Maintain High Expectations

High expectations refers to an effort to maintain the same high educational standards for all students in a class or school. It is based on the belief that with time and appropriate supports, all students can learn; all brains can grow and change. Educators who teach with high expectations ensure that all students have the supports needed to achieve at equally high levels.

Maintain High Expectations Practices

  • Keene, E. O. (2010, March). New Horizons in Comprehension.

    By pushing students to go beyond superficial responses in conversations about books, we can teach them to deepen their understanding.

  • Cavazos, S. (2016, April 17). Schools combine meditation and brain science to help combat discipline problems.

    Cognitive strategies such as, "mindfulness" are being used in the classroom to increase classroom efficiency and sutdents engagement. These classroom strategies include taking short breaks from instruction to ward off boredom and teaching children explicitly about parts of the brain and how they respond to stress.

  • Heim, J. (2017, July 25). D.C. looks to students for ways to address chronic absenteeism.

    School leaders in Washington, D.C., recently asked students for suggestions to address chronic absenteeism, which affected about 21% of students during the 2015-16 school year. Organizers say the "Every Day Counts! Attendance Design Challenge" makes students part of the solution.

  • Diallo, A. (2017, November 21). A school once known for gang activity is now sending kids to college.

    A Chicago high school once known for low performance and gang violence has boosted student achievement and graduation rates with skills-based learning. Under principal Juan Ocon's leadership, the school reworked grading practices and focused on helping students master specific skills.

  • M. (2017, November 12). Picture Book Biographies for the Middle Grades.

    Picture-book biographies can integrate literacy across subjects and serve as introductions to lessons in art and social studies, writes Christina Dorr, an author and educator. In this blog post, Dorr includes four titles with suggestions on how they can enhance lessons.

  • Teacher-Leader Contributor from the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. (2017, October 27).

    Recently I wrote two pieces about the importance of educators holding each other accountable for attending to issues of equity and justice. We are, after all, teaching the future leaders of our nation. In my current work in teacher education, I am also helping to prepare future educators to teach with justice in mind. For too many of them, our program has provided their first experience thinking in justice-oriented ways. Their responses range the full spectrum: Some feel angry and defensive; others are frustrated or confused; and some react with enlightenment and excitement.

  • Lander, J. (2017, June 14). Make Learning Visible.

    Public displays of excellent student work should be the rule, not the exception. What if all schools proudly displayed the academic work of their students? Could we turn drab school hallways into pop-up museums? These public displays of high-quality work enhance academic engagement and pride, among both students and teachers — and they increase the community’s pride in the school building itself.

  • Wilson, A. (2017, July 06). OPINION: Six ways prioritizing social and emotional learning can increase graduation rates for students of color, lower suspensions.

    Great things happen for students, schools and communities when students know they will be challenged and supported.

  • Grafwallner, P. (2017, November 02). Keeping Learning Real, Relevant, and Relatable.

    Allowing students to take the lead during learning can help make lessons real, relevant and relatable, writes Peg Grafwallner, an instructional coach and reading specialist. In this blog post, Grafwallner shares ways to integrate student passions and interests in lessons.

  • White, J. (2017, October 26). 7 must-knows from blended learning's early adopters.

    Seven key practices may help schools operate successful blended-learning programs, according to a report about takeaways from the 2017 Blended and Personalized Learning Conference. Practices include going slow to go fast and increasing student agency.

  • Songy, S. (2017, October 25). How a Tough Challenge Taught My Students More About Coding Than I Ever Could - EdSurge News.

    High-schoolers in Mississippi moved beyond teacher Shelley Songy's expectations in a lesson designed to teach the basics of HTML. In this commentary, Songy shares four keys to the lesson's success, including creating high standards.

  • Sparks, S. D. (2017, October 18). Small 'Nudges' Can Push Students in the Right Direction.

    Be they toddlers, teenagers, teachers, or parents, people don’t like being told what to do, and research has shown one of the quickest ways to lower motivation is to try to force people to make changes—even if they agree with the end goal.That’s why Levitt and other education researchers increasingly are exploring "nudges"—low-cost interventions that work to influence behavior by changing how or when choices are offered. These interventions usually involve small, cheap-to-implement changes, and some have shown significant results.

