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August 13, 2014

Making Miller Park Elementary School an Oasis of Hope and Excellence

This morning at 8:30am, I will be at Miller Park Elementary collecting a summer's worth of delayed hugs, commenting on shiny new shoes, and guiding skittish newbies to their classroom. Miller Park sits in a high crime area of Omaha, but we are knocking it out of the park in student learning, sports, and attendance. So why are we so successful while others struggle to achieve?

August 12, 2014

Maddie vs. Michelle, Whoopi, and Campbell

Yesterday I started at the 50,000 foot level talking about systemic change. Today, I want to get a bit lower and go into more detail about what needs to be changed and by whom. So let's start with an easy one - tenure (I know, I am so funny!).

August 11, 2014

It's 'The Bad SYSTEM,' Not 'The Bad Teacher!'

What I'm going to share this week is the view I've had this summer as a teacher who has traveled between many professional worlds. I've talked with colleagues across the country, worked at the US Department of ED, participated as a delegate at the NEA annual meeting, and learned with the nation's best at the National Network of State Teachers of the Year annual conference. Let's start at the 50,000 foot level with "The System."

August 08, 2014

Teacher Absence, Leading Indicators, and Trust

In education, we often hear that teachers are a crucial ingredient, and research shows that teachers are the most important school-based influence on student achievement. If teachers' presence in the classroom matters so much, shouldn't we pay more attention to teachers' absences? Let's look at three reasons to do so.

August 06, 2014

Promoting Health Equity Through Education

The Community Preventive Services Task Force's latest recommendations focus on two types of interventions: High School Completion Programs and Out-of-School-Time Academic Programs. Because academic achievement is linked with long-term health, implementing the recommended programs with fidelity and vigor in racial and ethnic minority or low-income communities is likely to improve health equity.

August 05, 2014

Prepare Yourself for The Cage-Busting Teacher

I'm not the only former teacher who still has teaching dreams come August. In my case, these dreams feature me, often underdressed, trying to teach integration by parts or some other math topic to an unruly group of students. A fair way to interpret such dreams is that I was not a cage-busting teacher, at least in the sense Rick Hess means in his latest book, expected early next year.

August 04, 2014

Mirror, Mirror

Nationally, about half of the students attending public schools are students of color while non-white teachers represent 18 percent of the teaching workforce. Corresponding proportions for states or counties can easily paint a starker picture of demographic mismatch. So there's little doubt that country's teacher workforce is a poor reflection--in terms of race or ethnicity--of the students in our schools, but just how and why does this matter?

August 01, 2014

Introducing Your Special Guest Stars: Miller, Fennell, Sanchez, & the YES Prep Crew

I hope everyone is having a groovy summer. I've been enjoying it, but I'm afraid I've gotten a bit in arrears. So, as I try to get caught up, I'm turning RHSU over to a stellar lineup of guest stars.

May 30, 2014

Summer Break and the Achievement Gap

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 29, 2014

Teacher Accountability: How Should We Do It?

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.

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The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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