Tagged “Policy”

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Whole Child Across the States: How Are We Doing?

Since 2007, ASCD's Whole Child approach to education has advocated for a comprehensive strategy to learning and development that ensures each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. We believe that when entire communities attend to both the in-school factors and out-of-school influences that affect learning, children will flourish. Over the past several years, we've raised awareness about the whole child approach to education; shared resources to help schools, districts, and communities implement this approach; and seen schools and communities experience the benefits of their whole child practices.

But how well are we, as a nation, supporting the whole child? On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we explore ASCD's Whole Child Snapshots and how they can be used to prompt conversations about how well states support the whole child, where they need to improve, and what strategies can help them meet the comprehensive needs of children.

Listen to the episode below or download here.

Panelists

  • Elizabeth Brito has served as the executive director of Rhode Island ASCD since 2001. Under her leadership, the organization has been the state's leading voice for a whole child approach to education. Prior to retirement from public education in 1998, Brito served as English department chair for the Bristol Warren Regional School District. During her tenure there, she chaired a teacher-led "Thinking/Learning/Study Skills" task force that engaged students and parents in active learning strategies that could be applied across the content areas. This involvement ultimately lead to a Blue Ribbon Award for the school and a Christa McAuliffe Fellowship award for Brito. Follow Rhode Island ASCD on Twitter @riascd.
  • Josh Garcia is deputy superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools in Washington State. He received ASCD's Outstanding Young Educator Award in 2013 and is currently a member of the ASCD Board of Directors. Throughout his career as a high school math teacher, principal, and administrator, Garcia has worked mainly in urban settings, serving the most vulnerable learners. He has developed a preK–12 standards-based instruction, grading, reporting, and assessment system; a sustainable and comprehensive K–12 instructional coaching model; a districtwide differentiated professional development model; and an accountability model that measures how healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged students are in school. Connect with Garcia on Twitter @Garciaj9Josh.
  • David Griffith is the senior director of public policy at ASCD where he leads the association's efforts to influence education decision-making at the local, state, and federal levels and oversees the development and implementation of the association's legislative agenda. Previously, he was the director of governmental and public affairs for the National Association of State Boards of Education. Griffith has also served as an aide to Representatives Joe Kolter and Robert Torricelli. He received his bachelor's degree from Villanova University and his master's degree in education from the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education.
  • Melissa Mellor is ASCD's manager of public policy outreach. In this role she helps to engage ASCD members in education advocacy and promotes education policies that support the whole child. Previously, she worked on high school redesign initiatives at the Council of Chief State School Officers and researched state education policy issues at Education Week's Editorial Projects in Education. Mellor received her bachelor's degree from Wake Forest University and her master's degree in public relations and corporate communications from Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies.

Next Steps for Supporting the Whole Child Approach

The Whole Child Snapshots aim to prompt exploration and action in support of students' learning, development, and well-being. Educators, families, and the public can use the following suggestions to improve their community's approach to whole child education.

Communicate

  • Discuss the information in the snapshot with your friends, colleagues, community members, and policymakers.

Implement

  • Refer to the snapshot's action steps for initial ideas on how communities can work together to support the whole child.
  • Check out ASCD's school-level indicators for details on how schools can help ensure that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
  • Use ASCD's School Improvement Tool, a free online needs assessment survey, to measure your school's or district's performance on the whole child indicators and components.
  • Access additional resources, including examples of schools that support the whole child and podcasts on whole child topics.
  • Schedule a free consultation with ASCD to see what online, on-site, or blended professional development solutions can help you improve in the areas where you face the most challenges.

Advocate

  • Read ASCD's legislative agenda, which outlines the association's public policy priorities. ASCD's 2015 Legislative Agenda calls on federal policymakers to establish a broader, more ambitious national goal that moves beyond college, career, and citizenship readiness to the successful development of the whole child at every level of the education system.
  • Learn how some states and districts are developing and using next-generation accountability systems with multiple metrics that complement a whole child approach to education.
  • Get a whole child resolution introduced in your state or district. Access a resolution webinar, sample resolution language, and a resolution checklist.

What does supporting a whole child approach to education look like in your state?

 

Podcast Whole Child Symposium

Town Hall Discussion: Bringing the Questions Together

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The decisions we make today—for our systems, our schools, and our classrooms—will affect what all of our tomorrows will look like tomorrow. This month ASCD launches its inaugural Whole Child Symposium—a conversation about the future of education comprising three events over eight weeks that includes not only some of the leading educators and thinkers, but also you and your voice.

On March 16 at ASCD's 69th Annual Conference & Exhibit Show in Los Angeles, Calif., ASCD's Sean Slade and a panel of education experts discussed our driving questions:

  • Choosing Your Tomorrow Today: What does this phrase mean to you? What do you think is most important? What word has the greatest impact, the greatest potential, and the greatest need?
  • The Future of Schooling: Where are we? Each idea sounds plausible and is probably in the midst of coming true somewhere in the world. Has it or is it coming true? Is the writing on the wall? What can or should we do?