  • Sparks, S. D. (2017, September 06). New Tool Alerts Teachers When Students Give Up on Tests.

    How much can a test really tell you if a student gives up while taking it? Throughout testing students may give up and go off task. Teachers can learn from this behavior and learn about their students.

  • Lupoli, C. (2017, April 27). High Expectations, All Students, No Exceptions.

    A former special educator and current classroom coach offers six tips for using intentional language and practices to manage classrooms of diverse learners. Inclusive practices, like positively narrating to everyone equally, delivering clear instructions using few words, and using people-first phrasing, help educators see all students as capable of achievement.

  • Mongeau, L. (2017, August 10). What happens when a regular high school decides no student is a lost cause?

    The trauma-informed educational model is making inroads in some traditional schools. Shawn Langston, principal of a high school in Washington state, says his school adopted the approach on a small scale, starting with 11 students who had struggled in traditional settings.

  • Patel, P. (2017, April 27). Targeting Competency: Using SRSD and Differentiated Rubrics to Teach.

    Regardless of diagnosis or label, all students deserve good teaching that identifies where they need support. Here's an example of how self-regulated strategy development helps teachers target writing instruction, through differentiated rubrics, so that all learners can reach competency. As students master writing expectations, they level up to an increasingly rigorous rubric.

  • McGee, K., & Squires, A. (2017, June 29). Every Senior At This Struggling High School Was Accepted To College.

    All 190 graduating seniors from a struggling Washington, D.C., high school were accepted to college this year. The school encouraged students to succeed by taking them on college tours and having teachers help students with their college applications.

  • Martinez, A. (2017, June 28). Are fidget spinners a good distraction?

    Educators in some schools are banning fidget spinners from classrooms, saying the toys have become a distraction rather than a tool to help students concentrate. Todd Clinton, a special-education teacher in Tennessee, once was excited about the potential of fidget spinners, but now says students are using them to get attention.

  • Seaton, M. P. (2016, May 20). It's About the Abilities, Not the Deficits.

    Unfortunately, a poorly applied brand or label can have just the opposite effect in education. Special education learners don’t always feel special, gifted learners don’t always feel like they belong, and oddly, we don’t celebrate that English-language learners have already mastered another ‘foreign’ language. As educators, how can we move to celebrating student abilities with people-first...

  • Wilson, T. (2017, October 20). How schools are making moves to move forward.

    A South Carolina school district is shaking up its approach to leadership and has assigned new principals to nine of its 23 schools. In this commentary, Superintendent Thomas A. Wilson writes that the moves are part of a larger plan to ensure school leaders are placed where they will be most effective.

  • Myers, J. B. (2017, October 19). The Role of the Teacher Changes in a Problem-Solving Classroom.

    How can teachers help students develop problem-solving skills when they themselves, even though confronted with an array of problems every day, may need to become better problem solvers? Our experience leads us to conclude that there is an expertise in a certain kind of problem-solving that teachers possess but that broader problem-solving skills are sometimes wanting.

  • Fink, J. (2017, September 11). Special ed strategies in K12.

    As the number of students with special needs grows, school leaders report they increasingly are struggling to recruit special-education teachers. In this article, administrators share five ways they are working to close the gap.

  • Romano-Arrabito, C. (2017, July 13). The Case for Quiet Kids: Helping Introverts Get Heard in the Classroom - EdSurge News.

    The new school year will bring a new batch of "quiet students," educator Chrissy Romano-Arrabito writes. She calls for working to understand the "why" behind the quietness and then making a plan to include such students in class.

  • Fink, J. (2017, September 11). Special ed strategies in K12. Retrieved September 14, 2017

    As the number of students with special needs grows, school leaders report they increasingly are struggling to recruit special-education teachers. In this article, administrators share five ways they are working to close the gap.

  • Lupoli, C. (2017, April 27). High Expectations, All Students, No Exceptions.

