The summer research also tells us something that, much to my surprise, has been largely ignored in policy and research. If we know that achievement gaps widen over the summer, that students are not randomly assigned to schools, and that we only measure students' achievement each spring, then the school performance measures we use in accountability policies are likely biased--especially against schools serving larger shares of traditionally under-served students. In fact this is true.
May 2014 Archives
I break today's discussion into two areas: the measurement of teacher and school quality and the process by which teachers and schools are held accountable.
Instead of implementing more of the same, I am, perhaps naively, optimistic that there are opportunities for researchers, policymakers, practitioners, parents, and other stakeholders to come together to design an accountability model that is valid, fair, reliable, and trustworthy. The research community is just starting to understand how school-level accountability policies impact students, teachers, and so on, and now we're talking about holding universities and teacher programs accountable. For all the issues listed above, there is a positive role that accountability policies can play in the future of U.S. public education. We just need to slow down, work together, ...
It is clear that the policy landscape (e.g., the ESEA waivers) has quickly moved past asking "Should we hold teachers accountable?" to "How should we hold teachers and school accountable?" Yet, it appears that all too often we do not start with the two most important questions: What qualities and practices characterize the ideal teacher? What are the skills and knowledge we want students to obtain from our schools?
ReSchool Colorado is a multi-year effort to design a new, public, state education system where learning is reimagined and students are equipped to thrive in a rapidly changing world.
If one cannot tweak the current K-12 education system (by adding more mandates), then you must consider re-designing it. And this is the bold work we're embarking upon: to rethink the key drivers and to create a new and parallel space for students, families, and educators to do their work. We know this will not be a perfect utopia, but we firmly believe that creating student-centered, welcoming, and dynamic learning environments, through a fundamental re-design of the system, is the only way to create the quality we seek in a scalable way.
Why Gus the Truck, a 1949 Chevrolet light duty truck, is an appropriate metaphor for today's K-12 system.
The 60th anniversary of the landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education provides us with a chance to reevaluate what has happened in the time since. In 1954, the argument was that the student's access to resources was unfair and therefore unconstitutional. That underlying problem has not been solved today.
All students, regardless of race, socio-economic status, county, or side of town, deserve an education that will set them up for success in life. Funding equity in Connecticut is an integral part of making this vision a reality for all students. Then, science "on a cart" might just become an urban legend.
The School Climate Bill of Rights was an important first step in raising awareness around the critical role school environment plays in the pursuit of higher academic achievement. The next step is making sure we're using the data and other outcomes it created to actually help students.
Our ability to close the teaching quality gap is one of the most important steps towards closing the opportunity gap for low-income students of color.
In the history of the United States, there are a few landmark moments when institutional barriers that preordained entire groups of people to a life of struggle and inequality came crashing down, opening a path to opportunity. One of those moments was May 17, 1954, when, in a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that state laws establishing separate but "equal" schools based on race were inherently unequal and therefore unconstitutional. This decision began the process of healing one of the greatest scars laid upon our nation's history: the Supreme Court's 1896
This week, I've looked at what we can learn from the charter movement to scale up promising practices in urban school districts. Today, I'll conclude with the most important piece of the strategic school puzzle: the teacher.
We know that when it comes to funds, it's not just about how much you have, but how well you use it. In this realm, charters have been given the opportunity to innovate: with their money, but also with explicit flexibility to organize people, time, and technology in new ways
This week I'd like to call out three areas not often discussed in even-handed ways in which we can better understand districts' constraints, and all work together to promote "scaled up" solutions: funding, strategic school design, and restructuring the teaching job. In this blog post, I'll tackle funding.
Enjoy the next 4 weeks of guest stars on RHSU: Hawley Miles, E4E, Lewis & Anderson, and McEachin.
The past couple days I've run pieces by PARCC's Jeff Nellhaus and SBAC's Joe Wilhoft that helped illuminate how their consortia are going to address some key challenges when it comes to making sure that the new Common Core tests can carry the load they're being asked to bear. I found the exchange somewhat heartening, after years during which my questions had been genially (and sometimes not so genially) brushed aside. Having read the responses by Jeff and Joe, I have a few additional queries.