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About Our Areas of Work
We organize our work into three areas to help low-income youth & adults:


Tuesday September 3, 2013
Process-folios: Peeking into a Student’s Head
Originally published by CompetencyWorks, August 28 2013. What educator hasn’t wished they could get inside a student’s head—if even just for a moment—to really understand how she thinks, learns, and what she still needs to do to grasp a concept or lesson? Process portfolios (also known as “process-folios”) provide an opportunity to not only peek inside a student’s progression toward mastery, but also to get the student more actively engaged in understanding his own learning process. You may think to yourself: Oh sure, I know all about portfolio assessment—that’s when students present a big...
Tags: Student-Centered Learning
Wednesday June 12, 2013
Moving Beyond Grouping
In the June 9 article, "Grouping Students by Ability Regains Favor in Classrooms," the New York Times reports that “ability grouping has re-emerged in classrooms all over the country” and cites increases in the percent of teachers grouping students by ability. With over 650 readers chiming in with comments, it is clear that ability grouping is a topic people have strong opinions about. Teachers interviewed in the article who express a desire to move away from “teaching to the middle” are on the right track in terms of wanting to instruct in a way that recognizes learner difference. But it is...
Tags: Student-Centered Learning
Tuesday October 30, 2012
In Sara Mosle’s Oct. 27 piece in The New York Times’ Opinionator column, Teaching Lessons, she writes: “Teachers can’t go it alone. They need sustained training and support using empirically tested methods in concert and collaboration with one another. This is how schools succeed.” This simple declaration is not only powerful, but true. There are a number of factors that enable a professional development (PD) experience of real value for educators—Ms. Mosle gets to the heart of the matter in writing about the difference she experienced when she went to a school that “took PD seriously.” Like...
Tags: Student-Centered Learning
Tuesday October 9, 2012
Shifting Roles Enable Student-centered Learning
On Friday, October 5, I participated virtually in the Education Week-sponsored meeting, Ed Tech 2013: Powering Up Success. As I’m based in Boston and the event took place in Detroit, I was happy to have a low-cost way to participate. The conference proved to be engaging and informative. The agenda was packed with experts; but more importantly, it featured practitioner leaders from the field speaking candidly about the benefits and challenges of transitioning districts from a face-to-face to a blended-school model. A few school leaders shared the notion that schools need to leverage student...
Tags: Blended Learning, Student-Centered Learning
Tuesday September 4, 2012
By guest
Right now, across this country, teachers are prepping their classrooms, uploading and scanning their rosters, revising their unit and lesson plans to meet the needs of their states, their districts, and their many students, and motivating themselves for the challenging and rewarding work of teaching in the 21st century. Like a surfer about to drop into a big wave, this is a time of expectation and excitement. For many parents, however, it’s a time of relief. Since June, kids have been on furlough from the classroom, which translates into drastically increased parenting responsibilities....
Tags: Student-Centered Learning