Journal

Journal

The Problem with ‘Proficient’

Back in 2016, there was a little kerfuffle about how the term ‘Proficient’ as a measure of student ability on standardized tests should be interpreted.  In a nutshell, the education news site The 74 noted that “2 out of 3 8th graders in this country cannot read or do math at grade level,” an assertion […]

Using Writing in Math to Deepen Understanding

When we evaluate student work artifacts — the actual work students are asked to do in the classroom — one thing we count as an important strength is evidence of writing in math class. Until relatively recently, the use of writing in math was almost non-existent.  The Common Core helped usher in some use of […]

Knowing What We Don’t Know

A story: Back in the late ’90s, a colleague of mine was teaching a World Literature class and had included modern literature from the Balkans.  She asked some Bosnian immigrant students who were all 15-18 years old to serve on a panel to help her students have some perspective on the literature. All the kids […]

Awareness + Accountability for Practice = Change

Nothing in public education has as much impact on student success as the classroom teacher.  One study found that in 1 year, the most effective teachers could boost the scores of their low-achieving students an average of 39 percentile points compared to similar low-achieving students who had ineffective teachers. ¹ So districts wanting to make […]

The Power of Relationships in Equity Pedagogy

I am currently making my way through several books on Equity Pedagogy.  All of them are going to make an appearance in this Journal space in the near future, but there’s a plumb line running through every one of them that I want to explore a bit right now: the idea that Equity Pedagogy will […]

5 Reasons Why Black History Needs More than a Month

A public charter school in Utah received requests from parents for their children to opt out of the Black History Month programing that the school traditionally uses in the month of February.  After that story made national news, the school reported that the parents had reversed course and the program would continue with all students […]

5 Facts About the U.S. Secretary of Education

In late December, then President-Elect Joe Biden announced his nominee for U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, currently the Education Commissioner for Connecticut.   This prompted me to do a little investigating about this particular cabinet position and what I found was interesting.  Here are 5 things I didn’t know: The Department of Education and its […]

Covid 19, Trauma, and Learning Loss

Recently I saw this tweet from an educator.  It’s arresting for two reasons:  her distress is evident and searing, and her assertion is a little shocking.  Forget entirely about learning? So, then I started really thinking about this and why I found it shocking.  And I realized it’s because in my community, while I know […]

Vetting Resources for Bias

One area in which districts must be vigilant is in the vetting of resources. Resources must be vetted for a variety of reasons,  including alignment to the district’s curriculum and to external assessments in use, but resources must also be vetted for bias – language or imagery which employs racist terms, perpetuates stereotypes, marginalizes certain groups, […]

School and Covid-19: An Equity Case Study

The events of 2020 have given us a window into some of the inequities present in American classrooms. The school shutdowns in early Spring, followed by re-openings with online or hybrid learning models revealed a number of inequitable situations: Lack of access to devices for online instruction, Lack of access to Wi-Fi for online instruction, […]