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ICYMI: Most read by educators

What’s trending? From 4-day school weeks to the BARR model, don’t miss these most-read stories.

3 min read

Voice of the Educator



Can student reading groups backfire?

Separating students into reading groups based on their abilities may be doing more harm than good, according to a recent study. Northwestern University research fellow Marshall Jean followed 12,000 young students and found that the students who had been placed in the lowest reading-level group in kindergarten did not catch up to peers in the highest level.

Full Story: Education Week (tiered subscription model)

How is the 4-day school week working?

Teacher and student attendance improved at a New Mexico school after it switched to a four-day week last year, a move that has been implemented by about 40% of the state’s school districts. Former teacher and current state Senator Howie Morales is concerned about the effect a shorter week may have on student achievement and has backed a moratorium on new schools adopting the practice until they know more about its effect.

Full Story: PBS

PBL boosts scores in social studies, reading

Students in Michigan who followed a project-based learning curriculum had higher scores in social studies and reading than their peers who did not, according to a study by researchers from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Nell Duke, a lead author of the study, said, “This study shows that a well-designed project-based curriculum might be more effective than traditional instruction.”

Full Story: The Hechinger Report

BARR model credited with gains for 9th-graders

The Building Assets, Reducing Risks program has been credited with improving many types of schools since it was started by a school counselor in Minneapolis in 1999. The BARR model targets ninth-grade students by prioritizing their strengths and building a web of strong relationships around them to keep them on track.

Full Story: The Hechinger Report 

Study: Growth mindset combats academic stress

Students who have a growth mindset are more likely to consider poor academic performance as a temporary setback that can be overcome, according to a recent study. Hae Yeon Lee, the study’s lead author, looked at students’ reactions to transitioning to high school by tracking their levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Full Story: Edutopia online 

Audrey Altmann is an editorial assistant at SmartBrief.


This “most read” feature reflects the most read items in ASCD SmartBrief from the previous week. Sign up for ASCD SmartBrief to get news like this in your inbox, or check out all of SmartBrief’s education newsletters, covering career and technical education, educational leadership, math education and more.