Read more »

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Early Childhood Education: Balancing Expectations and What Young Learners Really Need

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What does "education" mean for our youngest learners? The first years of school are as important for an educated population as any other period, perhaps more. Additionally, research shows that implementation of high-quality preschool programs can be beneficial for the lifelong development of children in low-income families and that an upfront commitment to early education provides returns to society that are many times more valuable than the original investment.

With the current focus on standards and academic achievement, is learning and testing coming too early? Curriculum and assessment should be based on the best knowledge of theory and research about how children develop and learn, with attention given to individual children's needs and interests within a group and in relation to program goals. In this episode, we discuss the importance of early childhood education and the specific social, cognitive, and emotional needs these learners have that are different from those of older learners. You'll hear from

  • Thomas Armstrong is an award-winning author and speaker with more than 40 years of teaching experience from the primary through the doctoral level. More than 1 million copies of his books are in print on issues related to learning and human development, including the 2012 ASCD book, Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Achieve Success in School and Life.
  • Laura Bornfreund is a senior policy analyst for the New America Foundation's Early Education Initiative. Bornfreund examines early education (birth through grade 3) studies and policies and researches and writes original policy papers. She contributes to Early Ed Watch, the Early Education Initiative's blog, writing on a variety of education policy topics including the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; federal education grant programs; teacher preparation, retention, and support; kindergarten; and early childhood assessment.
  • Walter McKenzie is a lifelong learner, teacher, leader, and connector. A director of Constituent Services for ASCD, McKenzie served 25 years in public education as a classroom teacher, instructional technology coordinator, director of technology, and assistant superintendent for information services. He is internationally known for his work on multiple intelligences and technology and has published various books and articles on the subject.
  • Jennifer Orr is a 1st-grade teacher at Annandale Terrace Elementary School in Fairfax County, Va. A National Board Certified Teacher in middle childhood, Orr has taught 4th, 5th, and 1st grades since 1998. In 2012 she received the International Society for Technology in Education's Kay L. Bitter Vision Award for being a K–2 educator bringing technology into the classroom effectively and with innovation. She is also an ASCD Emerging Leader and member of its 2013 class.
  • Wendy Ostroff is a cognitive psychology, child development, and metacognition expert and author of the 2012 ASCD book, Understanding How Young Children Learn: Bringing the Science of Child Development to the Classroom. Ostroff has been developing curricula on children’s learning for the past 15 years in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University; in the Department of Education and Child Study at Smith College; and, most recently, as associate professor in the program for the Advancement of Learning at Curry College.

If early childhood is where we begin to build skills and behaviors such as persistence, empathy, collaboration, and problem solving, are we teaching in developmentally appropriate ways?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Great Expectations: Transforming Practice Through Common Core Implementation

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We as educators have a unique opportunity to reset the playing field and make the Common Core State Standards work for us. We can implement the standards, align them to a whole child approach to education, and ensure that they both support and enhance each other to prepare students for college, career, and citizenship success. The Common Core standards and a whole child approach are not opposites, and they do not have to be and should not be in opposition. In fact, they're interdependent. So much so, that they require each other to be successful.

Now is the time for us to take control and become empowered in the process. The outcomes will depend on what we decide to do for the Common Core standards within a whole child approach and how we decide to do it. In this episode, host Molly McCloskey and our guests discuss how our schools are working to better and more comprehensively support student learning so that they meet these enhanced expectations. You'll hear from

  • Arnold Fege, president of Public Advocacy for Kids and, recently, director of public engagement and advocacy for the Public Education Network where he covered education reform, parental involvement, and community engagement issues on the Hill and agencies, specializing in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Fege has more than 40 years of public education and child advocacy experience as a public school teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and desegregation director. He was the National PTA's director of governmental relations for 17 years and is recognized for his leading work and articles in linking school and community. As a staff person for Senator Robert F. Kennedy, he helped draft provisions in the original ESEA legislation and has been involved in every reauthorization of ESEA since that time.
  • Craig Mertler, professor and dean of the Ross College of Education at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., and guest author this month on the Whole Child Blog. Mertler has been an educator for more than 25 years, beginning his career as a high school science teacher, then pursuing degrees in education assessment, research, and statistics. His interests lie in teacher-led action research, teacher leadership, classroom assessment, data-driven instructional decision making, and school improvement.
  • David Griffith, director of public policy at ASCD who leads the development and implementation of ASCD's Legislative Agenda as well as ASCD's efforts to influence education decision making at the local, state, and federal levels. He has 20 years of political experience as a congressional aide and on several political campaigns. Prior to joining ASCD, Griffith was the director of governmental and public affairs for the National Association of State Boards of Education, where he oversaw the organization's advocacy and political activities as well as media relations.

How are you and your professional colleagues critically examining your practice as we enter the era of Common Core implementation?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Fair and Effective Teacher Evaluation

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Teacher quality is the most important in-school factor that influences student learning and achievement. Research shows that students with high-performing teachers can progress three times as fast as students with low-performing teachers and each student deserves access to highly effective teachers in every subject. In turn, all teachers deserve a fair and accurate assessment of their skills, how they perform in the classroom, and how they can improve. Teacher effectiveness is dependent on accurate and fair evaluations based on multiple measures, including—but not solely based around—their students' performance in the subjects they teach.

