September 15, 2017

Dropping Knowledge

The Harvard Business Review released a well-synthesized research report, How the Best School Leaders Create Enduring Change, that lays out lessons learned from a study of school leaders in the United Kingdom. The report is organized to provide “building blocks” necessary to build lasting changes.  The building blocks are metrics-based and provides clear goals.  All of them are interesting, not to mention multidisciplinary:

  1. Challenge the system: stay for at least 5 years.
  2. Teach everyone: expel less than 3 percent of students.
  3. Teach for longer: from ages 5 to 18.
  4. Challenge the staff: change 30-50 percent.
  5. Engage students: keep 95 percent in class.
  6. Challenge the board: manage 30-60 percent of them.
  7. Engage parents: have 50 percent at parents’ evenings.
  8. Engage staff: 70 percent with no absence.
  9. Teach better: 100 percent capable staff.

All of these are easier said than done, but they provide a useful framework from which school boards and other bodies can build.

Making News

With the recent Equifax security breach in the headlines, the American Enterprise Institute breaks down why the breach is both significant and overblown.

The more important question is why the Equifax breach was so serious — and, in a world in which such breaches are mundane, what this tells us about how to regulate the storage (or use) of financially-sensitive data. The best answer, it turns out, may not be to focus on securing this data, but rather to change how it is used so that, when a breach does occur, the impact is not so substantial.

The article does not go deep into solutions, but it frames a natural condition of policymaking: at some point violations of a system (i.e., security breaches or floods) cease to be discrete issues and point to the need for structural change.

For Your Consideration

The Conversation has a couple of good posts this week related to disasters.  With two storms hitting the U.S. back-to-back, it is easy to begin tuning out the coverage.  Both of these pieces are organized to be both instructive and easy-to-read.

The first, Rebuilding after disasters: 5 essential readsis itself a synthesis piece. As the title suggests, it pulls from a mass of reporting and research around disasters and identifies pieces to read now or file away for future reference.

The second, American generosity after disasters: 4 questions answeredlooks at how we support others following disasters.  Informative more than it is profound, it is interesting to see how philanthropy researchers are tracking patterns following recent disasters.


  • Would You Know if Your State Was in a Recession?

    Stateline | 09/14/2017

  • The new economy of human excrement

    Nature | 09/13/2017

  • Science Says the Most Successful Kids Have Parents Who Do These 9 Things

    Inc. | 09/13/2017

  • How to Expand Healthcare Choice for Consumers

    E21 | 09/12/2017

  • Why American workers pay twice as much in taxes as wealthy investors

    Bloomberg | 09/12/2017

  • How People Approach Facts and Information

    Pew Research Center | 09/11/2017