How Does Our Culture Shape Us?

Culture is one of those things that we recognize in other people groups but have a hard time identifying in ourselves.  But almost nothing is more powerful in shaping how we view and interact with the world around us than the culture in which we grew up in or in which we currently live.  One […]

Middle Schools and the Problem With Research

Weirdly, I ran across two pieces of research about the Middle School Model within a couple days of each other and they got me thinking about how confusing study results can be for the casual reader. One study asserted that NCLB had destroyed the Middle School Model (MSM), affecting test performance, while another concluded that […]

Combatting Invisibility: Native Americans, State Standards, and Quality Resources

If you spend any time researching equity, you will begin to notice a pattern. It’s not a particularly overt pattern; it’s more like something that creeps into your field of vision from the edges. Only when you turn your full attention to it does it become glaringly obvious — so much so that you wonder […]

Indispensable Books for Equity #4: Cultivating Genius

Book #4 in this series on equity resources is Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy, by Gholdy Muhammad.  This book draws from the history of African American literary societies to create a framework for teaching and learning to address what is lacking in public schools for students of color: the […]

Indispensable Books for Equity #3: Mathematics for Equity

Book #3 in this series, Mathematics for Equity: A Framework for Successful Practice, edited by Na’ilah Suad Nasir, Carlos Cabana, Barbara Shreve, Estelle Woodbury, and Nicole Louie,  is one that got me very exited about Math instruction. As a former English teacher, that is not a sentence I ever thought I’d type, but the instructional […]

Indispensable Books for Equity #2: We Dare Say Love

The second book in our equity pedagogy series is We Dare Say Love: Supporting Achievement in the Educational Life of Black Boys, Edited by Na’ilah Suad Nasir, Jarvis R. Givens, and Christopher P. Chatmon.  This book chronicles the program begun in the Oakland Unified Schools to address their most at-risk and underserved population: Black male […]

Indispensable Books for Equity #1: What if All the Kids Are White?

I promised a series on books I’ve been reading to help inform our recommendations for Equity practices and to deepen our understanding of equity pedagogy.  Each of the books in the series (4 in all) approaches equity pedagogy from a different perspective, but all the books have a number of through lines in common.  They […]

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 […]