Knowledge For Literacy

By Marilyn Jager Adams Marilyn Jager Adams, a visiting scholar in the Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences Department of Brown University, is internationally regarded for her research and applied work in cognition and education, including the seminal text Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print. This post, which originally appeared on the Shanker Blog, is adapted from Literacy Ladders,…

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A Successful Formula: Shared Curriculum + Shared Responsibility

A shorter version of this post originally appeared on the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Flypaper blog. Like pretty much everyone who is passionate about closing the achievement gap, I’m interested in Success Academies. I’ve read Eva Moskowitz’s book, Mission Possible: How the Secrets of the Success Academies Can Work in Any School, and watched the videos…

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An appraisal of Core Knowledge Language Arts

By Ilene Shafran Ilene Shafran is a 2nd-grade teacher at PS 34 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. This appraisal was originally published as a Teacher to Teacher column in the New York Teacher, the newspaper of the United Federation of Teachers, and was posted on the UFT website. The opinion expressed in the column is the author’s own…

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Reading Comprehension: There’s No Workaround for Knowledge

By Greg Ashman Greg Ashman is a teacher in Australia. Supported by his school (but not necessarily representing its views), he has developed a love of educational research. Ashman is  now pursuing a PhD. This post originally appeared on his blog, Filling the Pail. To mark the recent cricket world cup, I thought it might be a good idea…

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No Progress on Accountability, No Hope for Equity

I try not to give in to despair, but in reading recent recommendations for the reauthorization of ESEA, I see America wasting another 50 years on unproductive reforms. James S. Coleman said schools matter a great deal for poor kids, but we focus on the factors outside of school mattering more. A Nation At Risk…

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Raising Readers—Not Test Takers

In recent months, Teach Plus had over 1,000 teachers review sample items from PARCC, one of the two testing consortia trying to create assessments aligned to the Common Core standards. I say “trying” because in reading, the task is pretty much impossible. The standards specify things students should be able to do, but they contain…

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Even TFA Isn’t Boosting Reading Comprehension

Teach for America (TFA) aims to increase student achievement by increasing the quality of teaching. Concerned with the short-term commitment TFA asks its recruits to make, I’ve never been sure what to make of TFA. Seeking teachers who were themselves strong students and focusing on outcomes, it has the potential to elevate the teaching profession….

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A Plea for Traditional and Multicultural Education—Our Children Deserve Both

By Joy C. Dingle Joy C. Dingle is an independent K–16 education consultant in the Washington, DC, area. She can be reached at jd.achieving.equality@gmail.com.  Recently, a colleague and I had a fascinating conversation about education and exactly what a meaningful, well-balanced US education should include.  My adopted city of Washington, DC, and our nation are…

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Want to Build Knowledge, Skills, and Grit? Assign History Research Papers

By Samantha Wesner Samantha Wesner is the managing editor of The Concord Review, which publishes high school students’ research papers. As a junior in high school taking American history, my class had two options for the final project: a PowerPoint presentation or an extended research essay. To many it was a no-brainer; the PowerPoint was…

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“Et tu, Mrs. McCarthy?”

By Bridgit McCarthy Bridgit McCarthy teaches third grade at New Dimensions, a public charter school in Morganton, North Carolina. Today in social studies, we assassinated Julius Caesar! My students’ faces registered shock, sadness, and a sprinkling of outrage, all nicely mixed with understanding. How mean!  Why would anyone kill their ally? I bet his wife…

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