K-12

  • 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 will…
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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 mean…
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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. All…
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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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  • 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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