Even in the face of such challenging poverty and language-related barriers, Alder students and staff continue to amaze our community and beat the odds by holding the title of fastest improving school in the Reynolds School District. Test scores over a recent two-year period show that reading proficiency in 3rd grade doubled. Over the same period math proficiency for 4th grade tripled, giving us the number one rate of growth in math among all middle and elementary schools in our district in the last two years.

In this vast digital age, there is more information available than can ever possibly be processed, and the way that students vet this data is incredibly important. While the internet has opened up the world in amazing and beautiful ways, it has also skewed the way information is obtained. Instant knowledge, or perceived knowledge, is available as soon as kids are old enough to type in a computer password or swipe the lock screen of a tablet or smartphone.

There are far too many students in the United States who can't read proficiently. And, the reading achievement gap has persisted for decades. It's time to re-examine how we in the education community assess and personalize reading. The convergence of new developments in reading research and technological advances illuminate a pathway forward to improve student literacy, and subsequently, academic outcomes.

Not all students are natural-born test takers. Any educator who has spent even a small amount of time in classrooms knows this - much in the way that different students have different learning styles. Most times, teachers can account for this in their classrooms based on the students they serve.

The statistics point to a startling, yet simple, truth: black boys who cannot read are already in trouble. So if we know that black boys aren't reading the level they should, what can we do to improve that? It starts with awareness and extends to...

One major way that this accountability is enforced is through standardized testing. By applying the same requirements to each teacher, and each student within a state, the general theory is that accountability for student success will be upheld.

Are you getting the most from your PD dollars in terms of educator growth and student achievement?

Only 10 percent of eighth-grade black boys in the U.S. are proficient in reading. In urban areas like Chicago and Detroit, that number is even lower.

In broad terms, gamification is using the concepts of game design and play to motivate users and boost participation, and engagement. People who gamify attempt to tap into their users' innate desire for competition, prestige, and partnership. Teachers use game design principles to enhance curriculum materials while helping students learn.

An award-winning educator illuminates the importance of combatting isolationism by guiding substantive dialogue among students from different places, cultures, and religions.


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