Archive | March 2015

My 200th Post – On Literacy Part 3

Granted, and...

Hard to believe I have written 200 posts – the equivalent of 2 books, for no pay, and with surprisingly little pain! Thanks for reading and commenting: the thoughtful back and forth in the comments makes this all worthwhile.

[Oops: I updated the post to provide the link to the graphics site.]

As part of my continuing writing on literacy, I offer a short post – some graphics with a few questions.

The graph below comes from a site that specializes in education data. Here we see a critical data set in the argument over schools and poverty – New York City 3rd grade scores by school vs. SES levels:

3rd grade reading vs. poverty - New York - 2013

The graph is actually interactive: by mousing over a dot you can see the name of each school. Here are a few of the important outliers to the somewhat general trend (the red dots equal charter schools):

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 8.48.18 AMScreen Shot 2015-03-20 at 8.48.28 AMScreen Shot 2015-03-20 at 8.48.40 AM

(You can see…

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PD: How do educators get to know what they don’t know?

My Island View

When it comes to education reform, there are in general two major camps, but there are also several variations of each. The first camp would like to blow up the system and start all over. The other camp wants to continue the status quo while working to change it in directions governed by whatever dominant force of change has the ear of the public at the time. I find my own inclinations falling somewhere between the two camps. I want to blow some stuff up while improving upon some existing stuff. Like most educators, or any people with a basic understanding of authentic assessment, I do want to blow up any notion or hint of compliance with high stakes, standardized testing. The area of improvement that I think will get us the biggest bang for the all-important, tax buck is professional development.

It has long been my position that to…

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Education Based on a Snapshot

My Island View

I often wonder how we can get an accurate picture of what and how educators are teaching today. We have more, and better technology than we have ever had to record and analyze data, and yet we still do not have a clue as to what is really going on in the average classroom. The pictures that we get, or the stories that are told, seem to focus on the best and the worst. Too often superintendents spin the best, and the media spins the worst. We need to remind ourselves that any story about what is going on in education is just a snapshot that is representing a very tiny portion of the big picture.

There are too many education leaders who when talking about their schools tend to focus on the best and most innovative representations their schools have to offer. Intentional or not, this creates an impression…

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