Helping Principals Beat the Clock

Let’s talk about time. Under new state and federal policies, most high-need schools we work with at the Community Training and Assistance Center are implementing more rigorous approaches to teacher support and evaluation. School districts are equipping principals with specialized training to conduct classroom observations based on evidence, not gut feelings, using standards-based rubrics, not … Read more »

Can Educators Make Choices that Bridge the Opportunity Gap?

Photo by Paul VanDerWerf, https://flic.kr/p/otRPDt

There is less equality of opportunity in the United States than in most other advanced industrial countries. It is so, observes the economist Joseph Stiglitz, even though Americans hold an almost “universal consensus that inequality of opportunity is indefensible.” Stiglitz further contends that inequality of opportunity in the quantity and quality of education is the … Read more »

The Elephant in the School Failure Debate

  With income inequality now headlining the stump speeches of presidential hopefuls, it’s time for those concerned with education reform to connect the dots. By that I don’t mean we need to recognize that education is key to kids’ future economic opportunity. That’s widely acknowledged, with much hand wringing over the seemingly intractable problem of … Read more »

An Open Letter to the New Congressional Leadership, Part 2

  Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Boehner, In December I wrote to you about the opportunities and challenges you now face in crafting an educational agenda to meet the needs of all our citizens. I posed the following points for your consideration: Emphasize consistency of educational opportunity; Focus on evidence-based reform; Promote the teaching … Read more »

Strengthening the College Pipeline

  Today there is a college for everybody irrespective of your academic ability. If you have the money or are eligible for financial aid, you can find a seat in a classroom or an on-line course with the promise of a bright and financially rewarding future. You don’t even have to finish high school. By … Read more »

Teacher Trust Matters

Headlines about teacher and teacher union concerns over efforts to link teacher performance evaluations to student achievement scores leave one with the impression that teachers are either unwilling to be accountable for student achievement or that they are just resistant to changing their ways. Yet, those of us working in schools and districts know that … Read more »

An Open Letter to the New Congressional Leadership

  Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Boehner, As a result of the midterm elections, you and your colleagues are now in a position to pass bicameral legislation to address critical national issues, including those facing education. We all know that what happens in our schools affects our economy, our societal well-being and our global … Read more »

The Power of SLOs in Teacher Evaluation

By Selma Broeder (https://flic.kr/p/6ALaGA) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Nationwide, Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) have emerged as the “it” component of new teacher evaluation systems. Developed by teachers, SLOs are carefully planned goals for what students will learn over a given time period. This process is designed to evoke critical, evidence-based thought about student growth. SLOs are being implemented in more than 20 states … Read more »