Michael Haggen, Chief Academic Officer, Scholastic Education, shares his predictions for the top education stories in 2017.
(Be sure to see our roundup of the top stories of 2016!)
Equity in Education
The Teacher & Principal School Report: Equity in Education shares what teachers and principals from across the country are saying about barriers to equity in education, and conversations are starting to happen around solutions. To support equity, we have to begin with the whole child and the whole family. From California to Maine, schools are looking to reduce barriers to education for students and their families. Data can play a key role in creating strategies. Before turnaround schools implement a plan to support teachers, principals, students and families, they conduct a needs analysis. This data identifies what each school community needs in order to support equity for its students.
School Choice & Charter Schools
At the heart of any conversation around equity in education is the question of student access to resources. In 2017, access will focus largely on school choice and charter schools. While publicly-funded charter schools are currently an option for many low-income children, in 2017 watch for expanded programs that provide vouchers for students to attend private and parochial schools, as well other educational funding options.
Highly Effective Teaching
Teachers require not only professional learning for product implementation, but deeper training around effective teaching practices. Teachers and principals want ongoing, embedded professional learning that has modeling and measures for effectiveness.
More and more districts are selecting a balanced literacy approach to English Language Arts. Teachers want to expose their students to more authentic text and nonfiction books. As districts set literacy goals, they also recognize that effective implementation depends on meaningful family and community engagement, as well as professional development for educators. Families and community partners must have a seat at the table for the creation of a literacy plan designed to support all students.
We are preparing students to be college- and career-ready, and we must also prepare them for college completion. Teaching our students to be critical thinkers and having teachers facilitate more than stand-and-deliver style of instruction allows for students to learn from each other and challenge their own thinking. Once students have critical-thinking skills, they are able to take on any academic challenge and succeed.