    A former special educator and current classroom coach offers six tips for using intentional language and practices to manage classrooms of diverse learners. Inclusive practices, like positively narrating to everyone equally, delivering clear instructions using few words, and using people-first phrasing, help educators see all students as capable of achievement.

  • Sackstein, S. (2016, October 9). Make a difference One child at a time. Retrieved January 17, 2017, from Education Week Teacher

    You may hear stories about “super” seniors, those who take longer to graduate than the allotted four years of high school, and think that it’s a challenge to work this group of kids, but there is something really special about it too.

  • A teacher’s guide to special education. (2016, October 10). Retrieved January 17, 2017, from SmartBrief

    In "A Teacher's Guide to Special Education," David F. Bateman and Jenifer L. Cline clearly define what general-education teachers need to know about special education law and processes and provide a guide to instructional best practices for the inclusive classroom. With its practical examples, action steps and appendixes covering key terms and definitions, this book is an indispensable resource for every general education classroom.

  • Fink, J. (2016, March 21). Schools regroup for success. Retrieved January 17, 2017, from District Administration

    In the name of saving money, K12 administrators are also discovering that reconfiguring grade levels offers unique education advantages.

  • Hansen, B. (2016, February ). Teachers at Low-Income Schools deserve Respect. Retrieved January 17, 2017, from Education Week

    This article takes into consideration the perspective of one teacher of students who dealt with low-income that truly found fulfillment in his environment. Read and learn more about this teacher’s point of view that pushes his beliefs on the lack of respect for teachers of low-income schools and how it should change.

  • Smith, N. (2016, October 12). Helping students retain and build on prior knowledge - education week. Education Week Teacher.

    I love my students. I get intense satisfaction from seeing a student grasp a new concept for the first time. I like to call that magical moment “teacher catnip.” Every day when I teach, I get the pleasure of seeing students say “I get it” for the first time about a new topic. However, the day after the “aha moment” is sometimes not so exceptional.

  • Study: How ELL classification can affect students. (2016, September 22). Retrieved February 10, 2017, from SmartBrief

    Classifying early-elementary students as English-language learners may result in lower test scores through 10th grade, according to a study by University of Oregon researchers. They attribute the lower scores to the potential for stigma and lower expectations.

  • Smith, H. (2016, June 9). 10 ways to help your school-age child develop a “Reading Brain.” Retrieved February 10, 2017, from Scientific Learning

    As children start their summers, it’s important to keep in mind that a number of activities can be done at home to help children develop a ‘reading brain’ and become more fluent readers.

  • Badalamenti, J. (2016, May 2). The 4 essential elements of passion-based learning. Retrieved February 10, 2017, from eSchool News

    Teachers should take steps to find out what their students are passionate about to improve teaching and learning, asserts Jill Badalamenti, technology-integration coach at Reed School in Missouri. In this commentary, she shares four key steps to implementing passion-based learning.

  • Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2016, March ). Show & Tell: A Video Column/ Transfer Goals for Deeper Learning. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from ASCD

    Read here as some colleagues embark upon a journey of internalization. This journey involves the concept of Deeper learning which benefits the students in that they are able to benefit from a range of skills that they are encouraged to carry with them and build upon from year to year. Read here to familiarize yourself with the strategies and types of skills they chose to use.

  • Sackstein, S. (2015, November 19). Teaching students to reflect on personal learning. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from ASCD Webinars

    This is a webinar where National Board Certified Teacher, Starr Sackstein encourages teachers to use reflection as a tool in their repertoire of skills when working with students. Also highlighted is how this can promote students into independent thinkers and learners.

  • Connelly, C. (2016, January 3). Turns out monkey bars and Kickball might be good for the brain. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from Kera News

    Adopted from the school system in Finland, there have been some alterations in the way some school systems choose to handle recess. This new initiative is leading to more attentive students in the classroom as well as a variety of other positive effects.

  • Slade, S. (2015). Improving Schools: Avoiding Student Burnout. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from ASCD Inservice

    Burnout and stress can come with an over focus on a student’s academics. Students are being asked to perform more frequently and consistently than previous generations. Youth anxiety levels have been on the rise at younger and younger ages.

