Mrs. Gorman Changed My Life


Not in an awe-inspiring, mind-blowing, hoping-Disney-buys-the-movie-rights type of way. But she was a life-changing teacher nonetheless. She was my English teacher in 1985, during my 7th-grade year at Richardson North Jr. High School in Texas. Read more

The Power of Going Vertical


A great deal of our work to improve student learning is accomplished through powerful conversations at the team level. Collaborative teams answer the guiding question, “What do we want students to know and do?” by identifying essential standards and examples of proficiency in those standards. Read more

Clarity Precedes Competence—Applies to Kids Too!


When I do quick observations in classrooms, I’ve found that one simple question tells me more about the level of learning taking place than just about anything: “What are you supposed . . . Read more

What Teachers Need, Part 2


Teachers need to work in collaborative teams with their colleagues. Yet, traditionally teachers have worked in isolation. Never before in the history of American public education have teachers been asked—in fact, directed—to ensure higher learning... Read more

What Teachers Need, Part 1


Increasingly, states are adopting more intensive and complex teacher evaluation systems. While it is difficult to determine with any degree of accuracy the motivation behind these initiatives, . . . Read more

Assessing Principal Performance In a Professional Learning Community

We are frequently asked questions regarding the best ways to assess the performance of principals in a PLC. While recognizing that each district is unique, here are a few principal evaluation . . . Read more