How to apply the 4 pillars of opportunity in literacy instruction

Consider this: 95 percent of students have the capacity to learn to read, according to the National Institutes of Health, yet only about 34 percent of fourth and eighth grade students read proficiently, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Is this disparity an achievement gap or an opportunity gap?

How we answer this question frames our thinking about solutions. If we look at the disparity as an opportunity gap, we are saying that all students have the same ability to achieve, but not all students have had the same opportunity to achieve.

Myriad opportunity gaps exist in the modern educational system—along with a pandemic that’s only widened these gaps—and are particularly prevalent among students of different races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic classes.…Read More

Applying the 4 pillars of opportunity in literacy instruction

Consider this: 95 percent of students have the capacity to learn to read, according to the National Institutes of Health, yet only about 34 percent of fourth and eighth grade students read proficiently, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Is this disparity an achievement gap or an opportunity gap?

How we answer this question frames our thinking about solutions. If we look at the disparity as an opportunity gap, we are saying that all students have the same ability to achieve, but not all students have had the same opportunity to achieve.

Myriad opportunity gaps exist in the modern educational system—along with a pandemic that’s only widened these gaps—and are particularly prevalent among students of different races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic classes.…Read More

EdisonLearning and FocalPointK12 Announce Partnership to Provide Comprehensive Learning and Analytics Solution for Grades 6-12

EdisonLearning and FocalPointK12 today announced a partnership to provide a complete solution for grades 6-12, delivering more than 170 middle and high school courses along with nearly 60 embedded project-based learning (PBL) courses through a platform that integrates seamlessly with schools’ student information systems (SIS) and learning management systems (LMS).

The partnership enables device-agnostic access to educators and students, increasing accessibility to help close the achievement gap across the nation. The full benefits of this integration are immediately available to all current and new EdisonLearning customers.

EdisonLearning provides digital learning solutions, including core and elective eCourses for grades 6-12. This partnership expands its ability to support more schools and districts nationwide, increasing delivery of personalized learning and supporting equitable achievement for all students.…Read More

How one middle school is closing the technology achievement gap

There’s a widening technology achievement gap for minorities, despite blacks and Hispanics having more interest in learning computer science. So why is the field so dominated by whites?

eSchool News recently spoke with Mashea Ashton, who founded Washington, D.C.’s first computer science middle school last year in a struggling, historically black community to help bridge the technology achievement gap. Today, 99 percent of the students at Digital Pioneers Academy (DPA) are on a free lunch program. Ashton, who previously worked with Senator Cory Booker to create more educational options in Newark, N.J., talked about how innovative educators can help solve the racial achievement gap.

eSN: There are lots of cities with impoverished neighborhoods and poor public school systems, so why did you choose to start DPA in southeast D.C.?…Read More

PresenceLearning’s fall webinars to focus on closing achievement gap for students with special needs

PresenceLearning, provider of telemedicine/telehealth services in education and health care, is launching a free, three-part webinar series for special education leaders this fall. The series, “Results Matter – Closing the Achievement Gap,” will kick off on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 1 PM Eastern/10 AM Pacific with “Results Driven Accountability: Where Were We? Where Are We? Where Do We Go Next?” led by RDA expert Dr. Alan Coulter.

To register for the webinar, visit http://www.presencelearning.com/sped-ahead-webinar/results-driven-accountability-where-were-we-where-are-we-where-do-we-go-next/.

In March 2012, the Department of Education announced it was taking new steps – what is referred to as Results-Driven Accountability (RDA) – to close the achievement gap for students with disabilities by shifting from a focus on procedural compliance to increased attention on educational outcomes. During the webinar, Dr. Coulter will discuss the current state of RDA and how it is affecting special education leaders. He will provide a timely update on RDA, explore the implications of RDA, and offer up guidance on where RDA is heading and how educators can prepare for it. As a result of the webinar, attendees will be able to:…Read More

School Specialty unveils intervention program for low-level readers

Interactive intervention tool aims to engage learners in a digital classroom

According to the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress — the Nation’s Report Card — only about 35 percent of U.S. fourth and eighth graders perform at the “proficient” level in reading.

To help schools close the achievement gap with students performing significantly below grade level, EPS Literacy and Intervention, a division of School Specialty, announced the debut of iSPIRE, an interactive reading intervention program incorporates phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency to accelerate literacy skill development for the lowest performing students in grades PreK-8.

iSPIRE is powered by Exploros, a streamlined online teaching platform designed to connect teachers to students in a digitally transformed classroom with the teacher at the center of mastery based instruction.…Read More

5 data-driven ways to prevent the achievement gap

Take a look around your classroom, We Are Teachers reports.  What do you see?  Future scientists?  Mathematicians?  Writers and lawyers?  Artists and singers?  Each of your students comes to you with unique skills and talents and one of the best things about being a teacher is watching kids thrive as they are given opportunities to explore and learn within the realm of their own individual gifts. But what happens when these individual differences lead to gaps in achievement?  And is there anything teachers can do to make sure that each of their students—regardless of innate talents, socio-economic background, race or gender—stays on pace with the norm?

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Opinion: Better ways to deal with achievement gap need to be found

Frederick M. Hess’s long essay in the latest issue of the quarterly National Affairs pleased those of us who share the American Enterprise Institute scholar’s dislike for politicians’ fixation on closing the achievement gap, says Jay Mathews, columnist for the Washington Post. Reducing the gap sounds good until you realize that means it is okay for high achievers to stagnate so that low achievers can catch up. I have been venting about this for several years and getting only puzzled looks. Hess’s piece—the most detailed and vehement ever on the subject—will hopefully lead to more discussion of better ways to deal with the different average achievement levels of poor kids and affluent kids…

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Report shows high school graduates enter college unprepared

A new report details methods to solve the disparity between high school exit exams and college entrance requirements.

High school students should be exposed to college-level courses early on, and they should learn in technology-rich classrooms that redesign the learning process to emphasize problem-solving, critical thinking, and other higher-order skills, in order to help close the achievement gap between high school and college, according to a new report that highlights high school graduates’ lack of preparedness for the rigors of a college education.

Entitled “Closing the Gap between High School and College,” the report comes from the Blackboard Institute, an independent research organization within the ed-tech company Blackboard Inc. While it’s obvious that Blackboard has a financial stake in advocating for more use of technology in the classroom, the report was based on interviews with education experts from K-12 schools, community colleges, research institutions, and nonprofit organizations.…Read More