  • Lynch, M. (2015, September 8). 8 tips for dealing with problem students. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from Education Week

    Over half of new teachers leave the field within their first three years because of the stress with dealing with disruptive and problem behavior. If you feel frustrated with behavior issues, take comfort that you are not alone. The article lists strategies that help to manage problem students’ behavior.

  • Price-Mitchell, M. (2015, July 13). Teaching for life success: Why resourcefulness matters. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from Edutopia

    Unless information is processed, organized, and applied, knowledge can become a source of frustration rather than fulfillment. Children learn to use and apply knowledge as they gain skills in planning, organizing, decision making, and problem solving. Together, these are the building blocks of resourcefulness – the ability to find and use available resources to achieve goals.

  • Test, K. (2013). Eric Jensen Shares Five Rules for Engagement- Rules Unwritten Until Now. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from ASCD Inservice

    Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind challenges teachers to set a new bar: to reach more students in more engaging and profound ways. Jensen presents engagement strategies that tell teachers specifically how to: expand cognitive capacity to enable students to reach high goals, increase motivation and effort, build a deep, enduring understanding of content, improve classroom behaviors, and foster powerfully positive attitudes and mind sets in both students and teachers.

  • DeNisco, A. (2015, May 6). How schools maximize gifted talent. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from District Administration

    The U.S. public schools system’s focus on struggling students leaves high-achievers – especially minorities, the economically disadvantaged and English-language learners – without a challenging enough education, experts say.

  • Mendler, A. (2015, April 7). Fresh starts for hard-to-like students. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from Edutopia

    Students with challenging behaviors can present challenges for teachers, asserts Allen Mendler, an author, speaker and educator. In this blog post, he offers suggestions to help teachers connect or reconnect with students, such as by using encouraging statements and treating all students like the best students.

  • Conklin, H. G. (2015, March 3). Playtime Isn’t just for Preschoolers—Teenagers need it, too. Retrieved January 24, 2017, from Time

    Can learning through play benefit all students? (EVEN high schoolers?) Educators in early grades -- and more recently middle grades -- are incorporating play in learning, writes Hilary Conklin, an associate professor at DePaul University and fellow with the OpEd Project. She notes that recent research supports learning through play for all students, even high-schoolers.

  • Crowley, B. (2015, February 25). Grading: A duct-taped system in need of an overhaul? Retrieved January 24, 2017, from Center for Teaching Quality

    This piece outlines much of what we are working on in our Center: Traditional grading systems ignore what we know about brain development and create a loss of hope that leads to limited engagement and effort. These systems work for the students who know how to play the game, but do they work for all students? What is the answer?

  • Mizerny, C. (2015, February 19). Finding the gift in every student. Retrieved January 24, 2017, from SmartBrief

    Teachers should strive to find "giftedness" in all students, educator Cheryl Mizerny writes in this blog post. She calls for the use of instructional strategies often used in gifted-education classrooms to be used with all students, especially those who may be struggling. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education.

  • A strategy for responding to challenging behavior. (2015, January 22). Retrieved January 24, 2017, from ASCD Express: Ideas From The Field

    This video and the PACE strategy originally appeared in "Staying Connected with Troubled Students" by Allison Warshof and Nancy Rappaport. A student with multiple suspensions for behavior benefits from adults who PACE their response to his behavior—an acronym that describes a stance educators can take with students who challenge them.

  • Petty, J. (2015, January 22). Re-engaging with empathy. Retrieved January 24, 2017, from ASCD Express: Ideas From The Field

    We tend to empathize best with those we know, so the highest leverage strategies for engaging, retaining, and accelerating second chance students are those that help students and adults know each other well. Read more in the article.

  • Chen, I. (2014, September 15). Measuring students’ self-control: A “marshmallow test” for the digital age. Retrieved January 24, 2017, from MindShift

    Remember the 'marshmallow test'? This excellent piece illustrates how technology can often distract learning in the same way that marshmallows did in the early study. Check out the article and SHARE. Take the time to follow the many links to additional resources--lots of resources and opportunities to learn about the brain, mindsets, the role of 'grit,' and ways to support all in all of our students.

