In a new piece for The 74, I argue we know a fair amount about how students learn to read, but much less about how to deliver reading instruction. That’s an important distinction and has implications for how we think about fixing the problem. I conclude:
Another lesson might be that reforms focusing on individual teachers aren’t the right lever to change reading instruction. It seems at least plausible that improving the instructional materials schools use to teach reading might be more effective than trying to shift the opinions and lesson plans of millions of individual classroom teachers.
On that front, this new deck from Bellwether synthesizes a broad body of research on the science of learning and takes a deep dive into what it would take to put that research into practice. I can’t do it justice here, so please go read it.
This Jill Barshay piece on critical thinking skills strikes a similar chord. People don’t just think critically; they have to think critically about something.
Teacher residency programs face unique financial and programmatic challenges. Read how Bellwether supported Kansas City Teacher Residency through a strategic planning process.
There’s a cottage industry of think pieces about a coming “retirement security crisis,” but the truth is that as a group the elderly are doing comparatively well. In contrast, Matt Bruenig writes that, “when looking at disposable income, children are the largest group of poor people in the country.”
Paul Tough on the welders versus philosophers debate. He writes, “The [welder] salaries that make headlines in The Wall Street Journal are somewhere between rare and apocryphal.”
A new study on the Tennessee pre-k expansion found important differences across participants, concluding that, “Among children living in high-poverty neighborhoods, those who took up an experimental assignment to attend preK scored over half a standard deviation higher on average than the control group in third grade. In contrast, preK enrollment had, if anything, a negative effect on third-grade reading achievement among children living in low-poverty neighborhoods.”
Sarah Whiting reflects on pledges as a way to extend internal practices around diversity, equity and inclusion.
–Guest post by Chad Aldeman