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October 22, 2015
Yes, any teacher can help the city spread computer science. No, not any training will do
Eric Allatta, who leads New York City's computer science education meetup group, has a story that he says proves you don’t need a computer science degree to get started.
September 18, 2015
Remembering Thomas Sobol, former state education commissioner
Former deputy chancellor Eric Nadelstern: I never understood how Tom understood poor urban schools as well as he did.
August 7, 2015
Why high school admissions actually doesn’t work for many city students — and how it could
The city's former deputy director of high school enrollment explains why families still struggle with a system that it supposedly working better than ever.
July 2, 2015
Why New York City’s high school admissions process only works most of the time
In his new book, Alvin E. Roth offers an economist's answer to an important question: Why do some NYC eighth graders still not get into any high schools of their choice?
June 2, 2015
Colorado on the right path to close "honesty gap"
We need to keep in mind the benefits of honest data from a test that will help teachers improve instruction to get students ready for their lives after high school.
May 21, 2015
Healthy relationship between governments, citizens is a must for our students to learn
Community health and safety are inexorably linked to education, especially in a time when communities are questioning the social equity of our society.
May 12, 2015
This teacher gave his students confidence to fail at math and that makes all the difference
Joe teaches second grade at Cowell Elementary in Denver, a school struggling with poverty and all the academic problems that go with it.
April 30, 2015
No one will miss ninth grade standardized testing
Let’s think what an incredible opportunity Colorado has to create a new, more equitable model, one that would regain broad public support, argues a Colorado mother.
April 28, 2015
A few common sense reasons not to opt out of tests
There are plenty of common sense reasons why parents shouldn't opt out their students from tests, argues a Greeley teacher.
April 21, 2015
What Eva Moskowitz gets wrong about restorative discipline
A teacher turned discipline researcher says that, contrary to what Moskowitz argues, “restorative schools” achieve joy, safety, and learning while suspending few students.
April 20, 2015
It takes a village to raise a charter school
A charter school leader explains how her school came to be, largely based on partnerships.
April 20, 2015
Why I miss ARIS, the data system educators loved to hate
A teacher remembers ARIS: "Was it perfect? Absolutely not. But at least it was one place where I could immediately access ... a student’s information."
April 6, 2015
Why should we keep our state exams? Because they shine a light on the path toward education equity
The CEO of the Colorado Children's Campaign and a former Denver mayor explain why they want to keep testing Colorado kids.
March 18, 2015
Here's how we can measure student growth outside of standardized testing
Tests that only measure the information students retain are too limited, four Colorado Teachers of the Year argue.
March 17, 2015
I'm a Colorado educator and I helped build the PARCC math exams
Days after Colorado became a PARCC state in 2012, I traveled with about 25 other Colorado educators to Chicago to the first convening of the PARCC Educator Leader Cadre.
March 10, 2015
What student protesters can learn from history
If students want to be taken seriously, it is critical that they come to the table with solutions, not just problems.
February 23, 2015
Commentary: Class rank is an antiquated practice that pits student against student
Schools need to realize that academic excellence and achievement is not something that can be measured by a ranking system.
February 16, 2015
Breaking down perceptions of others helps students learn
Our desire is for MindWorks to instill in students a growth mindset and to reenergize and feed the intellectual fire that we know all students possess. In doing so we seek to uncover each student’s potential and help him or her embark on the educational journey with renewed energy.
February 9, 2015
One parent's plea for accountability
Denver parent Arturo Garcia argues that rigorous annual testing of students is essential if the U.S. wishes to remain competitive on the global stage.
February 6, 2015
‘Ready to read’? Why schools should reject the label and focus on solving the problem
Harlem Link's Steven Evangelista: What can educators and policymakers do about the word gap that lower-income children face even before kindergarten?
January 21, 2015
Why creating opportunities for students of color to become teachers is important
Our potential future teachers look vastly different from the current teacher demographics in Colorado. Nearly 60 percent of our current and former students are Latino/a, 35 percent African American and 42 percent male.
January 9, 2015
Yes, it’s time to embrace cell phones in class
Teacher John Giambalvo argues that educators shouldn't overlook specific, academic ways to use phones as soon as they are allowed.
December 11, 2014
How to make standardized tests more useful for teachers
A teacher argues that the debate around standardized testing should focus on two questions: when should we assess students and how do we make the tests useful for teachers?
November 25, 2014
How de Blasio is perpetuating Bloomberg’s myth of the failing school
Education professor David Bloomfield: In his renewal plan for struggling schools, Mayor de Blasio has mistakenly fallen for a myth usually promoted by his conservative adversaries: that failure is the fault of individual schools, not the school system.
November 21, 2014
How to stop controlling students and start helping them control themselves
More and more teachers are aware that students’ social emotional skills influence their success, alongside their academic ones. But how those skills are taught is crucial and too often, educators turn to what they see as a quick fix.
November 13, 2014
What Mayor de Blasio’s school-improvement plan is missing: a goal
Education professor Aaron Pallas: The mayor failed to deliver a clear message about his goals for the school system — and that ambiguity may leave us with the same, traditional ways of measuring success by test scores and graduation rates.