  • Scharberg, K. (2015, February 5). Differentiated Instruction Works: How and Why to Do DI. Retrieved January 24, 2017, from ASCD Inservice

    Differentiated instruction is an approach to teaching in which educators actively plan and adjust for students' differences so that instruction suits and supports all students' strengths and needs. On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, Sean Slade, ASCD's director of whole child programs, differentiation expert Carol Ann Tomlinson, and more explore what differentiated instruction is and explain how real teachers are applying differentiation principals and strategies to respond to the needs of all learners.

  • Tomlinson, C. A. (2015, January 27). Differentiation Does, in Fact, Work. Retrieved January 24, 2017, from Education Week

    Differentiated instruction is not easy, but it is good practice exercised by educators nationwide, writes Carol Ann Tomlinson, educator, author and leader of the Differentiated Instruction Cadre for ASCD Professional Learning Services. In this commentary, she responds to opinions in the article "Differentiation Doesn't Work."

  • Bowman, J. (2015b). Quiz tank 9: Are you Muting student motivation? Retrieved January 24, 2017, from ASCD Edge: A Professional Networking Community for Educators

    Are you muting student motivation? As educators, much of our time is spent assessing student needs. Before we can truly help our students, an understanding of our own learning is key. In this blog post, ASCD EDge community member Jennifer Davis Bowman shares a brief quiz that will allow you to examine what motivates students. Take the quiz!

  • 8 lessons from most-improved schools on building a collaborative culture. Retrieved January 24, 2017, from Educational Research Newsletter & Webinars

    Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships, super athlete Michael Jordan once said about collaboration. Every school has its star teachers, but to truly win the “championship” and ensure that all students in all classrooms are learning optimally, teachers must constantly share what they know about instruction in a truly collaborative work environment. What can you do to nurture collaboration in your school?

  • Wormeli, R. (2010, February ). Honor roll? Really? Retrieved January 24, 2017, from Amle

    I look at the 16 students in my classroom. On any other day, 35 students would be looking back at me, but today the other 19 are eating cake and being honored at the morning's honor roll assembly. Honor roll in middle schools serves little or no purpose, and it actually hurts the progress of some students. It is the antithesis of middle schools' mission.

  • Akhavan, N. (2013, November 7). What the mind needs to do to read nonfiction. Retrieved January 24, 2017, from ASCD Express: Ideas From The Field

    ELA teachers need this as a ready resource especially with the new expectations embedded in the Common Core Standards. It’s a great resource!

  • Vedova, T. (2014). The Power of Student-Led Conferences. Retrieved January 24, 2017, from ASCD Edge: A Professional Networking Community for Educators

    The passage from childhood to adulthood is a road of dependence to autonomy. To gain independence, a transfer of responsibility must take place, from adult to child, and this impacts all areas of life from exploration of the world to learning about it and our place in it. Yet, for many young people, this shift happens all too suddenly instead of in increments. One way educators can help accomplish this is through student-led conferences, which help us achieve a new level of independence as well as a few other key conference tasks.

  • ASCD Conference on Educational Leadership Preview: Turning High-Poverty Schools into High-Performing Schools: 12 Strategies That Make the Difference. (2013, October 18). Retrieved January 24, 2017, from ASCD Inservice

    Two words-expect success-characterize how high-poverty schools become high performing. Educators in high-poverty/high-performing (HP/HP) schools expect students who live in poverty to succeed.

  • Zimmerman, A. (2016, March 24). School conditions matter for student achievement, new research confirms. Retrieved March 3, 2017, from Chalkbeat

    A new study on New York City schools could make school climate the next frontier in the ongoing quest to boost student learning. A first-of-its-kind study released Thursday found that significant gains in key measures of a school’s climate, like safety and academic expectations, can be linked to the equivalent of an extra month and a half of math instruction and, in some cases, a 25 percent reduction in teacher turnover.

  • George, R. (2016, February 24). Stop Blaming the Circumstances, Teach the Students! Retrieved March 3, 2017, from ASCD Inservice

    Writer, Rachel George, confronts head on many stereotypes that are used as an excuse each day to justify they subpar education that individuals of poverty are subject to daily. She offers specific steps in a strategy that can be used to help even the best teacher reflect upon their philosophies and grow as an educator.

