"This may mean we've gotten all the octane we can out of our current math teaching force," says Amy Wilkins, a vice president at the Education Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing achievement gaps. "What can we do to get more really good math teachers not only into the profession, but into high-poverty and high-minority schools?" In middle school, she notes - where overall scores improved slightly but the achievement gap remained the same - students of color are much less likely than other kids to be taught math by teachers with a math background.
In the global sense, EdTrust President Kati Haycock has it right. Mixing both optimism and concern, Haycock concludes, "It's clear from the data at both grade levels that we still have a long way to go to effectively prepare all of our elementary and middle school students for the world that awaits them in high school and beyond." Yes, we have miles to go before we sleep, and we cannot be content with where the latest numbers leave us.
"It's clear from the data at both grade levels that we still have a long way to go to effectively prepare all of our elementary and middle school students for the world that awaits them in high school and beyond," Kati Haycock, president of Washington D.C.-based think tank Education Trust, said in a statement.
Daria Hall, director of K-12 policies with The Education Trust, based in Washington, D.C., said that schools like Tohatchi "are proof positive that when we organize for student success, low-income and English language learning students can perform at high levels."
But perhaps now that the Obama administration has not only embraced the idea but is requiring that states hoping to get a piece of the US Department of Education's $4.35 billion Race to the Top grant money must be willing to link teacher evaluations to student performance, the AFT has decided they'd better get a hand in this game. "This is a real about-face, especially after they put up a firewall in New York State to prevent districts from using student test scores when evaluating teachers," said Amy Wilkins of Education Trust, a nonprofit education reform group.
I was lucky enough to have been trained by The Ed Trust in assessing assessments and about how to approach teaching underprivileged children. Ed Trust is not an advocate of the curriculum reaching children - rather, they want us to teach the children how to reach the curriculum. In other words, the content of the curriculum and our ability to have the students get it is much more important that simply watering it down so that they can easily access it. That, too , was refreshing to hear.
Now what? A Brookings Institution report urges caution with the idea of having all 8th graders take algebra: there are profound questions about the feasibility of an “algebra for all” policy until we know how to reduce the number of underprepared students and how to effectively teach algebra to students who struggle with basic arithmetic. Sounds good, but the same project includes the testimony of Kati Haycock from the Education Trust:
Who: Georgia business leaders and policymakers; keynote address by John Winn, former Florida Commissioner of Education under Gov. Jeb Bush; panel discussions with Kati Haycock of the Education Trust, George Leef of the Pope Center for Higher Education Research, Matthew Ladner of the Goldwater Institute and Gerard Robinson of the Black Alliance for Educational Options
The Education Trust recently highlighted Norfork Elementary School for its academic success rate as an Equity Express Fast Fact. The article noted that the performance of the school’s students is especially impressive when the levels of parental education and poverty are considered.