November 11, 2014
As changes come to social studies testing, it’s time to reinvent the teaching
Social studies teacher Stephen Lazar: Making the global history Regents exam optional for many students offers an opportunity to redesign social studies classes to make them more relevant and engaging.
October 24, 2014
To improve teaching, give teachers collaboration time, not just pre-made lessons
Education professor Sharon Dotger argues that teachers need more than a reduced lesson-planning burden to improve — they need time and techniques to examine what worked and didn’t work in their classrooms.
October 10, 2014
Low-profile Quality Review changes are a big deal, but only if there are ‘next steps’
The real challenge facing the Department of Education is how to find the right balance between accountability and support. Done right, a new Quality Review process could be a real step in that direction, a teacher and a network leader write.
October 9, 2014
How I transformed my school with just five new hours a week
The principal of Denver's Grant Beacon Middle School describes the expanded school day program that he says has helped propel his school from "on watch" to thriving in just a few years.
October 6, 2014
Success Academy teachers don’t plan their lessons, and other teachers shouldn’t either
District high school teacher Sherry Lewkowicz: Success Academy schools see the foolishness of having teachers, on a daily basis, reinventing the wheel—otherwise known as lesson planning. It’s time traditional public schools admit the same.
September 30, 2014
To raise graduation rates, the de Blasio administration needs a comprehensive strategy
Former deputy chancellor Eric Nadelstern: So far, Chancellor Fariña's initiatives have not globally addressed the entire school system, and they have not made student performance their central ambition.
September 25, 2014
To best serve their students, schools need to be realistic about their special-ed capacity
Schools can't be afraid to get real about what they can and can't provide for students with special needs if they want to come up with the best plans for students, Mark Anderson writes.
August 8, 2014
When showering students with support backfires, it’s helpful to step back
A school volunteer says a year working intensively with students taught her a lesson: that policymakers can’t assume that individualized attention on its own is always the answer.
July 31, 2014
As the city re-thinks school support, partnerships deserve more scrutiny
Education Leadership Professor David Bloomfield calls for more public accountability for the Partnership Support Organizations that help manage schools.
July 14, 2014
The city’s gifted education system needs to shift, one school at a time
A researcher describes a schoolwide model for gifted education that Chancellor Carmen Fariña supports, but without a widespread appetite for change, she says the best way to change gifted teaching in New York City is one school at a time.
July 10, 2014
A tale of two schools: How summer reveals a growing divide
An assistant principal explains how she's seen a "tale of two cities" play out across schools—and how parents could help.
June 26, 2014
The larger issues at stake in the fight over an IB program: a parent's view
A parent argues that the fight over the IB program at George Washington High School is emblematic of larger problems in Denver Public Schools.
June 25, 2014
The coming changes to George Washington High School, as told by its principal
The principal of Denver's George Washington High School explains the changes he is making to all of the school's academic pathways, including to the school's International Baccalaureate program.
June 24, 2014
A student plan to equalize opportunity at George Washington High School
A recent graduate of of the traditional track program at Denver's George Washington High School describes how her education was shortchanged there, and how it could be made better.
June 24, 2014
Pairing serious inquiry with play, my students find a balance education policy lacks
Describing her students' end-of-year presentation, a teacher makes the case for curricula that blend "piety" and "play."
June 17, 2014
When teaching students with special needs, special training isn’t everything
A special education teacher argues that for most students with special needs, integrated classes taught by two teachers is the best approach because it gives them access to teachers with deep content knowledge and sends a clear message that all students, regardless of ability, can strive to meet high standards.
June 16, 2014
School’s Out but Learning is Still In: Summer Resources for Families of Students with Learning Differences
As the final dismissal bells tolled to mark the official start of summer, thousands of students across the state headed home and won’t spend a moment…
June 6, 2014
Unable to suggest other schools, teachers left with special ed reform dilemma
A middle school special education teacher is concerned that city policy has schools like hers constantly scrambling to support the needs of new students who might be better served by different schools.
May 30, 2014
What I learned from four years of fighting for the city’s ‘scariest’ schools
An unlikely parent advocate explains why she chose to work in schools slated for closure—and what she learned from the students and teachers who stuck it out.
May 23, 2014
How a very unlikely school visit improved my students’ writing
Rather than turning exclusively to other private schools for insight, a Catholic school principal looked to district schools and a Brooklyn charter school teaching Greek for new models.
May 21, 2014
An overlooked part of fixing school discipline policies: reducing fear
A behavior coach and former Bronx school administrator argues that overhauling teachers understand misbehavior and interact with their toughest students is key to improving school discipline policies.
May 13, 2014
City’s approach to assigning credits allows for fresh starts, but increases frustration
A high school teacher reflects on how offering credits at two points in the year leads to differences in student emotion and motivation.
May 9, 2014
A college counselor, his students, and the vision of a life beyond poverty: an exclusive excerpt from “Hold Fast To Dreams”
For low-income students from an under-resourced school, Joshua Steckel knows that college essays are a crucial way to stand out. But he is unprepared for the complexity of asking students to write about their lives when, in many cases, they have been shaped by struggle and trauma.
May 7, 2014
Swamped with assessments, the biggest lesson my students learn is how to give up
A second grade special education teacher: "We have spent so much instructional time assessing our students this year that we have not been able to effectively use the data we have collected," at great cost to students' learning, confidence and self-worth.
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