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


Tuesday November 5, 2013
Time to rethink 12th grade
Everyone in education is talking about the Common Core State Standards: Writing curriculum to implement them. Building capacity to teach them. Using technology to help students meet them. This is all essential work that must be done before states begin testing in 2014 whether students are truly college and career ready, based on the Common Core. But… There’s something else we all need to start planning for now: What about the students who will not be deemed college ready? While the best long-term strategy will be to improve the education of students from grades 9-11 so that more are ready,...
Tags: Common Core, Early College, Dual Enrollment
Friday January 25, 2013
By guest
Who Is in Charge Here? BDEA Reflection on Student Ownership
It has been a busy year at Boston Day and Evening Academy (BDEA), and much of our focus has been directed to our third 5-year charter renewal—a crucial milestone in the life of a charter school. During the 3-day visit by BDEA’s re-charter team, a student panel was asked “Who is in charge here?” Our students, never shy, jumped right in. Some of them said it was the head of school, others mentioned her by name, but one finally said, “We are!” When the facilitator asked for clarification, others started chiming in to explain that they, the students, are the ones in charge of their education at...
Tags: Common Core, Competency Education, Dropout Recovery, Opportunity Youth
Wednesday October 17, 2012
Why are discussions of postsecondary transitions so absent in edtech conversations? This is the question I found myself wondering about at the Wireless EdTech Conference last week in Washington, DC. I took part in some fantastic conversations about assessments, infrastructure, and how educational technologies can support learning outcomes. But I left the conference thinking: Where are the postsecondary partners? Why wasn’t there even a discussion on how to develop postsecondary partnerships? Shouldn’t we be hearing from postsecondary institutions about their thoughts on the preparedness of...
Tags: Blended Learning, Common Core, Dual Enrollment
Wednesday May 23, 2012
The Accidental Edupunk
As part of JFF’s Back on Track Through College team, I’ve been visiting schools across the country where technology is being used to enhance instruction. These schools, serving students who have struggled in school, fallen off track to graduation, or dropped out all together, have implemented a range of strategies from technology-enriched instruction to blended learning. (Innosight Institute broadly defines blended learning as a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time...
Tags: Blended Learning, Common Core
Wednesday April 25, 2012
Students at the Center
Alfred Tatum, author of a paper entitled Literacy Practices for African-American Male Adolescents, begins with two heartbreaking quotes from young black males he spoke with: “All my grades are bad and nobody can help me,” said one. “I am a lost soul,” said the other. While Tatum gives credit to this decade’s research advances both in adolescent literacy and in understanding conditions supporting African-American male achievement, he argues that “most school literacy practices continue to miss the mark and suffer from an underestimation of the depths of student needs.” The result: Far too...
Tags: Common Core, Literacy, Student-Centered Learning