K-12

  • Hold the Applause: Trends Out of Initial State ESSA Plans

    …At last count, 12 states and the District of Columbia have submitted plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act to the U.S. Department of Education for review and approval. There’s a lot to dig into in these plans, but we’ve started by asking three key questions…
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  • Evidence-Based Strategies for Improvement: What Are They, and Where Can I Find Them?

    …Although the Every Student Succeeds Act leaves a lot of decisions about how to improve struggling schools to schools and districts, the law is quite clear that the strategies leaders select must be based in evidence of what works. In “For Equity-Oriented State Leaders: 9 Ideas for Stimulating School…
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  • Reprogramming Access to Robotics and STEM

    …Right now, thousands of aspiring young engineers and computer programmers across the world are tightening bolts and tweaking code in preparation for the big event: the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championships. They have spent millions of hours building robots, creating game strategies, and participating in regional competitions. And next week…
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  • The Black Teacher Effect

    …Yet another piece of evidence has emerged showing the importance of diversifying the teaching profession: In a study published by the Institute of Labor Economics last week, low-income Black students who have a Black teacher for at least one year in elementary school are less likely to drop out…
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  • Recommitting to the Civil Rights Legacy of ESEA

    … On this day 52 years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act into law. With his elementary school teacher, Katie Deadrich, by his side and with the one-room schoolhouse he attended as a child as a backdrop, Johnson proclaimed that no law he…
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  • Organizing Schools Around Learning

    … People who haven’t hung around schools much might be puzzled by the essential argument that I am making in my new book, Schools That Succeed, which is that schools should be organized in ways to ensure that all students learn a great deal. They might think: “They’re…
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  • The Scientific Method in Action

    …For many years I wrote a regular newspaper column about schools in Prince George’s County, Maryland. I noticed that one of the high schools had been recognized as having more African American test-takers and passers in Advanced Placement than any other high school in the region, and I…
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  • Maryland Takes a Big Step in the Wrong Direction

    … UPDATED As state leaders work to implement the accountability provisions of the new Every Student Succeeds Act, they are making key decisions about how they will measure school performance, the expectations they set for schools, and how they will support schools that are struggling. The question of what to…
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  • Writing Their Own Stories, Enriching the American Narrative

    …“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” — Maya Angelou “When I was growing up, the only artists I knew about were White guys from Europe,” said Nakia, a promising, young playwright speaking to the crowd of adults gathered at the Young Playwrights’ Theater annual…
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  • Ed Trust Mourns the Passing of Founding Board Member Roger Wilkins

    … Roger Wilkins, who died at 85 Sunday morning, was everything the newspaper reports say he was: a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a tenacious warrior in the fight for civil rights, a scholar who brought his probing intellect and perspective to matters of race and class in American history. He…
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  • Marshaling the Power of Schools

    … I can’t remember a time when I didn’t think of public schools as the crucible of American democracy, founded to provide all children — independent of family circumstances — with a solid education that prepares them for future citizenship. Yet the ones I attended as a child, the ones…
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  • Exhuming Potential in Our Children

    …“You know, there’s one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place and that’s the graveyard.” I’ve been in the grip of that haunting opening line ever since Viola Davis spoke it during her Oscar acceptance speech. Davis is certainly correct…
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  • Ensuring All Students Count in School Ratings

    …This post first appeared on the PIE Network's website, where they invited us and others to answer the question: Without ESSA regs, how do we leverage the law? School rating criteria that are based on how schools are doing for all groups of students — including low-income students, students…
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  • On Mission and Movements: John King’s First Day at Ed Trust

    … For two decades Ed Trust staff and education advocates all over the country have been motivated by a guiding question: What would Kati do? #WWKD. But a few weeks ago, when the board announced that John B. King Jr. would be Kati’s successor, that question quickly shifted … What…
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  • Academic Progress in Today’s World: What Students Need

    … As a first-grade teacher in Chicago, I believe that every brain should have the opportunity to learn. I am confident that my colleagues, my students, and their parents believe the same. When Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act with bipartisan support in 2015, I believed it would…
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  • In the Classroom, Experience Is Two-Fold

    … We already know that low-income children, children of color, and English learners are more likely to be assigned to a brand-new teacher than their wealthier and White peers. But a new study shows that — even when they’re placed in a classroom with an educator who’s…
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  • Here Are Some Schools You Should Visit, Secretary DeVos

    … On one of her first days on the job, Betsy DeVos did what any U.S. Secretary of Education might do: She visited a public school. Such an event might have gone relatively unnoticed if not for widespread worries that she neither understands public schools nor appreciates their central…
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  • Between the Echoes: What Real Classroom Engagement Sounds Like

    … 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…
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  • 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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