September 30, 2016
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From NCTAF's Blog


Turning the System Upside Down

The National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future is calling for educational systems’ changes that put in place the conditions that allow teachers to excel in their practice. The Commission recognizes that support for and investment in teaching can allow this country to fulfill a promise that every student has access to great teaching and learning regardless of their background, zip code or learning ability. These changes need to turn the tide from a top-down system to a bottom up system that is driven by the needs and voices of students and educators.

In Flint, an Investment in Teachers Helps Students Rise Above Challenges

With all of the bad news that has come out of Flint in recent years, it has been all too easy to overlook the successes of our city’s brightest lights—its children. As Superintendent of Flint Community Schools, it is my belief that schools can and must be a sanctuary of safety and possibility for all of the young people in their care, even as the city around them struggles. So it’s with tremendous pride that I get to do a little bragging about the resilient students and amazing teachers of this community.

Study Finds Common Traits in Successful Inclusive STEM Schools

Five years ago, researchers at the George Washington University, SRI International, and George Mason University began a study of inclusive STEM high schools that target underrepresented minority students. The National Science Foundation-funded study, “Opportunity Structures for Preparation and Inspiration,” is nearly complete and researchers have identified 14 critical components that eight exemplary inclusive STEM high schools had in common. They also prepared a toolkit to help schools self-assess their STEM programs, using the inclusive STEM schools in this study as exemplars.

Big-City Schools Start New Year with Renewed Focus, featuring NCTAF Commissioner Richard Carranza

Ending suspensions and finding alternative methods to keep students in the classroom as well as offering students high-tech computer courses are just two priorities for big-city school districts kicking off the 2016-2017 school year. Here’s a roundup of other initiatives urban school systems across the nation are offering.



News Digest


10/6 EduTalk Radio, featuring NCTAF's Elizabeth Foster

As more schools and districts across the country continue to rethink their systems to deliver personalized learning to each student, the need for aligned policies and best practices is greater than ever. In fall 2015, KnowledgeWorks interviewed over 70 educators from across the country to better understand how they were able to shift their practices towards personalized learning. Tune in on Thursday, October 6 at 9:00am ET here to hear NCTAF’s Elizabeth Foster, and Jesse Owens and Sarah Jenkins from KnowledgeWorks.


10/11 Webinar: The Shifting Paradigm of Teaching: How Lessons from the Classroom Inform System Design, featuring NCTAF's Elizabeth Foster 


Register Today!

Personalized education is possible for students throughout the country, but it needs to happen from all levels of the system: from practices in the classroom to leadership support from district offices to supportive state and federal policies.

On Tuesday, October 11 at 11:00am ET, KnowledgeWorks' webinar will answer your questions about what personalized ed looks like from the perspectives of educators. A teacher, principal, and district leader will participate along with NCTAF’s Elizabeth Foster, and Jesse Owens and Sarah Jenkins from KnowledgeWorks. Follow the discussion on Twitter using hashtag #PersonalizedEd.


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An Interview with Linda Darling-Hammond, NCTAF Commissioner

Linda Darling-Hammond founded and currently leads the Learning Policy Institute in Palo Alto, Calif, and is a professor emeritus of education at Stanford University. She also founded the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and helped redesign the Stanford Teacher Education Program. After President Barack Obama was elected, she headed the transition team on education policy. EdSurge’s Betsy Corcoran chatted with Darling-Hammond last week.

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching 2017 Summit, featuring NCTAF Commissioner Jeff Duncan-Andrade

Be a part of the exciting community of innovators at the 2017 Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education, on March 27-29, 2017. Register here.
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