Student Engagement and Closing the Opportunity Gap


As I read Read by Examples post, I am reminded of similar thoughts from the past several weeks.

Christopher Danielson’s statement – Students can. We should let them.


A discussion at the state Teacher Advisory Councile – when we impose our (school/district) goals on students are we empowering them or limiting them?


Knowing our students.

Taking time to have real conversations.

Pursuing passions.

Reading By Example

We hear about the achievement gap, or the word gap, and then we expect public schools to fix these situations. Solutions in the past have included extending the school day, increasing expectations through common standards, and holding schools and educators accountable for student learning through high-stakes tests.


However, these gaps were created before many students even took their first steps through the school doors. Teachers and school leaders become the scapegoats for these societal ills that really demand a larger and more complex conversation as a country. Yet being the people that educators are, they roll up their sleeves and quietly serve not only as teacher but also as counselor, parent, community outreach coordinator, and social worker.

Focusing on gaps creates problems. First, this work takes a deficit-based approach, where students lacking knowledge or skills can be viewed as less than capable than their higher-achieving peers. Subsequently, the students…

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