National Alliance of Black School Educators Names Patricia Smith of St Charles Parish Public Schools the 2022 NABSE $10,000 Scholarship Award Recipient

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass.—The National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) recently named Patricia Smith, director of federal programs for St. Charles Parish Public Schools in Louisiana, as the recipient of the 2022 NABSE $10,000 Scholarship Award sponsored by Curriculum Associates. The award’s Dr. Charles Mitchell, Jr. Leadership Scholarship will support Smith as she pursues a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Southeastern Louisiana University.

“We are thrilled that our signature partner Curriculum Associates is again sponsoring this wonderful opportunity for a deserving educator,” said Dr. Nardos King, president of NABSE. “Education is our core mission, and Patricia Smith will use this opportunity to add to the pool of needed leaders in our field.”  

Smith has demonstrated strong leadership skills throughout her 27-year career in education, which has included roles as an assistant director of summer and graduate placement programs, teacher, principal, coach, curriculum specialist, and, now, director of federal programs. Collectively, these positions have provided her with unique perspectives which contribute to the sustainable academic success and social-emotional growth of the students and staff she leads.…Read More

Most high school grads feel their skills aren’t up to par

Most high school graduates (75 percent) do not feel prepared to make college or career decisions after graduation, according to a survey from YouScience, a college and career readiness company.

The national online survey,  Post-Graduation Readiness Report, polled more than 500 students from the 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 high school graduation classes.

There is a tremendous opportunity for high schools to impact students’ college and career readiness, and most of the respondents (62 percent) felt that it is one of schools’ responsibilities. Despite that, 41 percent felt unprepared to make a career choice or declare a college major upon graduation, and 30 percent were not following any planned educational or career path. For 57 percent of the graduates, family and friends had the greatest impact on their college and career decision-making.…Read More

The Cook Center for Human Connection Co-Sponsors National Mental Health Cohort for District Leaders

Salt Lake City, UT — The Cook Center for Human Connection, a Utah-based nonprofit dedicated to eradicating suicide and advocating for mental wellness for everyone, today announced its co-sponsorship of a Mental Health Cohort created in conjunction with AASA, the School Superintendents Association and the Jed Foundation. The purpose of the group is to connect district leaders committed to serving the mental health of students, educators, and their communities. 

The Mental Health Cohort will be led by Anne Brown, the president and CEO of the Cook Center; Paul Imhoff, the superintendent of Upper Arlington Schools in Ohio as well as a past president of AASA; and Rebecca Benghiat, president and CEO of the Jed Foundation. 

“We invite superintendents, district staff, building leaders, and other educational leaders to join the AASA Mental Health Cohort,” said Brown. “Participants will connect with fellow leaders and collaborate in creating resources that every school district can use to address the mental health needs of their communities.”…Read More

Chicago Public Schools is monitoring students’ social media for ‘worrisome behavior’

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat. Sign up for their newsletters at ckbe.at/newsletters.

Chicago Public Schools is monitoring students’ social media posts for signs they might engage in violence on campus or harm themselves so that school staff — and in some cases police — can intervene. 

A Canada-based company the district hired started scouring public posts for threats and “cries for help” last month. District leaders say the program is key in efforts to prevent violence and self-harm as the district responds to an uptick in school shootings nationally and in the number of local students expressing suicidal thoughts.…Read More

VHS Learning Student Pass Rates on Advanced Placement® Exams Once Again Exceed National Averages

Boston – VHS Learning students surpassed national average pass rates on their Advanced Placement (AP)® exams during the 2021-22 academic year, marking more than a decade of high achievement. VHS Learning has offered AP® courses online for the past 19 years, and it currently has a selection of 26 AP® courses available.

A score of 3 or higher on an AP® exam is considered eligibility for AP® college credit at many universities. In AP® English Literature and Composition, 93% of VHS Learning students passed their exam in 2021-22, compared to the national average of 78%. In AP® Environmental Science, 76% of VHS Learning students passed, compared to the national average of only 54%. The largest difference was in AP® World History with 93% of VHS Learning students passing their exam, compared to the national average of 62%.

VHS Learning’s online AP® courses give high schools the ability to easily expand their offerings, and they give students the opportunity to take courses otherwise not available to them. The high-quality, teacher-led online courses can be taken as part of a student’s school day at their local school, or from home. All students need is internet access and the motivation to succeed.…Read More

Only out-of-the-box solutions will fix the real problems in schools

As members of the media have bemoaned the tragic results of students on the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)—also known as the nation’s report card—many have been all too willing to jump into the game of who is responsible. Yet, few have sought innovative solutions to change the fundamental underlying reality: today’s schools were not built to maximize each and every student’s learning.

