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Using Design Thinking with Districts to Improve Formative Assessment Practice
Design thinking — which encourages a focus on users and rapid experimentation — can help identify and address a range of problems by focusing on those most affected by the problem. Originally designed for a business context, what might a design thinking process look like in a school district, where local politics, established policies and well-intentioned bureaucracy can stifle even...
Read more >Topic: Assessment
“We Are the Future”: A Conversation about Student Voice in Policymaking
The Rhode Island Alliance for College and Career Readiness (RIACCR) is pursuing a policy agenda focused on promoting equity of educational opportunity and outcomes for all students in Rhode Island. A key part of the Alliance’s strategy is empowering students to be directly involved in policy design and advocacy. Through the statewide organization Young Voices, more than 10 Rhode Island...
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Grant Opportunity to Support SEL and Equity in Your Community
Education First, in partnership with the NoVo Foundation, is proud to announce the 2019 Regional SEL Convening grants. The goal of the Regional SEL Convenings grants—an outgrowth of the SEL Innovation Fund and national SEL in Action Convenings hosted by the NoVo Foundation—is to help district and school communities create a convening that builds educators’ and other adults’ capacity to meet...
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The Value of a Network: What We’ve Learned from Supporting the New England Alliances for College and Career Readiness
Last summer, two members of the MaineSpark Coalition traveled to Manchester, NH, to learn about something called “community mini-grants.” They’d heard that the New Hampshire Alliance for College and Career Readiness—recognizing the need for community engagement in a state that prizes local control above all else—had just awarded five small grants to organizations directly serving students. MaineSpark’s leaders were trying...
Read more >Topic: College Readiness and PersistenceFocus Area: Engaged Students
Apply for Grants to Support SEL Innovation
Education First, in partnership with the NoVo Foundation, once again seeks applications for teacher-led and district-level projects that foster social and emotional skills in students in grades PK-12. We will award up to $5,000 to individual teachers or teacher teams and up to $25,000 for district-level grants to implement an innovative project in their classrooms, schools and/or districts in the...
Read more >Topic: Social and Emotional LearningFocus Area: Engaged StudentsService: Grantmaking Strategy and Effectiveness
Fresno Unified School District and Fresno State University: Shared Vision for Partnership
This case study appears in our publication Partnering on Prep: A Toolkit for Building Strong District-Teacher Preparation Program Partnerships. You can access the full publication here. Effective partnerships often start with a mutual recognition that things need to change. Though Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) and Fresno State University (FSU) had been longtime neighbors, they agreed on a crucial point: it was...
Read more >Focus Area: Outstanding Educators
So What Do (and Don’t) We Know About the Dozens of Other Missing School Improvement Plans?
This op-ed was originally published in The 74. More than 9 million children attend our country’s lowest-performing schools, the vast majority of them students of color. While we are familiar with the components of successful schools — attributes such as high expectations for all students, strong leadership, highly capable teachers, excellent curriculum, regular use of data, a safe learning environment, and attention to...
Read more >Topic: ESSAFocus Area: Effective Organizations and Investments
Helping Education Leaders Build Coherence into Reform Strategies to Support Teachers and Student Learning
This essay was first published by Carnegie Corporation of New York. As the education laws came tumbling down from the statehouse, Alison Johnson’s head spun. New, more rigorous standards for student learning. New teacher evaluation procedures. New expectations for how teachers plan and deliver their instruction. As each law passed, the English teacher at “Typicaloosa” High School tried to understand them...
Read more >Focus Area: Effective Organizations and Investments
Clarksville-Montgomery County School System and Austin Peay State University: Honest Conversation for Better Partnerships
This case study appears in our publication Partnering on Prep: A Toolkit for Building Strong District-Teacher Preparation Program Partnerships. You can access the full publication here. When Lisa Barron became the Director of Teacher Education and Partnerships at Austin Peay State University (APSU), she knew that APSU had work to do. Though the institution was placing student teachers in an...
Read more >Topic: Educator DevelopmentFocus Area: Outstanding Educators
4 Lessons About Social and Emotional Learning From the Awardees of This Year’s Teacher Innovation Awards
This piece originally appeared in The 74. Jarred Amato of Maplewood High School in Nashville is building Project LIT Community, a national, grassroots literacy movement that empowers students as readers and leaders. Rosalia Burson of Baker Middle School in Tacoma, Washington, is developing a restorative re-entry process for students who have been out of school due to exclusionary discipline. Baltimore City...
Read more >Topic: Social and Emotional LearningFocus Area: Engaged Students