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Dharma Hernandez

Dharma Hernandez's Public Library

  • School systems are not helping teachers understand how to improve—or even that they have room to improve at all. Teachers need clear information about their strengths and weaknesses to improve their instruction, but many don’t seem to be getting that information. The vast majority of teachers in the districts we studied are rated Effective or Meeting Expectations or higher,11 even as student outcomes in these districts fall far short of where they need to be. Perhaps it is no surprise, then, that less than half of teachers surveyed agreed they had weaknesses in their instruction.12
  • In addition to principals and assistant principals, for every 14 to 37 teachers across the districts we studied, there is one full-time equivalent staff member directly supporting teachers.
  • The problem is our indifference to its impact—that all this help doesn’t appear to be helping all that much.

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  • Expanding
  • . Justifying/arguinga. Justify opinions and positions or per-suade others by making connections be-tween ideas and articulating relevant textual evidence or background knowledge
  • Expanding

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  • Good teachers understand that for students, the mere act of receiving the feedback that they do not know something begins the process of "learning by trying to learn." This reveals the true nature of formative assessment.
  • What is the best way for teachers to keep assessment in perspective with all of their other duties?
  • For example a simple exit slip done every day, will reveal the likely misunderstandings and misconceptions that have the may block student progress.

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  • Reading is mercilessly cumulative.
  • By reading texts in history/social studies, science, and other disciplines, students build a foundation of knowledge in these fields that will also give them the background to be better readers in all content areas. Students can only gain this foundation when the curriculum is intentionally and coherently structured to develop rich content knowledge within and across grades.”
  • When schools fail to address gaps in knowledge and language, the deficits widen—a phenomenon that cognitive scientist Keith Stanovich calls the “Matthew Effect,” after a passage in the Gospel of Matthew: “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”

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