Forget About Tests. Let’s Get Back to Learning

Photo: https://blogcea.org/2016/01/25/cea-proposes-new-evaluation-guidelines-to-promote-student-learning/ Once upon a time, great learning took place in school. New concepts, developing creativity, designing experiments, and discovering talents were all part of the learning. This was “great” as in fun, not “great” as in big and boring. Best of all, students enjoyed the process, and teachers enjoyed facilitating it. Then along came …

Beyond King, Parks, Douglass and Tubman

Photo:https://www.hrc.org/blog/breaking-barriers-this-black-history-month Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman—these names are virtually synonymous with Black History Month. After all, their contributions to United States history are indisputably noteworthy, firmly cementing their place in curricula across the country. However, it’s time to rethink this central focus. There’s so much more to the history of African …

When Dress Codes Are Really Race Codes

Photo:http://neatoday.org/2019/09/17/banning-black-hair-discrimination/ Long or short, braided or pony-tailed, blow-dried or worn exactly as it grows from the scalp—hair is so closely tied to individual identity that it stirs emotions. It’s a form of self-expression. That’s why so-called dress codes that are being wielded as weapons against students and their hairstyles are so egregious. Even if you’ve …

Does Your School Culture Match Your Values?

Photo: http://lacomadre.org/2017/06/strong-school-culture-can-secret-ingredient-successful-school/ Some schools just seem to beckon to you as you enter. Providing a sense of belonging and acceptance, they offer a warm atmosphere that is at once comforting and vibrant. Genuine learning occurs in those schools along with a spirit of support and camaraderie that you can feel throughout the building. Most important, …

The Case for Promoting Students

Photo:https://okpolicy.org/oklahomas-new-third-grade-retention-law/ If you reflect on your own third grade experience, you might recall a favorite teacher or subject, a best friend or a nemesis. But you probably don’t recall third grade as a watershed year. Yet, when it comes to reading competency, researchers say it is. In fact, one study indicates that reading below grade …

Data Driven? Let’s Be Student Driven Instead

Photo: https://jfynet.org/2837/what-does-standardized-really-mean-mcas-2-0/ Data-driven. It’s a favorite buzzword among educators. In fact, boldly declaring your school or district to be data driven is meant to convey the seriousness of your approach to education. For those reading the term as part of a school’s motto, the words are intended as a statement of that school’s commitment to …

Do You Value Who Your Students Are?

Photo: https://madisoncountycourier.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/academics.png When you receive your class list, it’s just a collection of faceless names. Nothing about the individual students shows up on that list. In fact, even if you review their records, which isn’t a true reflection of all that each student is anyway, you still don’t know the people who will be seated …