Blog

Peers Helping Peers

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Five summers ago, my professional life was permanently changed when I attended my first PLC conference. I frankly went with an attitude of “here we go again . . . ,” having been . . . Read more

Solving the Puzzle of Success

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When I was growing up, Rubik’s Cubes were popular. The toy had colored sides, and you were to mix up the colors by turning the sides over and over again. Once the colors had been mixed up, . . . Read more

Pouring Rather Than Splashing

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As a new mathematics teacher at Centennial High School, I quickly learned it was important to ask students who their teacher had been the previous year. Teachers in algebra “made it . . . Read more

Lessons Learned From an Unlikely "PLC"

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My favorite time of year is when the National Hockey League play-offs are in full swing. I absolutely love the intensity, grit, and laser-like focus on winning that hockey teams demonstrate during . . . Read more

Famous Foursomes

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Throughout history, there have been many examples of well-known groups of four, such as: The Four Seasons, a mid-1960s pop band led by Frankie Valli The Fantastic Four, the fictional . . . Read more

Focusing on What Matters

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I currently serve as director of secondary curriculum for Papillion-La Vista Public Schools. About eight years ago, the district began to learn about and ultimately implement professional learning . . . Read more

PLC Speakers Video Playlist

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Here’s a great new resource for PLC admins and teachers: a playlist of speakers discussing the various aspects of PLCs. You can scroll through the videos below, or visit the playlist page on . . . Read more

New Study Highlights Importance of Collaborative Inquiry

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A study from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), published last November, offers school perspectives on the benefits of New York City’s data-informed collaborative inquiry process. Since 2006, policymakers have been refining a citywide collaborative inquiry model in which… Read more

Congratulations Marc Johnson! 2011 AASA Superintendent of the Year

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Earlier today we featured the great success of the Sanger Unified School District. Sanger was chosen by the DuFours because in 2003, Superintendent Marc Johnson had a vision—to improve . . . Read more

From Lowest in District to Best in State: Lakeridge Junior High School

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In 2002, Lakeridge Junior High in Orem, Utah, was the lowest performing junior high school in the Alpine School District. When the staff committed to full implementation of the PLC process, student achievement began… Read more

Which School Improvement Approach Works?

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It seems to me that there are three competing approaches to school improvement in the United States today that are based on very different assumptions… Read more

Addressing Differences

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In my previous blog, Two Different "Schools" of Thought, I reported that one of my fans has made it quite clear that his perspective on the purpose of schooling, the responsibilities of educators, and the indicators of a quality school are very different than those I espouse. How might we explore… Read more

Where Will You Put Your Energy?

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I received an email from a teacher opposed to engaging in the PLC process at her school. She took the position that the concept represents an experiment and that she should not have to participate in experiments. Her rational is, "How do we know that this process works better than… Read more

The Case for Common Formative Assessments

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We received a question from a principal of a high-performing middle school who wrote: "Although we have made significant growth in many of the core components of a professional learning community we continue to struggle with the perception of teacher autonomy as a result of… Read more

The Professional Teacher

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I received an interesting response from a teacher to a blog entry I made in support of giving teachers time to collaborate. In that entry (posted January 29, 2007) I attempted to make the point . . . Read more