K-12

  • DeVos Hearing: What We Heard and What We Didn’t

    …Last night, education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos did what advocates are supposed to do: Point out a problem and make a case for their theory of action for how to solve that problem. The issue with last night’s Senate confirmation hearing, though, is that we didn’t get much…
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  • Martin Luther King Jr.: The Chief Aim of Education Is to Save Man From the Morass of Propaganda

    …This post first appeared at the Huffington Post. Many of the civil rights movement’s demands had to do with the unequal schools and truncated educational opportunities African American children — and other children of color — faced. But this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I decided to reread the poignant essay…
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  • What We’ll Be Listening for in Betsy DeVos’ Confirmation Hearing

    …President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education, and on Jan. 17, she will appear in front of the Senate HELP Committee for her confirmation hearing. As secretary, DeVos will be the lead administrator for hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of programs that…
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  • PISA Headlines Are More Complicated Than They Seem

    …Over the past week, we’ve seen two big headlines emerge about the 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results. One focuses on declines in U.S. math scores, and how our students, on average, compare with teens in other countries. The other celebrates U.S. improvement on equity…
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  • A Teachable Moment in Deeply Troubled America

    …"Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them." — James Baldwin In the weeks since the election, network news and social media feeds have continued to reveal the corrosive effect of toxic and damaging rhetoric on our children: Images…
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  • Pushing, Prodding, and Cajoling Our Country Toward Educational Justice — Even Amidst Alarming Times

    …This first appeared on Huffington Post. Count me among those who have been deeply worried about what the next four years will mean for social and educational justice. While I’m a life-long Democrat, my concern is not that our president-elect is a Republican. Low-income students and…
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  • Update: So What Is PISA, and What's All of the Fuss About?

    … The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is one of the best ways — one of the only ways, in fact — that we have of comparing our teenagers’ knowledge and skills to those of teens in other countries. Unlike many other assessments, PISA isn’t based strictly on academic content…
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  • Celebrate Grad Rates, Yes, But Don’t Sit Back Just Yet

    …Each year, millions of students enter ninth-grade to begin their final stretch toward earning a high school diploma. Four years later, parents, families, and friends gather at annual graduation ceremonies throughout the country to celebrate the students who reach that milestone. The most recent graduation rate data show that…
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  • #TeachDiverse: Black Teachers for More Than Just Black Students

    … This week, we participated in The Hechinger Report’s Twitter chat on teacher diversity, along with Andre Perry, Christopher Emdin, José Vilson, and the National Council on Teacher Quality.   We talked about what we learned from our focus groups with 150 Black teachers, who shared the challenges they face…
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  • Stop Blaming Students

    …A recent Education Week headline brought my scanning eyes to a screeching halt: “High School Poverty, Minority Enrollment, Undermine College Progress, Study Finds.” I checked for the publication date in disbelief. Surely, we aren’t still mired in the morass of “demography is destiny” in 2016. Apparently, I was wrong…
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  • Recognizing the Voices of Black Teachers

    …“The first step on the road to justice is to provide the oppressed with a voice to tell their story.” —Adrienne D. Dixson and Celia K. Rousseau, Critical Race Theory in Education Of all the amazing things we found on our journey listening to Black teachers across the country…
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  • In Passing the Baton to the Next Champions for Equity

    …This is a speech delivered at the PIE Network’s Annual Meeting earlier this month. I’m something of a newspaper junkie. When my morning Washington Post and New York Times arrive around 5:15 a.m., I’m up, coffee in hand, poring through the day’s news. Reading…
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  • Ed Trust Assignment Analysis: From Then to Now — to You

    …As educators work to implement new standards and improve instruction, Ed Trust offers a resource for examining classroom assignments and starting conversations about rigor and expectations: our new "Literacy Assignment Analysis Guide." For nearly 20 years now, we have been focused on examining assignments in schools and calling attention to…
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  • What Do Black Teachers Say?

    …A couple of recent reports have utilized national survey data to raise critical questions about why teachers of color leave the profession. But these reports — and the debates that have followed — are missing a big piece, and that piece comes directly from teachers. To date, with the exception of some…
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  • Tackling Achievement Gaps From Summer Learning Loss

    …A well-designed summer program can help low-income students read and do math better. In fact, attending a summer program regularly for as little as five weeks for two years in a row could result in about a quarter of a year’s gain in both reading and math…
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  • Letting Students Take the Lead

    …Last school year, our principal invited me to take part in instructional rounds — an observation-based approach to better understand the learning occurring in our Title I elementary school. The reason? To determine why our school was having difficulty meeting various benchmarks on the end-of-year assessments. The goal…
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  • What Students Have to Gain From the Arts

    …“The simple fact is, every child in this country needs and deserves access to the subjects that go into being a well-rounded, well-educated person. Music and art; world language; physics, chemistry, and biology; social studies, civics, geography and government; physical education and health; coding and computer science…
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  • Love Isn’t All We Need In America Right Now

    …In the online comment section under news articles on recent shootings of and by police are missives from pained, well-intentioned Americans, crying various themes of “love is ALL we need” to end racism and bridge the gap of a deeply divided America. And while these pleas to simply love…
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  • New Video Highlights Key Components of ESSA

    … Curious about what’s in the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, the new education law that replaced No Child Left Behind? Check out our new video that highlights six key components of ESSA that are intended to increase opportunities for learning and improve outcomes for all groups of…
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  • Present in the Story of Student Absenteeism

    …The data on chronic student absenteeism released earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights are jaw-dropping. In one school year alone, more than 6 million students — 13 percent of the student population — were considered chronically absent, missing 15 or more school…
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