Author Archive | David Andrews

Why I’m Proud Of Our Commitment To Educational Excellence

This week, an anonymous blog post inaccurately classified our program and collaboration with Teach For America. While the educational research field benefits from reasonable disagreement on issues of policy and practice, no one benefits from inaccurate information and mischaracterizations. So, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the scope and rigor of our innovative programming.

The Johns Hopkins University School of Education is proud of our longstanding collaboration with Teach For America and the thousands of passionate educators it has fostered, many of whom work in our country’s highest-need schools and partner with students and families across the country to expand educational opportunity.  I am always impressed by the number of TFA and JHU alums who remain active in our work in Baltimore and beyond.

At the School of Education, we are guided by a focus on students and a commitment to bringing equity and excellence to education.  We welcome feedback and constructive discussion about our program so that the children in the communities we serve have the teachers they need and they deserve. But we were saddened to read this anonymous blogger’s disparaging and false claims about our work.

JHU ranks No. 1 among graduate schools of education in the U.S.  We are committed to selecting highly qualified candidates and providing them with continuous evidence-based feedback. Consistent with this commitment to provide feedback toward better learning outcomes, I offer the following information about our Master of Science in Educational Studies degree program.

Developed by our JHU faculty with operational support from an international higher-education organization and collaboration with TFA, the program is taught by seasoned educators. Over eighty percent of our instructors have eight or more years of experience in education. Seasoned instructors combined with the latest online delivery system allow us to provide unprecedented on-demand support and feedback for developing teachers who are working full-time in their classrooms. We hold our master’s degree candidates to the highest standards of excellence, and we consistently endeavor to ensure that our students have the necessary supports they need to meet these high expectations. We are committed to ongoing improvement, and we strive to reflect continuously on ways that we can better meet the needs of our students and their school communities.

Across all of our JHU programs, whether or not they involve TFA, we are unapologetically adaptive in our commitment to meeting the needs of developing teachers.  The online, modular approach we developed to deliver content is combined with real-world, real-time practice opportunities, and is rapidly becoming the prototype for next-generation learning in all of our degree programs. All of our students are held to rigorous standards and high expectations of their work and integrity.

I am very proud of the results we are obtaining for Baltimore and beyond through our ongoing collaboration with TFA.  I invite fellow educators to work with us in our continuous effort to improve the program and produce the best educators we can for students. Every student deserves the opportunity of an excellent education, and we endeavor to provide that to our students, so they may deliver the same to theirs.


Ranked Number One: How Did We Do It?

What a fun day! I’ve had the great fortune of receiving a day of accolades for the School of Education’s rapid ascent to the #1 ranking in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools of Education.  It is incredibly gratifying, but we all know that this recognition belongs to all of the hard working faculty, staff, students, and supporters of the school.

Congratulatory offerings from people outside of our JHU education family are often followed by, “Amazing, how did you guys manage such a feat in such a short period of time?”  My joking response is usually, “It’s a secret and if I tell you it wouldn’t be a secret any longer.”  The reality is, it’s not a big secret, and we are willing to share our strategy as well as how the ranking indicators align with our long term priorities and aspirations.

We simply focused on improving the metrics that matter most to our two pronged mission of a) attracting the best and brightest into education and b) giving them tools that work.  As we improved in these areas, our overall reputation began to climb.

When we created a new Ph.D. program to focus more exclusively on research and scholarship, we were able to recruit students with some of the strongest academic backgrounds in the country. This is evidenced by some of the highest GRE scores reported.  These students are undoubtedly among the best and brightest in the profession.

Johns Hopkins University is among the most entrepreneurial institutions in the country with more federal research funding than any other institution.  The School of Education took a lesson from our peer divisions within the university and has been successful in securing extraordinary levels of competitively awarded research support for our faculty. Like the University at large, our per faculty research funding is at the top of the rankings.  The majority of this funding is expended in development of the evidence-based tools and programs that allow our best and brightest to thrive in academic settings. These are tools that work.

The JHU School of Education has rapidly assembled an extraordinary group of faculty, staff, students, and alumni and is fortunate to compete extremely well for external support.   This exceptional human capital combined with dedicated research funding has begun turning the heads of our peers. While we must admit that we do not share the absolute highest rankings from our peers (the Deans of other schools of education,) our peer reputation has been climbing each year and is at its highest point.  These peer rankings are often lagging indicators of success on other metrics and I am confident that they will continue to improve.

While holding the #1 ranking is unbelievably rewarding, the relationships developed over the course of the journey are even more rewarding.  The work is no fun without trusted and likable colleagues.  Similarly, the recognition is no fun without being shared with these same folks.

Thanks to all who focused on what mattered, made it fun, and helped get us to the pinnacle.



Dean David Andrews: On Personalized Learning

In his sixth entry in an ongoing series of on-camera discussions of educational issues, Dean David Andrews discusses the potential and pitfalls in Personalized Learning – a method that uses modern technology to focus in on individual student needs in order to tailor the learning process to each student for maximum effectiveness.

To view other entries by Dean Andrews, visit