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ANet is a nonprofit dedicated to the premise that every child in America deserves an excellent education and the opportunities it provides. We pursue our vision of educational equality in America by helping schools boost student learning with great teaching that is grounded in standards, informed by data, and built on the successful practices of educators around the country.

ANet blog

As a mission-driven nonprofit organization, our primary concern is helping ensure equitable opportunity for all students.

Working alongside schools, we’ve learned that great teaching is grounded in standards, data, and insights shared among educators. We believe a blog can help us make a difference by spreading the ideas and effective practices of educators we work with.

We’re proud of the expertise our team has built over our ten years, and we'll be featuring contributions from ANetters across the org on topics in which they’ve immersed themselves.

Help us spread opportunity for all students: please share posts that you find valuable with your colleagues. And please add your thoughts in the comments: we would love this blog to facilitate knowledge-sharing in all directions.

Leveraging assessments for instructional change

Becky Frutos

Most educators agree that assessments shouldn’t be a “departure from instruction” but, rather, an “integral part of it.” They’re on board with changing the conversation around assessments from student scores to what students have learned, and many agree that teachers should take the assessment. 


However, in light of the ever-increasing demands on the time of teachers and leaders, the questions become when can this work be done? And, is this work truly worth it? 

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The Mildred Avenue K - 8 School rises from Level 3 to Level 1

Becky Frutos

Among the twelve schools in the Boston Public Schools system to achieve Level 1 status this year was Mildred Avenue K–8 School, which rose to the top for meeting assessment targets. Remarkably, Mildred Avenue progressed to level one from the first percentile—the only school in Massachusetts to do so over the last five years.

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The Wild West of open literacy resources: 3. Quality and reflection matter

Becky Frutos

In this post, we want to share a case study of two Chicago teachers’ approach to using the open-source materials offered by the Vermont Writing Collaborative.  

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More pain. More hope.

Jeff Odell

An email from CEO Mora Segal to the ANet team.

 

Tyree King. Keith Lamont Scott. Terrence Crutcher. 

My heart is heavy at the start of this work day as we’re faced, yet again, with the brutal consequences of racism in America. At least 214 black people killed by police in 2016. I will be honest in saying that I find myself, again, at a loss for words, and struggling with so many questions about what to do

As I grapple with how to make sense of senselessness, my mind keeps wandering back to an interaction I observed last week. 

I was in DC and got to sit in on a coaching interaction with a charter school. At one point, there was a knock on the door. It was a 6th grade girl who looked at the five adults in the room with surprise and immediate shyness. The director of curriculum and instruction said, “Serena! Don’t worry about us, how can I help you?” Serena [name changed to respect confidentiality] asked if she could borrow another book from the instructional leader’s overflowing shelves of options. “You finished the last one already?” the leader asked her with surprised delight. Serena nodded with an ear-to-ear grin.  

After Serena picked out a thick book and proudly shared its title with us, she thanked the leader and left. The leader smiled at all of us, put her hand to her heart, and explained that she had Serena when she was in 2nd grade. Back then, her literacy skills were two grade levels behind where they needed to be, and she would not willingly pick up a book. As of this past year, she is now reading at grade level; and she’s shown up at this leader’s door two times in four days because she just loves to read.

As this interaction with Serena unfolded, I found myself thinking, “THIS is what we are in this for.” 

 

I share this story with you all not to change the subject or to sugar coat the current circumstances. I share it with you because it’s what’s giving me energy this morning to show up and do what I can to support as many stories like Serena’s as possible. This morning she is my hope, and you all—doing all the hard work you do to support her and her peers—are my inspiration.

Mora

 

Banner image by Ankur Sharma, CC BY-SA 2.0

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The Wild West of open literacy resources: 1. Quality matters

Jeff Odell

We’ve all been there: You’re scrambling to prepare a lesson and you think, "Why reinvent the wheel? Let’s check the interwebs." You google your topic and…28,000,000 results pop up. How on Earth do you decide what might be worth using with your students?

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Integrating planning and PD saves time, gets results

Jeff Odell

If there’s one thing teachers and school leaders are short on, it’s time.

That's what led Marilyn McCottrell to streamline her sessions with her teachers. Instead of carving out separate times for professional development and curriculum planning, she’s found a way to enable teachers and leaders to tackle both of these critical aspects of their work at the same time.

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