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Doing Parent Engagement in the Age of ESSA

Doing Parent Engagement in the Age of ESSA

It’s no secret—parent and family engagement is critical to student success in school. Research has demonstrated for decades that this can have a major influence on a child’s achievement from improvements in attendance and behavior to stronger academic performance. But the nature of that “involvement” is what is most key. ESSA now requires districts receiving Title … Continue reading Doing Parent Engagement in the Age of ESSA

How a Medium-Sized District is Closing the Achievement Gap

How a Medium-Sized District is Closing the Achievement Gap

The Clarke County School District is a mid-sized public school district in Athens, Georgia with just under 14,000 students. It serves all of Clarke County, which includes the communities of Athens, Winterville, and part of Bogart. Recognized by the Georgia Department of Education as the “number one school district for closing the achievement gap”—the disparity … Continue reading How a Medium-Sized District is Closing the Achievement Gap

Busting Myths About Grading

Busting Myths About Grading

  This article was originally published in the “AllThingsPLC Magazine” (Spring 2017 edition). ***** MythBusters is the longest running television series in the history of the Discovery Channel. During its 14 years on the air, the show, featuring Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, have conducted 2,950 experiments, explored 1,050 myths, and created 900 explosions (Friedlander, 2015). … Continue reading Busting Myths About Grading

How to Build a Successful Master Schedule

How to Build a Successful Master Schedule

The master schedule is one of an instructional leader’s most important tools. It’s a function of the school’s philosophy, a reflection of its vision, and a blueprint for its resource allocation. The vast majority of a school’s resources may be spent on teachers, but ensuring a viable curriculum that helps that school achieve its academic … Continue reading How to Build a Successful Master Schedule

Encouraging a Data-Driven Culture Towards a Growth Mindset

Encouraging a Data-Driven Culture Towards a Growth Mindset

There has been much said about Growth Mindset since 2007 when Carol Dweck published her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, and introduced us all to the concept of a growth mindset. This book was the culmination of decades of research, which compares the differences between a “fixed mindset” and a “growth mindset.” Carol Dweck … Continue reading Encouraging a Data-Driven Culture Towards a Growth Mindset

Meeting the Needs of Our English Language Learners

Meeting the Needs of Our English Language Learners

The issue of meeting the needs of our Long-Term English Learners (LTEL) and English Language Learners (ELL) is challenging and complex. Let’s start by considering some facts. LTEL and ELL students currently represent the fastest growing segment of school-age population in the U.S. Yet, the numbers are showing that many of them are struggling in … Continue reading Meeting the Needs of Our English Language Learners

Getting Grading Right: How to Grade for Learning

Getting Grading Right: How to Grade for Learning

Grading is foundational to your role as an educator. If you get grading right, it’ll help everything else that you do like instruction, assessment, curriculum, and evaluation. You’ll also see immediate results three months from now. But if you get it wrong, no matter how earnest your efforts are in these other areas, it’ll cut the … Continue reading Getting Grading Right: How to Grade for Learning

Creating a Community of Engaged Learners

Creating a Community of Engaged Learners

Since the 1980s, much has been written about student engagement and how to improve it. While various psychological theories contribute to the overall picture of what makes students interested in learning, little has been done to organize the research into a coherent model that students, parents, and educators can use to improve academic outcomes. School … Continue reading Creating a Community of Engaged Learners

Identifying the Problem of Percentile Ranks

Identifying the Problem of Percentile Ranks

In education, we frequently use the “Percentile Rank” score a student receives on tests to report to parents and understand how that student performs. As educators we really like the percentile rank because it seems easy and intuitive to understand. However, this article will present some cautionary concepts when using the percentile rank scores on … Continue reading Identifying the Problem of Percentile Ranks

Why Are Teachers Quitting? Finding Ways to Deal with Recruitment & Retention

Why Are Teachers Quitting? Finding Ways to Deal with Recruitment & Retention

There are reports that U.S. schools are dealing with yet another teacher shortage. It seems that many districts are facing the challenges of trying to fill classrooms with qualified teachers—with no easy fix in the horizon.  This is a significant shift from when teachers were being laid off 10 years ago, including the years after … Continue reading Why Are Teachers Quitting? Finding Ways to Deal with Recruitment & Retention