Equity-Line-Draft-1-1

The Equity Line contains original analyses, commentary, and “on the ground” stories of students, parents, educators, and activists all over the nation striving to improve education. It chronicles our efforts, as well as those of partners and friends who are working toward the shared goal of closing gaps.

  • Solving the Problem of Parental Engagement

    August 20, 2015 by

    As my kids went through school, I saw a few of the many issues that surround what is called “parental engagement.” Many parents would have loved to go to school meetings, concerts, and performances, but they were rarely scheduled for the convenience of parents. My favorites were the school…

  • Pell Grants Provide Access; Institutions Must Support Completion

    August 20, 2015 by

    The Hechinger Report just published an article on the graduation rates of Pell Grant recipients at 82 of the largest public and private institutions in the nation. Considering nearly 9 million low-income students receive Pell Grants annually, it’s a topic that we care deeply about. In fact…

  • Principal Pipeline

    August 14, 2015 by

    An interesting initiative to dramatically improve schools isn’t disruptive or innovative or even particularly exciting — at least to non-educators. It is merely an attempt to ensure that school leaders understand the scope of their job and are fully prepared to lead instruction in schools. As I write…

  • ‘You Can Change Their Whole Life’

    August 6, 2015 by

    I first became aware of efforts to close achievement gaps in Lexington, Massachusetts, in 2008, when I met the relatively new superintendent, Paul Ash, at an achievement gap conference organized at Harvard by Ronald Ferguson. Ash struck me as a serious educator who was concerned that African American students were…

  • Schools That Leave Some Students Behind “Virtually Nonexistent”? Not So Fast

    August 4, 2015 by

    Over the past six months, we have worked with a large coalition of national civil rights, disabilities, and business organizations to convince Congress to strengthen the accountability provisions in the renewal of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This diverse coalition shares the conviction that if the new law is…

  • Between the Echoes: ‘We Are Still Here’ — Native Students and Postsecondary Dreams

    July 27, 2015 by

    An offshoot of Ed Trust’s Echoes From the Gap series, drawing stories of students from behind the statistics, this blog series shares shorter narratives — brief glimpses into classrooms and hallways — that give readers an opportunity to examine educator practices and policies through the intimate lens of student experience. All…

  • Developing Great Teaching

    July 24, 2015 by

    I have recently been exposed to discussions teachers are having in the United Kingdom, and it turns out — drum roll, please — they talk about the same things as teachers in the United States. One thing I have been interested to learn is that teachers in the U.K. are…

  • Lies, Lies, Damn Lies: Enough With NEA’s Lies About “Test and Punish”

    July 14, 2015 by

    UPDATED If there has been unanimous agreement on anything during the process for renewing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act it is this: School ratings systems should no longer be just about performance on standardized tests. Indeed, every version of the new law in both the House and Senate has…

  • Class of 2015: Here We Come, America

    July 14, 2015 by

    Not long ago, I wrote about the disbelief African American students at Elmont Memorial High School confront about their high achievement. Ashley Simon, the valedictorian of the class, told me she is often greeted with surprise when people hear she earned 5’s on five Advanced Placement exams. Other…

  • Finding Success in Whatever Way Possible

    July 1, 2015 by

    In two new papers, scholar John Hattie identifies the most important — and the least important — things we can do to improve education, based on syntheses of a great deal of research. In the Huffington Post, I write about what he found. In one of the papers, Hattie addresses what…

  • Sugarcoating American History

    June 25, 2015 by

    On a visit to Berlin last year, my husband and I found ourselves sitting on a streetcar next to another American, identified by his University of Memphis T-shirt. As fellow tourists do, we struck up a conversation. How long had he been there? A few days. What…

  • An Open Letter to College Dropout Factories

    June 22, 2015 by

    Visit this page for a complete list and an interactive map of the 113 college dropout factories. Dear College Dropout Factories, As part of our quest to increase the public demand for greater accountability in higher education, The Education Trust has continued our commitment to identifying four-year colleges and…

  • Doing What Some Said Was Impossible

    June 18, 2015 by

    I came to Ed Trust in 2004 to help find high-performing schools with significant numbers of students of color and students from low-income families and then figure out what it is they do. These were the (relatively) early days of No Child Left Behind, and many people around…

  • The Real Courageous Conversations

    June 16, 2015 by

    At some point we have to be honest about some of these kids.” The veteran educator spoke in italics, words slanting off her tongue eager to reveal their hidden meaning. “We have to separate the wheat from the chaff and tell some of these kids they’re out.…

  • Improvement — At Scale

    June 11, 2015 by

    In Huffington Post this week, I write about a book that I found really exciting — Learning to Improve: How America’s Schools Can Get Better at Getting Better. It describes a process of improvement developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching that borrows from business’s quality…

  • Teachers: Accountability Buttresses Education for All Students

    June 10, 2015 by

    Last week, several Teach Plus teachers spoke on Capitol Hill about how federal accountability policy has impacted their teaching. Speaking passionately about their students, classrooms, and schools, these teachers emphasized that federal law must ensure high expectation for all groups of students and prompt meaningful action and support when any…

  • Calling the Nation’s Civil Rights Leaders Ignorant on Testing: Really?

    June 4, 2015 by

    Last week, Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, took to the pages of Education Week to call leaders of the Urban League, the NAACP, the National Council of La Raza, the League of Latin American Citizens, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights…

  • More Teachers Are Sticking Around, But in Which Schools?

    June 4, 2015 by

    A new study shows that new teachers are more likely to stay in the profession (83 percent) than most previous studies have suggested (as low as 50 percent). That’s encouraging news, but it’s important to remember that staying in the profession doesn’t mean staying in the…

  • Higher Ed’s Pivotal Role in Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

    May 28, 2015 by

    Today, I testified before the United States Commission on Civil Rights as it convenes a hearing on the effect of college access and success on the socioeconomic mobility of people of color. I’m glad that the commission is digging into this subject because it gets too little attention.…

  • When Tests Get Real

    May 27, 2015 by

    To the young leaders, the organizers, the rage against the machiners: I was you. Spelled America with three Ks. Wrote angry poetry on notepaper in the back of the class – when I managed to attend. Drew raised fists along the margins of the low-level dittos handed out…