Archive of 2011

Creating Risk

on December 23rd, 2011 in Blog by | 1 Comment

Minnesota state officials recently released the Minnesota Readiness Study showing that children of color and children who live in poverty are “less likely to be considered ready for kindergarten”[1] than their White and middle class counterparts.  As we try to understand, I want to focus attention on the notion of…

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Empowering Students through the Iowa Latino Conference

on December 7th, 2011 in Blog by | 11 Comments

Note: Earlier this year, I wrote about the Iowa Latino Conference that I was participating in for the first time.  More recently, I shared the highlights from the October event. From participating in most of  Youth Development Summit planning meetings last Spring, Summer and Fall to attending the two-day conference,…

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Why Teacher Diversity Matters

on November 23rd, 2011 in Blog by | 4 Comments

When I first became a teacher, honestly, I didn’t think race mattered.  As a child who grew up in single-parent, low-income household, when I first graduated college, I felt I was the “model” of the American Dream.  As a homeowner, mother, wife, college graduate, there were many reasons for why…

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More State Policies Support Teacher Performance Assessment

on November 11th, 2011 in Educator Effectiveness by | Comments Off

As AACTE and Stanford University’s Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium prepares for next spring’s field test of the new Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA), more states are joining the initiative and developing TPAfriendly policy. Some 80 institutions in 21 states participated in the assessment’s pilot test in spring 2011. Of the more…

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Iowa Latin@ Conference Engages, Embraces Growing Population

on November 8th, 2011 in Blog by | No Comments

  Earlier, we wrote about the planning of the Iowa Latin@ Conference[1]. Every year for the past thirteen years the conference has occurred in a different town across the state – it was Muscatine’s turn in 2011. In just about the same span of time (about 10 years), Iowa’s Hispanic…

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“We tried that, but…”

on November 7th, 2011 in Blog by | No Comments

I recently served as a process observer during a discussion about how to best support the central office leadership of a local school district as they planned school improvement efforts. The individuals who offered support to the district leaders commented on how frequently they heard these school leaders say, “We…

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Why “Closing Achievement Gaps” Is Not Our Rallying Cry

on November 4th, 2011 in Blog by | No Comments

“Closing achievement gaps.”  It’s a catch phrase that has become the rallying cry for equity advocates; the vision that provides the impetus for many education policies, regulations, and programs. And it’s a catch phrase we are trying desperately not to use. In our work, we have found that the phrase…

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University of Iowa to offer MFA in Spanish creative writing

on November 1st, 2011 in Blog by | No Comments

Beginning in Spring 2012 the University of Iowa will offer an Master of Fine Arts degree in Spanish creative writing. The new program is one of only three in the nation, with the others being the University of Texas, El Paso and New York University. The UI program director, Ana…

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Policy Considerations/Guide for States Participating in Teacher Performance Assessment

on October 11th, 2011 in Educator Effectiveness by | Comments Off

This policy guide is intended to provide state policymakers and others with a framework of guiding questions to ask themselves as they consider adopting and implementing the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) in their state. TPA is a summative pre-service licensure assessment to ensure teacher candidates are well prepared and ready…

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Willing to Learn: Reactions to President Obama’s Back-to-School Speech from Finn

on October 5th, 2011 in Blog by | No Comments

Last week on September 28, 2011, President Obama addressed the students of the nation from Benjamin Bannecker Academic High School in Washington, D.C.  This was his third annual back-to-school address to the nation’s students and the second one I watched with my son, Finn.  Finn is in first grade and…

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