Never before has research in our field been so essential to improving student learning. Recent findings from large scale studies underscore the strong influence of effective leadership on improving teaching and learning and the power of policy and strategy coherence in focusing and reinforcing school and district reforms. Recent research highlights models of leadership preparation and school and district reform. research On-going research highlights the persistent challenges facing many children to have (and for their communities to provide) access to quality schools and opportunities to learn, and the mixed results pertaining to policy efforts such as charter schools, principal evaluation and accountability-driven reforms generally.
Thus, the theme of the 2014 AERA conference-- The Power of Education Research for Innovation in Practice and Policy—could not be timelier. It challenges us to think about how to facilitate better use of what we are learning to improve schools and policies that support student learning and to redouble our efforts to undertake relevant, useable research, particularly for intractable problems pertaining to persistently low-performing schools; inequities in school finance; dropouts, suspensions and bullying; and the achievement gap, among others. Our division is committed to continued reflection on our roles as researchers, academics and professors preparing the next generation of educational leaders and scholars and how our agendas for research and development can help shape direction and solutions.
To foster continued reflection, the division will be doing three things: re-launching the Division A Newsletter; creating a blog spot for editorials; and sponsoring a series of on-line discussions building on the conversations started at the 2013 Division A Business Meeting and to be continued annually. We look forward to hearing from our members and advancing our thinking and action in the coming months. We will be soliciting volunteers and providing further opportunities for participation in the coming weeks, so look forward to hearing from you.
Margaret Terry Orr
Division A Vice President