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In this blog post, Opportunity Youth expert Mamadou Ndiaye discusses Paul Tough's new book and the importance of executive functions as key to helping former dropouts become prepared college students in three years or less.More
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This month we bring you a superintendent’s thoughts on creating a system of customized pathways across a district, and blogs and webinars on grit and student ownership of their education.More
Too often in education, we talk about what is best for students without actually speaking with the students themselves. One of the four student-centered approaches to learning as defined by Students at the Center is: “Embracing the learner’s experience and learning theory as the starting point of education”. Let’s remember to invite students through the “fourth wall” by enabling them to shape their learning, engage in discussions about learning strategies, and share what they feel is a truly “student-centered” experience.More
In Sara Mosle’s Oct. 27 piece in The New York Times’ Opinionator column, Teaching Lessons, she writes: “Teachers can’t go it alone. They need sustained training and support using empirically tested methods in concert and collaboration with one another. This is how schools succeed.” This simple declaration is not only powerful, but true. There are a number of factors that enable a professional development (PD) experience of real value for educators—Ms. Mosle gets to the heart of the matter in writing about the difference she experienced when she went to a school that “took PD seriously.”More
Discussions of student-centered learning strategies continue to permeate education conversations – and for good reason. To prepare our future as a nation in an increasingly global and fast-changing society, our educational system is needed to enable all students to learn, not just some. This month we bring you news, a new video from the spring symposium, and upcoming announcements about new publications and resources.More
Education Week featured a fascinating piece on student motivation in their “Focus On” section. New Studies show that any stress or distraction takes up working memory and the ability to focus – which can contribute to what educators may misdiagnose as “boredom”. For more research on Motivation, see Eric Toshalis and Michael Nakkula’s paper on Motivation, Engagement, and Student Voice.More
With the momentum started at the Students at the Center symposium in spring 2012, and the priority Race to the Top places on student-centered learning strategies, we have a great opportunity to inform practice like never before. This newsletter will feature updates on the project, news, new research, and promising practices regarding student-centered learning strategies.More
On Friday, October 5, I participated virtually in the Education Week-sponsored meeting, Ed Tech 2013: Powering Up Success. As I'm based in Boston and the event took place in Detroit, I was happy to have a low-cost way to participate. The conference proved to be engaging and informative. The agenda was packed with experts; but more importantly, it featured practitioner leaders from the field speaking candidly about the benefits and challenges of transitioning districts from a face-to-face to a blended-school model.More
In a fortunate turn, advances in research and theory are emerging at a long-awaited moment in U.S. education: the agreement of 46 states and the District of Columbia to adopt the Common Core State Standards. The standards were developed with the recognition that global socioeconomic imperatives, combined with the dizzying pace of technological innovation, create new urgency for the development of engaging and challenging ways to educate our nation’s young people.More
As a participant in this year's Black Male Summit at the U.S. Department of Education, I was impressed by the wide range of perspectives offered to structure and protect equitable academic and social pathways for African-American males in the United States. I was also impressed by the tone of the conversation. The focus on African-American males moved beyond the ongoing crisis narrative to solutions.More

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