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.


  • 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…


  • ‘The Only Route for Poor Children Out of Poverty Is Us’

    May 27, 2015 by

    Craig Gfeller, principal of a small, high-poverty elementary school in exurban Washington, is adamant that his school provides opportunities for his students because, he says, schools are the only hope many poor children have. “The only route for poor children out of poverty is us,” he says. He…


  • An Updated College Results Online = More Data for You

    May 27, 2015 by

    College Results Online has been updated with the most recent data from the federal government (2012-13), giving you even more information to compare in this one-stop shop tool. At CollegeResults.org — now in its 10th year of compiling and sharing critical information on colleges across the country — you…


  • Evaluating an Evaluation System: Lessons From a New York Times Graphic

    May 20, 2015 by

    Teacher evaluation systems are complex. There are a number of measures available — such as classroom observations, student achievement growth, and survey results — to rate a teacher’s performance, and each one has its own insight to add. Districts should keep that in mind, particularly as they (and policymakers and…


  • What Does Good Education Research Say?

    May 19, 2015 by

    In Huffington Post this week, I talk about a new movement of teachers who are taking control of their own professional development by seeking out rigorous cognitive and education research that can really help improve their practice. One of the cornerstone works they cite is John Hattie’s Visible Learning…


  • So What Does School Leadership Look Like?

    May 11, 2015 by

    I was just talking with a friend whose son is in his second year of teaching. During that entire time, his principal has been in his classroom only once for a 10-minute “walk-through.” With all we know now about the importance of school leaders, it’s really…


  • States: What’s Your Plan for Ensuring Fair Access to Quality Teaching?

    May 11, 2015 by

    Strong teachers are key to raising achievement and closing gaps, but not all children have the same access to those teachers. Low-income students and students of color are less likely than their white and middle-class peers to have experienced, in-field, and effective teachers. Federal law requires…


  • Appreciating Teachers Beyond Teacher Appreciation Week

    May 5, 2015 by

    It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and social media and teachers’ desks are filling up with expressions of gratitude for the extraordinarily important work that teachers do. Truly appreciating teachers, though, requires more than a once-a-year acknowledgement. Appreciating educators means ensuring support for them to develop and sustain…


  • ‘Because Someone Did It for Me’

    May 4, 2015 by

    You can still see the stained watermark from the storm feet above eye level on the school walls. It was here, at a high school just off the highway that runs along the Gulf Coast between New Orleans and Gulfport, Mississippi, that I met Mr. King. I was there…


  • NAEP Results Highlight Opportunity for Deeper Social Studies Integration

    May 1, 2015 by

    This week, the National Center for Education Statistics released new findings about middle school students’ performance in civics, geography, and U.S. history. These results, part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, show students — including low-income, African American, and Latino students — have made gains in all three…