  • Hogan, A. (2015, December 23). Behavior expectations and how to teach them. Retrieved March 3, 2017, from Edutopia

    This article focuses on how to effectively approach the gap between expectations and the reality as it relates to student’s behaviors. This is a more proactive approach to encouraging new behaviors in your students. Delve into this article to spark thought as to how you can formulate your own strategies, specific to your students and their behaviors.

  • Moeny, J. (2014, October 8). Study: “Pygmalion effect” links teacher expectations to student success. Retrieved March 3, 2017, from Education Week Teacher

    The study focuses on the Pygmalion Effect, the theory holding that higher expectations of a person lead to higher performance. The opposite can also be true: If low expectations are placed on someone, they're more likely to perform poorly.LOTS of instruction here in terms of our expectations for students. Read more in this article.

  • Tomlin, D. The importance of classroom structure. Retrieved March 3, 2017, from Amle

    In a piece from DruTomlin...Don't let anyone fool you. Don't let anyone tell you differently. To create an "inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive" environment for students, desks matter. I know this fact firsthand, because one day at school could have gone very badly if it weren't for the desk arrangement in my classroom. In fact, one singular moment for me and an eighth grader named Tim could have gone horribly wrong if I had chosen a different way to set up my desks. The head counselor had warned me about Tim the day before he arrived. It was already the middle of the first week of school when she told me, "Now, Dru, Tim is a strong-willed student and he may be a little tough, but I've gotten good reports from the reform school." She slid a plain, one-inch manila folder my way, and it was filled with white, yellow, pink and blue papers of various sizes. Read more.

  • reserved, S. A. rights. (2016, November 16). Study reveals parent communication gaps. Retrieved February 15, 2017, from

    Race and immigrant status may play a role in parent-teacher communications, according to a study by a researcher at New York University. Data show math and English teachers more likely were to contact black and Latino parents -- compared with white parents -- about behavior problems.

  • Earl, J. (2016, October 17). Barbershop gives special discount to kids who read aloud.

    Children 12 and under who visit The Fuller Cut in Ypsilanti, Michigan, get a $2 discount on their haircut for doing a simple task: reading to the barber. CBS News reports that owner Alexander Fuller and barber Ryan Griffin started the reading program more than a year ago.

  • Strauss, V. S. V. (2016, February 7). ADHD in kids: What many parents and teachers don’t understand but need to know. Washington Post.

    ADHD has continued to be a growing field of interest in the education community. It has a variety of impacts on students across a wide range of variables. This article is aimed at helping both educators and parents gain a better understanding of the disorder as well as suggest ways of identifying as to whether or not your student should be evaluated for the disorder.

  • Carter, C. J. (2013, October 21). How soft skills, passion and connection can promote learning, competence and Employability. Huffington Post.

    Schools traditionally place the majority of value on the academic skills students acquire in school.

  • Silberman, S. (2013, October 30). Rethinking parent engagement.

    Common Core presents a historic opportunity to rethink the way that schools and parents engage each other.

  • Dolan, T. (2016, April 29). The power of reading aloud in middle school classrooms - education week. . Retrieved from

    This article explores how one teacher learns of the positive effects of reading aloud to their eighth grade class. Click the link and see if you feel as though this style should be adopted more often.

  • Wheatley, B. (2017, February 8). Don’t crush reading motivation.

    It is very important to encourage children to read books not only on their current reading level, but books that may seem even just a little too difficult.

  • Retrieved February 1, 2017, from

    "Improving basic literacy skills in adolescent learners is no doubt a huge challenge, but it is not an impossible task," writes educator Beth Morrow. In a recent Inservice post, Morrow discusses the challenges of balancing the need to build literacy in older students with the need to increase content knowledge and shares seven points educators should consider when developing adolescent literacy. Read on.

  • Rich, M. (2014, August 5). Language-gap study bolsters a push for Pre-K. Education.

