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Pursuing Equity and Excellence Ten Principles and Practices to Promote Achievement for All Students Pedro A. Noguera, Ph.D. Graduate School of Education New York University I. Equity vs. Excellence: Competing or Compatible Goals? Principle #1 - Challenge the normalization of failure. Race and class should not predict achievement. Equity Defined - Equality of opportunity with attention to equality in results for all students School vision must combine equity and excellence Challenge low expectations and complacency Internal accountability Failure is not an option Principle #2 - Educational leaders must be the guardians of equity Schools must confront the ways in which some students are denied learning opportunities Tracking Teacher sorting Special education We must implement strategies to support the most vulnerable students Embrace Immigrant Students and their Culture Principle #3 - The academic success of immigrant students is contingent upon how they and their families are treated Tend to be over-represented among successful and at-risk students The amount of education they received prior to arriving in the US is significant Are they literate in their native language? There must be cultural/language competence among staff Acculturation process may produce conflict Schools need relationships with social service agencies and CBOs Demystify school success Principle #4 - Students must be provided clear guidance on what it takes to succeed Teach study skills Show and explain what excellent work looks like Provide academic and post high school counseling Teach “code switching” Develop career academies Discuss future plans early and expose students to options Build partnerships with parents Principle #5 – Build partnerships with parents shared interests Key Ingredients Train staff on how to communicate with parents Organize a variety of events and activities Provide clear guidance to parents on what they can do to support their children Keep in mind: The most important form of parental involvement occurs at home II. Shift the Paradigm: Focusing on cultivating confidence and competence in all students Practice #1 – Align discipline practices to educational goals Get buy-in from all staff on expectations and norms Address underlying causes of behavior problems Address social and emotional needs of students Focus on ethics, values and character development and connect students to learning Employ adults with moral authority Utilize consequences that are meaningful and reconnect students to learning Restorative justice Re-think Remediation Practice #2 – Monitor learning and intervene early Use data to track performance and to identify areas where improvement is needed Provide extended learning opportunities after school, summer school Evaluate remediation programs for quality and effectiveness Recognize: homework is an equity issue Move from remediation to acceleration by Diagnostic assessment of learning needs Personalization of interventions Providing access to an enriched, rigorous curriculum Effective Teaching Strategies for Reducing Academic Disparities Active learning, interactive classroom Moving away from the cemetery model Teaching within the zone of proximal development Constructivist, inquiry-based pedagogical strategies Simulations Socratic seminars Project based learning Experiential learning Student leadership in the classroom Public presentations of student work Interventions that work Practice #3 - Increase access to and support in rigorous courses Double period algebra AVID, Young Black Scholars Accelerated summer school Upward Bound, MESA Transition classes, Puente Access to rigorous courses: International Baccalaureate, Project SEED Additional Interventions Practice #4 - Build strong relationships between teachers and students to improve behavior and achievement Engage students through extracurricular activities Coordinate services with community partners: nutrition, healthcare, counseling Consider: block scheduling, small learning communities, developing an advisory system Provide targeted mentoring for “at-risk” youth Create opportunities for youth leadership and civic engagement Teaching and Learning at Your School Practice #5 We must teach the way students learn rather than expecting them to learn the way we teach Teachers must be encouraged to take responsibility for student learning and focus on mastery and performance Teachers must must constantly look for evidence of learning and reflect on their practice Teachers must view the work produced by students as a reflection of their teaching Teachers must limit the amount of time students are engaged in passive learning and increase opportunities for active learning
"In Pursuit of Equity and Excellence in Education"