State Board of Education has announced that it will drop its longstanding textbook adoption standards, which for many years have only allowed California schools to use state textbook funds on a limited set of choices. Many states have approved lists of textbooks, but California was relatively unique in limiting options to a very short list. For example, in recent years, California allowed only two basal reading series, Open Court and Houghton Mifflin.
Robert E. Slavin, October 31, 2012
1 min read