Are your annual Academic Improvement Plans copied and pasted from year to year? Do principals simply tweak the percentages for math and ELA? Can they explicitly describe how they will move 4th grade Math from 42% - 70% this year? If we are being honest, we will have to admit that our efforts to improve student achievement have not changed much in the last 30 years. Your most recent academic implementation is more than likely new drill-and-practice software, or a new textbook adoption (Same as our Moms...and our Grandmoms when they were in school!). Our professional development is often the [...]
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Are you challenged with moving the needle on student achievement? If we aspire to real growth, data-driven instruction will need to be more than a catch phrase. Schools currently use quarterly benchmarks and outcomes from the annual state assessment to evaluate overall school health and achievement. The challenges with these current data sources lie in their lack of objective or concept-level data. While the state and District are able to glean a general view of District-wide and school-wide achievement, little to no information is provided to influence the pedagogy of the classroom practitioners. Your State Assessments, for example, might show that [...]
The Chatter Recent soundbytes have offered continued opposition to the use of the common core standards in public schools. Everyone from President Trump to the cashier at the local grocery store has managed to form an opinion about why we should or should not be using the common core standards. Interestingly enough, it is highly unlikely that those most vocal in their opposition, truly understand what the common core actually is. Many believe it is the federal government’s way of imposing undue influence in educational decisions that are constitutionally granted to individual states. Others question the need to change the methods [...]