Teachers should be evaluated based on their performance in their own subject area using a range of criteria, including observations, peer reviews, parental or student input, and analysis of agreed-on student learning evidence. In this episode, we discuss effective teacher evaluation that produces results that truly benefit students, schools, and educators. You'll hear from

If the ultimate goal of teacher evaluation is to improve student performance, what should evaluators look for?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

The Future of Assessment

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The true measure of students' proficiency and readiness for college, career, and citizenship has to be based on more than just their scores on any state standardized reading and math assessments. It has to be based on valid, reliable, multiple sources of information. In 2002, the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act (the revision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) required more tests and it raised the stakes of those tests by meting out sanctions if students failed to reach each state's minimum levels of improvement. The emphasis of the law really was on documenting proficiency, and unfortunately that did not necessarily translate into improving assessment overall. When ESEA is reauthorized in the coming years, testing is likely to remain a key part of the law.

In our Assessment 101 show, we looked at the meaning and purpose of assessment, the different types, and how they are used to monitor student progress, provide timely feedback (or not), adjust teaching-learning activities, and contribute to student achievement overall. In this episode, we discuss the future of assessment and how the current accountability model must evolve from one that is punitive, prescriptive, and often overly bureaucratic to one that is truly learning-driven, informative, promotes supportive learning communities and cultures of continual improvement, and rewards achievement. You'll hear from

  • Susan Brookhart, an ASCD Faculty member, author, and senior research associate in the School of Education at Duquesne University. Brookhart has spent the last 20 years studying and writing about classroom assessment and specializes in combining research-based strategies and practical applications, working with classroom teachers and administrators to customize strategies for their schools.
  • Deborah Gist, the Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education and member of the governing board of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, a consortium of states working together to develop a common set of K–12 assessments in English and math anchored in college- and career-readiness. Gist began her career as an elementary school teacher in Texas and has also served as a senior policy analyst at the U.S. Department of Education.
  • David Griffith, the director of public policy at ASCD who leads the development and implementation of ASCD's legislative agenda as well as ASCD's efforts to influence educational decision making at the local, state, and federal levels. He has 20 years of political experience as a congressional aide and on several political campaigns. Prior to joining ASCD, Griffith was the director of governmental and public affairs for the National Association of State Boards of Education, where he oversaw the organization's advocacy and political activities as well as media relations.

What is your vision for the future of assessment?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Assessment 101

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The reality in the United States right now is that we focus extensively on test scores and far too little on the whole child. We then choose one-size-fits-all fixes based on those test scores while ignoring solid research about the infinite ways kids learn and children develop. The true measure of students’ proficiency and readiness for college, career, and citizenship must be based on more than just their scores on any state standardized reading and math assessments. It has to be based on valid, reliable information from multiple sources.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we're taking a look at the meaning and purpose of assessment; the different types, including formative and summative, standardized and subjective, and informal and formal; and how assessments are used to monitor student progress, provide timely feedback, and adjust teaching-learning activities to maximize student progress. What should we know that assessments can’t do for us? What should we think about when we look at that data, assess its meaning, and decide how to use it for future planning? You'll hear from

  • Nancy Frey, professor of literacy in the School of Teacher Education at San Diego State University and coauthor of several ASCD books, including The Formative Assessment Action Plan and Checking for Understanding: Formative Assessment Techniques for Your Classroom.
  • Tom Whitby, adjunct professor at St. Joseph's College and founder of #Edchat, which has been recognized with an Edublog Award for the Most Influential Educational Twitter Series.
  • Peter DeWitt, principal of Poestenkill Elementary in New York, consultant for the International Center for Leadership in Education, and author of the Finding Common Ground blog for Education Week and the upcoming book Dignity for All: Safeguarding LGBT Students.

Follow host Molly McCloskey and our guests on Twitter @Molsmcc, @NancyFrey, @tomwhitby, and @PeterMDeWitt and share your thoughts on assessment. In January's episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we will continue the conversation by looking at what the future of assessments should be.

How do we demonstrate our high expectations of students—and ourselves—through our curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Future Directions: Examining the Blueprint for Reauthorizing ESEA

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The federal government recently released the blueprint for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This document broadly outlines the Obama administration's vision for changes to the legislation and the federal government's role in education. Decisions about the reauthorization of ESEA will have serious implications for educational policy and practice at all levels and will set the course for the national approach to education. Will it be a whole child approach to education?

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, learn more about the direction of the ESEA Blueprint and what it means for the whole child, educators, and families. You'll hear from ASCD's public policy director, David Griffith, and two practitioners from Newport News (Va.) Public Schools: elementary school principal Brian Nichols and 5th grade teacher Christine Steigleman.

We want to hear from you! What do you think of the ESEA Blueprint, and what would the proposed changes to the legislation mean for students, educators, and families in your school and community? Share your reactions and questions in the comments.

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