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California: Moving the Needle on the Achievement Gap

California: Moving the Needle on the Achievement Gap

The state of California has implemented a number measures to close one of the largest and most persistent achievement gaps in the nation, Recently released scores for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a nationwide test for fourth- and eighth-graders in math and reading given every two years, show that California’s students are still performing below the … Continue reading California: Moving the Needle on the Achievement Gap

Equity, Mindsets & Transformational Teaching

Equity, Mindsets & Transformational Teaching

One week before the 2016-17 school year ended, I conducted a professional development workshop at a public elementary school in California. This predominantly Latino school was located in the school district’s lowest-income neighborhood. At the beginning of the workshop, I asked the 26 teachers to tell me their names, how long they’d taught at the … Continue reading Equity, Mindsets & Transformational Teaching

How Georgia Aims to Close the Achievement Gap

How Georgia Aims to Close the Achievement Gap

While Georgia’s Department of Education takes aim at closing the achievement gap under Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) regulations, implementing measures to do so has been left to individual schools and districts. Georgia was highlighted by the U.S. Department of Education when it approved six ESSA state plans in January, as the state focused on … Continue reading How Georgia Aims to Close the Achievement Gap

Chipping Away at Colorado’s Achievement Gap

Chipping Away at Colorado’s Achievement Gap

  Closing the achievement gap is no simple task, but educators in Colorado are making progress. According to the Denver Business Journal, the state’s high school graduation rate is up again,  reaching its highest level since 2010. At 79%, Colorado’s current graduation rate is just under the national average of 84%, which has also been … Continue reading Chipping Away at Colorado’s Achievement Gap

Closing or Widening? Examining the Racial Achievement Gap in Illinois

Closing or Widening? Examining the Racial Achievement Gap in Illinois

Students of color in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district face compounding racial and socioeconomic disparities that widen the achievement gap. A recent Stanford University study reports that CPS students as a whole are improving from third to eighth grade faster than 96 percent of districts in the US, but the learning rate fails to … Continue reading Closing or Widening? Examining the Racial Achievement Gap in Illinois

Fighting Teacher Burnout & Fighting for Equity

Fighting Teacher Burnout & Fighting for Equity

Teacher burnout is a pandemic impacting just about every country with an established system of education. More than 41% of teachers leave their jobs within five years of starting (Ingersoll, Merrill, and Stuckey, 2014), and 15% of teachers leave the profession each year (Haynes, 2014). However, the latter statistic rises significantly to an annual loss … Continue reading Fighting Teacher Burnout & Fighting for Equity

Equity: A Practical Guide for Educators

Equity: A Practical Guide for Educators

In recent years, “equity” has become a buzz word and popular topic in K-12 schools, higher education, businesses, and even in religious organizations. A common definition is that whereas “equality” results in giving everyone the same thing, “equity” equates to giving individuals what they need. In schools, equity results in treating all children fairly and … Continue reading Equity: A Practical Guide for Educators

What You Can Do When the Swastika Appears in Your Classroom

What You Can Do When the Swastika Appears in Your Classroom

This article was co-authored with Katya Mocalis. For more resources or if you have any questions, please contact her at kmocalis@illuminateed.com or Dr. Gail Thompson at gthompson@illuminateed.com. ***** A high school teacher in Southern California was shocked one day to learn that one of her students had used a permanent marker to draw a swastika on … Continue reading What You Can Do When the Swastika Appears in Your Classroom

Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders (AAPI): The Need for Data Disaggregation

Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders (AAPI): The Need for Data Disaggregation

The Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) community is home to a variety of identities and ethnic groups. But most of the time when the media mentions the AAPI community, they truncate it to mean specifically East Asians. Chinese, Japanese, and Korean are the most commonly referred to demographics when discussing Asian identity in the … Continue reading Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders (AAPI): The Need for Data Disaggregation

Transform Your Classroom with a Culturally Responsive Curriculum

Transform Your Classroom with a Culturally Responsive Curriculum

During my travels conducting professional development workshops at conferences and in schools throughout the U.S., one of the main complaints that I hear from teachers and school leaders pertains to “student misbehavior.” Although they start their careers with high hopes and a desire to help students succeed, as a result of student misbehavior, many educators—especially those … Continue reading Transform Your Classroom with a Culturally Responsive Curriculum