We’ve talked a bit about Dispelling the Myth (DTM) schools, but we haven’t given you much of an opportunity to hear directly from them.

Until now, that is.

Ed Trust, in partnership with StoryCorps*, has put together a series of audio clips featuring teachers and administrators in three of our DTM schools. Each of these schools was once low-performing, but each has taken a different route to success. Ware Elementary focused on building a culture of respect; George Hall Elementary made its “literacy fair” a main focus of instruction; and teachers at Bethune Elementary bring urgency to instruction, ensuring that all students reach proficiency. There is no silver bullet, as they say, but during these interviews, there were three common themes that stood out to promote success: collaboration, data, and leadership.

These interviews also teach us a very important lesson: Each school must take an honest look at what their students need, determine how best to meet those needs, and then do what it takes to help kids learn and grow every day.

Visit EdTrust’s YouTube page to listen to more of these inspiring stories.

*This project was completed through a partnership with StoryCorps, a national nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

Cassie Fago is a former communications intern at Ed Trust. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public policy at Duke University.