Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and the “Classism” of Rigorous Course Work

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Posted:
September 24, 2018 10:57 am

Research shows that the International Baccalaureate (IB) program can increase high school graduation rates for students from low-income families and better prepare students for postsecondary studies. At the same time, however, some schools chose to limit the IB program to students that they “think” will do well in it. Such a practice typically holds down participation among students of color and students from low-income families, compounding the problem that historically underserved students also attend schools that are less likely to provide access to Advanced Placement (AP), IB, and other advanced courses necessary to prepare them for college and a career.

Don’t get us wrong. We at the Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) are big fans of the IB program, but there are important considerations that district and school leaders need to keep in mind when they implement the program.

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Documentary Film The Long View Highlights One Community’s Efforts to Bring Deeper Learning to Its Students

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Posted:
September 13, 2018 04:24 pm

This blog post is written by Susan Zeig, producer/director of The Long View.

One of the most common unifiers of people all over the world is the desire for a good education. Parents and guardians want this for the children in their lives, and young people want this for themselves as soon as they are old enough to appreciate its worth.

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Deeper Learning

Guest Blog: Self-Advocacy and Chronic Absenteeism: A Harder Measure of a “Soft Skill”

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Posted:
June 19, 2018 09:44 am

The following blog post was written by Ace Parsi, personalized learning partnership manager at the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD).

Education reformers find themselves in a challenging place. On the one hand, in order to overcome prevailing opportunity gaps, we must do more than focus on the narrow issues of literacy and math. Instead, we must ensure that students develop the range of knowledge, skills, and dispositions that jobs of the future will require.  These skills will matter for all students, whether they have disabilities, are English learners, face poverty, experience homelessness, or belong to none of these student groups.

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Personalized Learning

Leading for Literacy: Creating a Culture of Literacy in Schools

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Posted:
March 03, 2017 02:30 pm

The following blog post was written by Ruth Schoenbach and Cynthia Greenleaf, co-directors of the WestEd Strategic Literacy Initiative. The opinions expressed in this blog post are theirs and should not be taken to represent the Alliance for Excellent Education.

The majority of our middle and high school students struggle to read and understand complex texts. This has consequences that reverberate far beyond the classroom. Poor literacy skills not only add to students dropping out of school or graduating from high school unprepared for the demands of college and work, they also diminish the ability of citizens to evaluate information critically, affecting many aspects of civic life including our very democracy.

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The Best Tool for Personalization Might Be Sitting Right Next to You

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Posted:
February 16, 2017 01:42 pm

The following blog post was written by Drew Schrader, director of assessment for New Tech Network (NTN). The opinions expressed in this blog post are Drew’s and should not be taken to represent the Alliance for Excellent Education.

We often assume an awful lot about the 20 percent of students that fall into the highest performing group in conventional instruction and an awful lot more about those that never do. What if a majority of students’ ability to learn at high levels has nothing to do with those assumptions but could be determined at an instructional design level?

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Science of Adolescent Learning: Debunking the Myth About Left-Brain/Right-Brain Learning Styles

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Posted:
December 14, 2016 09:34 am

The following blog post is part of the Alliance’s work on the potential impact the science of adolescent learning (SAL) can have on the educational experiences of secondary students. It is written by Kara Blacker, PhD, a distinguished science of adolescent learning fellow in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Her research focuses on the neural mechanisms of working memory and improving cognition through training.

We all have seen and (maybe taken) those quizzes on Facebook that ask us to answer ten questions to find out if we are left-brained or right-brained. But is there any scientific evidence behind this idea that our personalities, learning styles, or strengths are the result of an unbalanced brain? More importantly, how do these ideas influence educational practices? What happens when teachers buy into these ideas and students internalize these notions about themselves?

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SAL Resource, Science of Adolescent Learning, Science of Learning