Just weeks earlier, a new report titled “Out of the Box,” along with an accompanying afternoon of virtual programming, sought to introduce a way to change that reality through the use of “innovative model providers” to shift us away from the current paradigm of schooling and “support school communities in actualizing the visions they set forth.”

The solutions generally offered in the media to the challenges students face have revolved around things like tutoring, summer school, longer school hours, and more days. Although there’s nothing wrong—and some things right—with those solutions, what none of them do is upend the fact that today’s schools were not designed to optimize learning. Their time-based nature means that they were, in fact, built to embed failure for the majority.…Read More

Foundational literacy is key to reversing post-COVID reading declines

Our first look at long-term trends in reading and math assessments since the pandemic began affirm what many education professionals were anticipating. 

The National Association for Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as “The Nation’s Report Card,” recently issued its signature report, which revealed that students assessed during the COVID-19 pandemic experienced significant declines in both mathematics and reading. NAEP’s 2022 data shows that “average scores at both grades [eighth and fourth] were not significantly different in comparison to the first reading assessment [20 years prior] in 1992.”

And while reading score declines as measured by various student assessments during COVID-19 are alarming, they are not unexpected given the profound obstacles students have faced.…Read More

4 blended learning strategies for better student engagement

A 2019 Gallup study that included 128 schools and more than 110,000 students found that student engagement and hope were significantly positively related to student academic achievement progress in math, reading, and all subjects combined.

This is why it’s even more concerning that we continue to see student performance decline, with the National Assessments of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation’s Report Card, reporting that students in the U.S. had the largest average reading score decline since 1990, and the first ever score decline in math in 2022.

Knowing that many students are struggling with learning setbacks can feel overwhelming, but we’re hoping we can help you look at these scores as an opportunity to implement new instructional strategies that engage students, and therefore, help mitigate learning loss.…Read More

6 reasons to improve teacher and principal evaluation policies

New data and analysis released by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) finds ample opportunities for improvement in states’ teacher and principal evaluation policies. With educator quality as the most powerful in-school factor that contributes to students’ academic success, an essential component to supporting student recovery in the wake of pandemic-related learning loss must be ensuring all students have access to effective teachers and administrators.

Evidence-based teacher and principal evaluation policies, when well-implemented, have great potential to help individual educators strengthen their practice, promote overall improvements in the quality of the workforce, and—most importantly—support increased student achievement.

“Strong, well-implemented teacher and principal evaluation systems can make a big difference for both teachers and students,” said Dr. Heather Peske, NCTQ President. “It’s disappointing to see that states have continued to back away from evidence-based evaluation policies and practices over the past several years, especially when we need to ensure every child has access to great teachers more than ever.”

The new NCTQ report, State of the States 2022: Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policies, presents data and analysis on policies from all 50 states and D.C. covering essential, evidence-based components of teacher and principal evaluation systems. Despite increased state adoption of evidence-based evaluation policies over a decade ago, the most recent data documents a continued decline in the number of states with teacher and principal evaluation requirements in place that research shows have the potential to drive significant improvements in student learning. 

Key findings in the NCTQ data include:

  • Fewer states require that objective measures of student growth be included in a teacher or principal’s evaluation. Helping students to grow academically is core to the role of all educators. Between 2009 and 2015, most states adopted policies that required educator evaluations include some objective measure of student growth, such as student state, district, or school assessment data or data from student learning objectives. However, while 43 states had this requirement for both teacher and principal evaluations in 2015, that number has since dropped to 30 states for teachers and 27 states for principals. While the pandemic may have interrupted assessments, recent declines in student results should reinvigorate states’ focus on student growth.
  • Fewer states now explicitly allow or require that student feedback be incorporated into a teacher’s evaluation. Teacher evaluations that include multiple sources of data, including from student assessments, teacher observations, and student surveys, create a fuller, more accurate picture of a teacher’s performance. Despite evidence that feedback from students is an important component to include in assessing teacher quality and to gauge students’ experiences, only five states now require that student surveys be included in a teacher’s evaluation. Support for including survey data in principal evaluations has also declined, with now only eight states requiring surveys or feedback from students, teachers, parents, and/or peers be included in a principal’s evaluation.

Related:
Prediction: The future of teacher evaluations is video
Post-COVID plans should focus on program values and evaluation…Read More

6 key elements to build a successful coaching program

A successful coaching program can have an extraordinarily positive impact on teachers, students, and schools. A recent national survey of educators showed that most districts agree — 75 percent see the connection between coaching, teacher growth, and student achievement.

Here are 6 key elements of successful coaching programs that can serve as a roadmap for building and sustaining a successful instructional coaching program.

1. Create a strong vision for the coaching program…Read More