Category Archives

18 Articles

Curriculum & Instruction/Education Reform

The Real Cost of High-Stakes Testing

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The Real Cost of High-Stakes Testing

In an age of accountability and high stakes testing, public education has accomplished a lot. We have managed to utilize assessment data trends to identify resources and programs to support students’ educational needs. We have also learned how to breakdown objectives or learning standards to their most intricate parts to align our resources. Most of all we have developed ways to hold educators accountable for student achievement…One question remains: at what cost are we making all of these efforts? In other words, what have we sacrificed for this “data-driven” approach to education?

Education Reform

How to Improve Teacher Preparation Programs for Aspiring Urban Educators

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How to Improve Teacher Preparation Programs for Aspiring Urban Educators

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When I first became an educator, I taught secondary Mathematics and Physics to high school students in the largest district in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and in a much smaller school system in the suburbs.  I first worked with low-performing and economically disadvantaged students and later in an environment with all talented and gifted students.  Once I decided to move beyond the classroom and into a role as instructional coach, I began mentoring teachers and delivering professional development training.  With this background as both an urban educator and teacher leader, I had a close-up opportunity to see the problems that are pervasive in K-12 education.  Having served as a District administrator for 9 years, I now have a bird’s eye perspective of those problems as well as potential strategies for success, particularly, in an urban setting.

Education Reform

The Role of the Community in Education

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The Role of the Community in Education

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In today’s economically and culturally diverse society it is vitally important that educators and community leaders find clarity on each other’s role in supporting our students’ academic achievement (Anderson-Butcher et. al., 2010).  This need is only intensified when we consider the context of the required school reform actions brought on by No Child Left behind (NCLB) and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) accountability measures.  However, the formation of effective school and community partnerships is usually defaulted to the responsibility of the schools and often are not established due to communication and expectation barriers (Hands, 2010).  With increasing reports of economic disparities between parents and communities of high performing schools and those of schools in need of academic achievement improvements, various factors have served as barriers to strong school and community partnerships.