    Words Matter!!The new research by Anne Fernald, a psychologist at Stanford University, which was published in Developmental Science this year, showed that at 18 months children from wealthier homes could identify pictures of simple words they knew — “dog” or “ball” — much faster than children from low-income families. By age 2, the study found, affluent children had learned 30 percent more words in the intervening months than the children from low-income homes.

  • Allyn, P. (2017). Educational leadership: Reading: The core skill: Taming the wild text.

    Ten actions for creating a reading culture --even with vulnerable readers.

  • Allington, R. L., & Gabriel, R. E. (2017). Educational leadership: Reading: The core skill: Every child, every day.

    "Every child a reader" has been the goal of instruction, education research, and reform for at least three decades. We now know more than ever about how to accomplish this goal. Yet few students in the United States regularly receive the best reading instruction we know how to give. Instead, despite good intentions, educators often make decisions about instruction that compromise or supplant the kind of experiences all children need to become engaged, successful readers. This is especially true for struggling readers, who are much less likely than their peers to participate in the kinds of high-quality instructional activities that would ensure that they learn to read.

  • Allington, R. L. (2017). Educational leadership: Best of educational leadership 2010–2011: What at-risk readers need.

    Former Center of Excellence Keynote speaker Richard Allington writes that 'we could teach almost every student to read by the end of 1st grade. So why aren't we doing it?'

  • Lynch, M. (2016, November 23). Why K-12 students have to be taught how to think critically: Part I.

    Everyone can agree that applied knowledge is crucial to the learning process, so standardized tests need to do better when measuring it. Every child needs to be able to articulate what he or she knows, not just repeat it.

  • reserved, S. A. rights. (2016, November 11). Is there a right way to give feedback to students?

    Research shows that the feedback that teachers give students can be positive, if executed correctly. Tips include discreetly correcting students, avoiding comparing students' performance and being specific with feedback.

  • reserved, S. A. rights. (2016, October 28). Data: Low-income students thrive in college.

    Students from households making $35,000 per year or less have an equal chance at thriving in college as students from higher-income families, according to a new survey. Researchers say the survey dispels the perception that low-income students "cannot thrive in a variety of four-year college ecosystems."

  • Fort, L. (2017). ASCD express 12.03 - field notes: Up and moving with stations.

    Get students up and moving with stations. Who says students need to stay in one place to collect and dissect information? Learning stations are like little exhibits of content knowledge, sprinkled throughout your classroom, that get students moving and interacting for an academic purpose. Here are three different models for station-based learning, as well as general tips for mastering this teaching method.

  • LeBuffe, P. A. (2016, October 10). Tips to help kids develop grit for school.

    Everyday our children experience a roller coaster of emotions ranging from frustration and fear to excitement and happiness. Too often these emotions dramatically alter and control a child’s behavior. While our children face constant and growing social and academic pressures there is an opportunity to teach them a life-long skill: grit.

  • News from center for educational improvement.

    So glad this newsletter is easily posted as a resource for all. The October edition of the Wow! Ed newsletter is available. Focus this month? 21st Century instructional environments. They address noise, food insecurity, twice exceptional learners, and even include a rubric for 21st Century Instruction that is detailed and powerful!

  • Ferlazzo, L. (2016, October 8). Response: Student Metacognition “needs to be purposely developed.”

    The new "question-of-the-week" is: What is metacognition and why should teachers be concerned about it?

  • Ramsey, L. (2016, October 2). Grit may be more important to success than talent — here’s how to get it.

    Happify created a graphic to explain grit, or the passion and perseverance to achieve long-term goals.

  • Retrieved January 26, 2017, from

    John Hattie developed a way of ranking various influences in different meta-analyses related to learning and achievement according to their effect sizes. In his ground-breaking study “Visible Learning” he ranked 138 influences that are related to learning outcomes from very positive effects to very negative effects.

  • Schwartz, K. (2016, July 18). How can schools Prioritize for the best ways kids learn?

    Educator and consultant Will Richardson says it’s time to change our internal working models about what education should be and focus around the question: How do kids learn best?

  • Zalaznick, M. (2016, January 15). School leader paves a more promising path.

