Engaging Parents to Advance Higher Expectations | College Ready

Parents should know that Common Core State Standards are:

• High academic expectations for students in English language arts and mathematics;
• Internationally benchmarked expectations, similar to those in high-performing countries;
• Designed by teachers and other learning experts across the country;
• Informed by the most advanced and current thinking on what students should know and be able to do at each grade level;
• The result of a multi-state effort to prepare all children to succeed, especially students who by necessity move from one state to the next;
• Not curriculum or assessment. They are a clear set of learning expectations that local teachers and districts use to provide customized instruction that meets the needs of their students;
• Aligned with the development of 21st-century skills, which are necessary for success in college and the workplace.

Source: collegeready.gatesfoundation.org

Summer Learning Loss Statistics and Strategies to Reduce Impact

Did you know most students lose two months of knowledge in the summer? Find more statistics and how to promote summer learning in our guide.

Source: www.oxfordlearning.com

Beth Dichter’s insight:

The summer reading slump…as teachers we know that learners will lose skills if they do not use them during the summer. This article (which includes a lengthy infographic) shares statistics about what may happen over one summer (and also shares long- term consequences).

Did you know that a learner at the end of Grade 6 whom has experienced summer learning loss over the years may be 2 years behind their peers?

Or that 2.6 months of math skills are lost over the summer?

Many schools are starting to prepare summer packets with the hope that learners will complete them over the summer. You may find that information in this infographic is worth sharing with parents. They may not be aware of the consequences of how much summer learning loss may impact their child.

Perseverance key to children’s intellectual growth, Stanford scholar says ~ Mindset

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck says that children are more motivated when they are told their intelligence or talents can grow and expand. “Grit” is also important for children and adults alike because, when facing challenges, setbacks are inevitable.

Source: news.stanford.edu

Most States Stay with Common Core w/ Diverse Political Responses

“You might be thinking that it has become hard to track just what states are doing with respect to reconsidering or taking a second look at the common core. Fortunately, Dan Thatcher of the National Conference of State Legislatures has a handy map tracking reviews, executive orders, and other state actions with respect to the standards. Click here for the most recent version of that common-core map; a version of the map updated April 23 is below, with the key included:”

Source: blogs.edweek.org

Vocabulary: Key Is Quality of Conversation, Not Number of Words

A seminal study on the early word gap between the children of college graduates and high school dropouts has led to more nuanced findings about language development.

Source: www.edweek.org

  • The researchers found that, on average, children from professional families heard more than 2,150 words an hour. Those in working-class families heard about 1,250 words. Children in families on welfare heard little more than 600 words an hour.
  • “It’s not just the word gap; it’s what you use language for,” said Barbara T. Bowman, a child-development professor and co-founder of the Chicago-based Erikson Institute.
  • Children of professionals also heard twice as many unique words, and twice as many “encouraging” versus “discouraging” conversations (“What did you think of that?” versus “Don’t touch that,” for example.) By the end of the study, more than 85 percent of the vocabulary, conversational patterns, and language complexity of the 3-year-olds had come from their families, and children of professionals had vocabularies more than twice as large as peers in families receiving welfare.
  • children with an “enriched language environment” hear about 20,000 words a day—22 million words by age 3—while disadvantaged children hear half as many or fewer.
  • But if recent studies shrunk the word gap from the Hart and Risley study, they also magnified the importance of parent-child conversations.
  • “Conversational turns are vastly more important than the number of words a child is exposed to,” Ms. Gilkerson said.
Note to teachers: Purposeful classroom discussion is critical to acquisition of vocabulary.

Teacher Engagement Matters

While this study relates to business, it does apply directly to principals’ efforts to engage teachers in collaborative decision making.

“Engaged companies outperform their competition, Gallup finds.
And when it comes to assessing their workforces’ engagement,
those companies measure the right things in the right way.”

Collaborative leadership makes a huge difference in a number of key areas of school effectiveness:
  1. Community Perceptions (Customer Loyalty)
  2. Use of Instructional Time (Productivity)
  3. Teacher Turnover
  4. Safety and Student Behavior
  5. Teacher  and Student Absenteeism
  6. Teaching Quality (Product Quality)
  7. Student Achievement (Profitability)
  8. Loss, Theft, Damaged Equipment (Shrinkage)


Source: www.gallup.com

Context Matters: What psychology tells us about student achievement

Children reproduce the character of their schools and the society around them.

If we want to make our schools more effective, we have to redirect our energy and focus on ensuring that they are supportive settings. “You can do it, you belong, and your efforts will pay off,” must be the message and reality conveyed to all students in every classroom.”

Source: www.washingtonpost.com

Computer troubles (yet again) create havoc on testing day in FL (state test)

The state blames the vendor.

Students across Florida were supposed to spend Monday taking computer-based standardized exams — high school students, end-of-course tests; kids in Grades 5-10, the math portion of the new high-stakes Florida Standards Assessment.

Source: www.washingtonpost.com

In some states, it is the vendor. In others, the problem is the state computers and servers. In some instances, the district is the problem. While in other situations, the school has the problem. 

States, districts, and schools with more experience with online testing have fewer issues. 

Dragging educational assessment into the 21st Century has proven to be much more difficult that anticipated, unless one goes through a multi-year transition process as our school did.Then you completely understand the potential issues.

These are predictable problems that must, at some time, be addressed before we can enter the modern age.

Principals Getting Into Classrooms

Getting Into Classrooms

  1. Block out time: I find that when I make the effort to block out time for observations, I can tell the urgent demands to wait until I am done with my observations. Perhaps even more importantly, if I share my plan with my secretary, she can hold at bay many of the urgent demands and sometimes solve them for me.
  2. Set a goal and announce in publicly: Just as a goal is a wish unless it is written down, when we share our goals with others, they can help us reach them. I have found that it is helpful to let my teachers know of my observation goal to visit their classroom every day and enlist their help in making it happen. If I know that a teacher is expecting me to be in his classroom that day, it is more likely that I will make every effort to be there. After all, I do not want to let the teacher down or show lack of professionalism or poor planning.
  3. Set up a routine: This helps me because I don’t have to think about a habit. It’s easy to plan for, and the teachers and students know that I will not be in my office, so they do not look for me at those times. Perhaps the greatest benefit I see is the change seen in the perspective of the teachers.

Source: www.edutopia.org

4. Success Every Day: Set up a routine and set goals that you can meet every day, even days in which everything seems to go wrong.

Please, No More Professional Development!

Professional development are two words that teachers dread. But what if leaders and teachers changed the focus and followed this 5 point plan?

Source: blogs.edweek.org

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