Latest Stories

How IDEA Public Schools is Getting Data into the Right Hands

How IDEA Public Schools is Getting Data into the Right Hands

Since 2001, IDEA Public Schools has grown from a single school with 150 students to a network that currently serves 36,000 students and plans to grow to 100,000 students by 2022. IDEA has schools in the Rio Grande Valley, Austin, and San Antonio, and will open schools in Southern Louisiana and El Paso for the … Continue reading How IDEA Public Schools is Getting Data into the Right Hands

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

ESSA & the Pathway to Successful Implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

ESSA & the Pathway to Successful Implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

The Elementary and Secondary Education/Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA/ESSA) was signed into law by President Obama on December 10, 2015. In the two years since passage, state departments of education and school districts are in the process of gearing up for implementation. The new law includes a number of specific provisions to help ensure success … Continue reading ESSA & the Pathway to Successful Implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

Writing a Continuous Standards-Story for Students

Writing a Continuous Standards-Story for Students

Educational reform has taken many forms throughout history. But all reform efforts are based on the premise that improvements made to the educational system will have large returns to society. In particular, in the form of increased well-being and decreases in long-term societal costs. In the 1980s, a marked change took place in the approach … Continue reading Writing a Continuous Standards-Story for Students

Understanding the Shifts in Illinois State Reporting

Understanding the Shifts in Illinois State Reporting

The Illinois Report card has undergone two major changes throughout the few years. The good news is that it currently sits as one of the most user-friendly and informative state school reports in the country. Before explaining how the Report Card has improved, it helps to have a basic understanding of its definition and function. … Continue reading Understanding the Shifts in Illinois State Reporting

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

6 Strategies for Effective Writing & Reading Instruction

6 Strategies for Effective Writing & Reading Instruction

Literacy is a foundational part of our personal and professional lives. Adult educators have internalized much of the reading and writing process. But these tasks often feel nebulous to students. Why is this the case? Unlike solving a math problem, we can’t always break down reading and writing into clear steps. Teachers may struggle to … Continue reading 6 Strategies for Effective Writing & Reading Instruction

Breaking Down Silos to Turn Data into Action

Breaking Down Silos to Turn Data into Action

  As educators, we understand data’s vital role in providing insights that can lead to better student outcomes. But too often, academic, behavioral, and cultural data stays in the system it’s housed in and never gets a chance to drive a holistic approach to educating students. With no easy way to access so-called data “silos,” … Continue reading Breaking Down Silos to Turn Data into Action