May 31, 2023

Great Expectations Recap Video

Did you miss our Great Expectations event? Watch the highlights here!
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July 5, 2010

Math Literacy – Redux

I was recently meeting with the former principal of a local Middle School, and we were discussing the difficulties our students are having with math. While the problem is greater with our immigrant students, probably due to literacy issues, it is also a problem with our low-income, native English speakers as well. He made a comment that our educational system marches forward and rarely circles back to go over old material. Therefore, if a students misses some critical building block in mathematics (e.g. negative numbers), this
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March 14, 2010

SAT Testing Accommodations for ELL Students

Despite much criticism over the years, the SAT 1 is still a requirement for entrance into most 4-year colleges. This test, touted as a Reasoning Test, is a 4-hour test broken into several 20 to 25-minute sections.  In each section, students race against the clock to answer all the questions.  Even for native English speakers, the time constraints on this test are a challenge.  If you have a documented learning disability you can get extended time and other accommodations (such as a reader or scribe). So
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February 28, 2010

College Level Writing – A Challenge for ESL Students

“Writing may be by far the single academic skill most closely associated with college sucesss” (“Towards a More Comprehensive Conception of College Readiness”, David Conley, © 2007) I asked our ELL (English Language Learners) students why their parents brought them to the United States. Almost every one of them said to get a college education and career that will lead to a high paying job.  However, acquiring college-ready English is not a trivial pursuit, even for the student literate in their native tongue and most of
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February 10, 2010

Carrot or Stick?

Do incentives work to encourage long-term academic achievement?
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January 27, 2010

Connecting Career To High School Achievement

High school reformists incorporate the 3 R’s for student success: rigor, relevance, and relationships. Students need to be challenged academically, to understand how that challenge relates to life in the “real world,” and to know that adults in the system care about them and are invested in their success (what I have called in previous blogs, social capital).  Most urban high schools offer a range of rigor in course selections including honors and AP level courses.  However too many students lose the connectedness between their learning
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January 16, 2010

Growing Gender Gap – This Time It’s The Boys

Pick an educational statistic, any statistic. Let’s say high school drop out rates, standardized test scores, college entrance rates, college graduation rates.  Boys are underperforming girls in a big way and this is something we all need to be concerned about.  When I was in school in the 60’s, it was a female gender gap.  Remember the Cinderella Complex?  Through changes in education, cultural attitudes and workplace opportunities, gender parity was reached through the 80’s. However, in the last 10 – 15 years, it has been
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January 1, 2010

A Private Sector Commitment to Lowering the School Drop-Out Rates

A Five Step Approach I recently attended two symposia – one on non-profit management at Stanford Business School’s Institute of Social Innovation and the other on urban education put on by the Institute of Urban Education at the University of Chicago. At these talks, there was a lot of discussion around change. How do you effect change when the problems seem so intractable? From these lectures, I can summarize this 5-step process: Name the enemy Find the bright spots – no matter how dismal the statistics,
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