Synchronous and asynchronous instructional time are BOTH precious

Of all the topics that we as academic leaders have fielded over these past few months, in contemplating with colleagues what teaching and learning should look in the many different remote and hybrid schooling models under consideration in our districts, few have been more meaty – and, indeed, more professionally enriching – than those surrounding […]

Getting All Kids Working With Grade Level Texts: Distance Learning Edition

In Baltimore City, all students work with rich, grade level texts in English Language Arts. Evidence shows that this approach fosters the most growth for learners, so we carefully selected a curriculum designed around grade level work for every student.  The alternative – reading instruction that revolves around leveled reading groups, in which some students […]

Illuminating the Opaque PD Landscape

Professional Development is my thing. Arguably nothing is more important than investing in our teachers… and yet it’s an area that all too often falls short. I’m passionate about solving that problem.   It’s an urgent problem. In recent years, we’ve had a national reckoning about the critical need for professional development in reading instruction, as […]

Making an Impossible Challenge More Manageable

We’ve never experienced a school reopening like this one. (Understatements.) When our ‘squad’ connected this season, the refrain was the same: “We would be LOST if we did not have high-quality curriculum in place in our districts.” We’ve been hearing this message a lot. This Spring, teacher Kyair Butts explained why Curriculum Matters More in a […]

Cecil County Had the Highest Literacy Growth in Maryland. Here’s How We Did It.

Right now, we need to be sharing positive stories in K–12 education! That’s true because we’re going through a tough moment – and we don’t just mean the challenge of the coronavirus. Midway through this school year, the nation reflected on worrisome NAEP outcomes suggesting that literacy instruction needs work.  Once, Cecil County had a […]

Curriculum Matters Even More in a Crisis

I never thought I’d be explaining how curriculum helped me to navigate a global pandemic – but here we are.  It’s a story that deserves to be told. In social media, I see many teachers struggling with the challenging transition to distance learning; often, it causes me to reflect on how much harder this transition […]

Reading Assessments Need an Upgrade

Most reading comprehension assessments are grounded in the belief that reading is a specialized set of skills, such as finding the main idea or identifying the author’s purpose. This may be one of the ways in which the assessment cart drives the instruction horse: on state assessments, students read a random passage they’ve never encountered […]