    Luvenia Jackson, the superintendent for Clayton County public schools in Georgia, has an extensive history of working to provide better educations and overall quality of life for her students. This article explains her history as well as the approach she is taking now to help the 50,000 student body which she tends to have a higher chance at graduating, staying out of the legal system, and becoming productive members of society.

  • Roth, A., Martin, R., Yong, E., Taylor, A., Meyer, R., Tierney, J., … Ajaka, N. (2016, January 5). How schools can reinvigorate dying communities.

    Fentress County, Tennessee is simply one of a large sum of rural areas suffering from persistent poverty. The effects associated with poverty have had a nearly detrimental effect on the school system in this county. Though experiencing tough circumstances, there are some here who are fighting to see the students achieve. Read here to see their story which represents countless others in the U.S.

  • Strauss, V. S. V. (2015, November 11). Project to recognize “high schools of opportunity” for all students goes national. Washington Post.

    A project called, Schools of Opportunity was launched last year to honor schools that tried to offer their students chances to succeed. The project identifies and recognizes public high schools that attempt to close opportunity gaps through practices that build on students’ strengths.

  • Wormeli, R. (1999). Honor roll? Really? Retrieved January 25, 2017

    Learn how the honor roll can adversely affect students who don’t make the cut. When interviewed by their teacher, most high-achieving students reported that making the honor was not a top priority to them, only their GPA seemed important.

  • Hesseltine, J. (2015, October 22). Investigate US history with zoom in. Retrieved January 25, 2017

    Zoom In’s lessons ask students to investigate a historical question and to gather evidence from primary and secondary sources of information that children can use to build written essays. The lessons hook students from the start, and include interesting resources – political cartoons, graphs, pictures – making lessons fun to teach, and understandable to students.

  • MiddleWeb. (2015, September 13). 4 steps to put school data to good use. Retrieved January 25, 2017

    A critical aspect of school reform for today’s schools is the ability to effectively manage data. Leaders and teachers are often overwhelmed with the sheer amount of data they have. Many of the schools we work with are unsure how to best use the information. The authors suggest a four step process when you use data to support your efforts to improve the rigor of your school: 1)be clear about what you want to know; 2) decided how to collect the data; 3) analyze the data; 4) set priorities and goals.

  • Roth, A., Anderson, M. D., Yong, E., Taylor, A., Green, E., Tierney, J., … Ajaka, N. (2015, September 14). School districts across the U.S. Are pledging to reform their student discipline policies.

    Districts from Los Angeles to New York are experimenting with new policies designed to eliminate zero-tolerance discipline. But the reality is often a lot different than the idea.

  • Report, S. W. (2015, March 19). Children who start school later are more likely to drop out, study shows.

    Study: How delayed school entry affects children later in life Children from disadvantaged homes who entered kindergarten at an older age may have an increased risk of dropping out of school and committing crimes later in life, according to a recent study. The findings appear in the American Economic Journal-Applied Economics. Science World Report (3/19)

  • Roth, A., Berwick, C., Yong, E., Taylor, A., Green, E., Tierney, J., … Ajaka, N. (2015, March 18). Why large, urban schools are getting rid of Zero-Tolerance policies.

    Whole-child model is gaining favor over zero tolerance. A growing number of urban school districts are abandoning zero-tolerance policies in favor of a whole-child approach. This article showcases how several urban, high-poverty schools are making this approach work, as well as research that supports replacing policies that favor suspension.

  • Slavin, R. E. (2014, September 17). On beyond preschool: Alleviating poverty over a Lifespan. Huffington Post.

    Poverty isn't like polio, which can be cured in one treatment. The factors that lead to a child being in a disadvantaged family at preschool are likely to persist afterwards, and top-quality education is needed at every age to help children overcome the effects of poverty.

  • Casey, D. C. (2011, July 29). How Two rural schools prepare kids for college, part 1. Retrieved January 12, 2017

    DietteCourrégé Casey is an education reporter for The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C. She has lived in small towns and big cities, and she's made her home in the Lowcountry covering a mix of rural and urban schools.


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