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How Partnerships Between Teacher Prep Programs and Districts Can Transform the Teacher Pipeline
I realized how lucky I was on my first day as a classroom teacher. Walking into I.S. 162, a large comprehensive middle school in the South Bronx, I immediately recognized the halls, knew the principal and could greet my fellow teachers by name. This was the school where I had completed my teacher training just a few months earlier, so...
Read more >Topic: Educator DevelopmentFocus Area: Outstanding Educators, Strong SystemsService: Policy Solutions, Strategy and Counsel
The “Fierce Urgency of Now” in Addressing Equity and Excellence in Education
As we commemorate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this month, it’s clear that we have much more work to do to fulfill the dream that he articulated in his famous 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech. In it, Dr. King spoke not only of a day when his children would “not be judged...
Read more >Service: Policy Solutions, Strategy and Counsel
Our GSD List for 2016
Happy New Year from Education First! We hope you had a restful, joyous and peaceful holiday season. Now that the champagne bottles have been recycled, we are focused on what the future holds for students, educators and school systems in 2016. We are confident that progress can continue to be made in improving our nation’s public schools this year, but...
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All Testing is Not Equal: How to Identify the Assessments Worth Keeping
I was a first-time principal when I first read my state’s kindergarten assessment policy. As a former kindergarten teacher, I had a lot of ideas about what 5-year-olds need to learn when they start school: how to sit in a circle, how to speak nicely to their friends, and that their teachers care. Unfortunately, my state wanted them to spend...
Read more >Topic: Assessment, Education First, Educator Development, Standards and InstructionFocus Area: Engaged Students, Outstanding EducatorsService: Program Design and Implementation
Why Better Assessments Results in Better Teaching
In my second year of teaching, a mentor asked me a seemingly simple question: “How do you know what your students have learned?” I showed her my gradebook, which listed the assignments, quizzes and projects my students completed. “I see scores and grades,” she observed, “But how do you know which students have learned how to graph linear equations? Or...
Read more >Topic: AssessmentFocus Area: Engaged Students, Outstanding Educators, Strong SystemsService: Policy Solutions, Program Design and Implementation
Race to the Top: Following Through on What We Started
With the Obama administration’s signature education initiative, Race to the Top, officially concluded, states and districts should resist the temptation to try new reforms and should focus on improving implementation of the initiatives adopted to increase student success and close achievement gaps. We need to get better at following through on what we begin, rather than constantly shifting to new...
Read more >Topic: Assessment, Common Core, Educator Evaluation, Race to the TopFocus Area: Effective Organizations and Investments, Strong SystemsService: Policy Solutions, Strategy and Counsel
GSD: Getting Stuff Done
At Education First, we hold ourselves to very high standards for delivering high-quality and practical advice and materials for leading P20 education organizations and systems. “Getting Stuff Done” is one of our core values. I know you’re thinking right now “Another blog? Really?” That’s what I would think. Trust me: Our twice-monthly blog will be worth your time. Education First...
Read more >Topic: Education First
Three Strategies to Reach, Engage and Empower Hispanic Families
When my family arrived in the United States from Peru in the mid-1990s, my parents had a difficult time supporting my education. They were intimidated by a system they didn’t understand, felt uncomfortable talking with my teachers in English and had little guidance on how they should get involved at my school. Over the past several years, Education First has...
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Can K-12 Schools and Higher Education Systems Synchronize Their Signals? Yes, and Here’s How
Thousands of people flock to the state of Hawai‘i every year for its incomparable sun, surf and natural beauty. Here’s something else they’ll find: The Aloha State is slowly but steadily building a seamless transition for students moving from K-12 into institutions of public higher education. The man with the details is Dan Doerger, alignment director for Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships...
Read more >Topic: College Readiness and Persistence, Common CoreFocus Area: Strong SystemsService: Program Design and Implementation