Summer Regression And The Educator Belief In Magic

As educators, we all know that student regression over the Summer is a real thing. Teachers with a couple of years’ experience have a pretty good feel for how much regression to expect by grade and content for the students served at their particular campus.   You may now nod your head in silent agreement.…

Rethinking The High School Diploma

After 30 expansive and unique years in the school business here is my new theory concerning the high school diploma.  Trust me, my opinion has evolved dramatically from the one held by the first year high school math teacher who trusted the conventional wisdom of “The Acceptable Failure Rate.”   Here we go…   If…

Credit Recovery

Recently I was asked, “Does a credit recovery program cheapen a high school diploma?”   That is a great question, that requires a little reflection before answering.  Because the short answer is, “Yes. A credit recovery program does cheapen a high school diploma.”   The complicated answer is,  “Yes. But it doesn’t matter” . Here…

Top LYS Tweets – January 29, 2019

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list. 1. There is nothing more awesome than running a school that maximizes…

A New Principal Asks… Rooms of Chaos

A 1st year LYS Principal asks…   SC,   Like every other new Principal, I have been given the advice by many to, “Not change anything the first year.”   But my school is a MESS. The classrooms are junky and disorganized!  Should I wait when I know kids are surrounded by chaos? Or, should I address…

It’s Not an Instructional Decision, It’s Bigger Than That – Part 2

As I discussed in yesterday’s post, “It’s Not an Instructional Decision, It’s Bigger Than That – Part 1,” the instructional strategies that we choose (and choose not) to use have an impact on our students beyond our classrooms. Today we will look at three skills and practices that are strongly correlated to adult success: Literacy,…

It’s Not an Instructional Decision, It’s Bigger Than That – Part 1

With today’s post  I’m piggy-backing on the presentation LYS Coach (and newest member of the Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD Hall of Fame), Sherilyn Cotton, made at the recent LYS / TASSP Leadership Academy – Rigor Without Mortis.   Schools and teachers are constantly sorting students into different and distinct groups. Sometimes, this is on purpose, often it…

School Performance Drivers – Motivation

Of the four primary school performance drivers (Segregation, Life Experience, Instruction, Motivation) the most mis-categorized and least utilized is Motivation.   Most educators place motivation in the category of performance drivers that we (as educators and schools) can’t control.  Which is simply not the case. And because most educators do not believe that we can…

It’s All About The Test… And It’s Not About The Test At All

Yesterday’s post, “School Performance Drivers – Instruction,” addressed the need to provide teachers with a scope and sequence that is aligned to tested accountability standards. That is fact.  However, that fact releases a torrent of emotions and opinions about testing. On one side, people arguing that education is not about a “TEST.” On the other…

School Accountability

I am constantly asked what I think about school accountability. Here is the short answer:   School Accountability is needed and necessary. Without accountability, schools do what is good for some students and create justifications for not doing what is good for students that are difficult to reach. This is not an indictment, simply an…

Top LYS Tweets – August 20, 2018

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list.   Was asked today an important question today: Why don’t we…

The Expectations Sea Change

Blog Post: The Expectations Sea Change I was recently talking to a group of teachers when I was asked, “What do you see as the biggest change in education in recent years?”   That is kind of a loaded question, because there have been a number of significant changes in recent years, both positive and…

Top LYS Tweets – July 23, 2018

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list.   When did we start judging the quality of a man…

School Accountability – Backwards and Forwards

The original idea behind school accountability has its roots in the work of Demming and forward thinking stewards of Public Education, such as Rod Paige, Bob Brezina, Sonny Donaldson and Shirley Neeley. They believed that if we are hard-working, deep thinking professionals, we ought to have processes that allow us to maximize outcomes while efficiently…

What’s the Use of a Flawed System

In Texas, the state’s accountability gurus and minders, when pressed, will admit that the state’s accountability system is MORE accurate for schools serving the lower ends of the economic scale than at schools serving the higher ends of the economic scale.   Let that sink in for a minute.   What that means is that…

Top LYS Tweets – June 18, 2018

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list.   “In Arizona, the only state that rivals Florida when it…

Top LYS Tweets – June 4, 2018

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list.   The fact of the matter is we can’t trust Lt.…

Top LYS Tweets – May 29, 2018

Blog Post: Top LYS Tweets – May 29, 2018 If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list.   Anti-public…

So What Actually Is the Problem

There has been a lot of noise around the fact that more students have to take remedial courses in college than ever before.   The Anti-Public School’ers use this fact as a proof point that public schools are failing.   Higher Ed types use this fact as a reason to shake a condescending finger at…

Top LYS Tweets – May 7, 2018

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted. And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list. I’ve voted more this year than I have my whole life. I’m…

Top 10 LYS Tweets – April 9, 2018

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted. And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list.   There is a new wind blowing in Texas and throughout the…

Different Kinds of Success

Teaching any student well is hard and honorable work.   Teaching less fragile students is rewarding. Success with less fragile students makes you feel pride.   Teaching fragile students makes your practice evolve. Success with fragile students makes you feel unbeatable.   Teaching in and through adversity furthers our craft at an accelerated pace.  …

It Won’t Work With All My Students…

Here is the most common pushback we get when we’re working with struggling campuses.  We’ll teach the staff a practice or process to get better results and someone will say..   “Well, this won’t work with all our students.”   Duh. Nothing works with every student, all the time.   But, if I can do…

Common Sense is not Common Practice – The Final Can Only Help You

When is the best time to determine the level of student learning? At the beginning of a course? The middle of a course? Or the end of a course?   I hope you said, “The end.” Because that is when the determination really matters.  Because up until the end, it’s just practice.   Except with…

Ignorance Vs. Willful Injury

There is not a single campus that I have visited that is not actively and aggressively implementing practices that are detrimental to student outcomes.  That is not an indictment.  Even the most forward leaning campus has to overcome engrained habits, routines and traditions. Habits, routines and traditions that were inflicted on us and we have…

Slow and Steady… On Steroids

You know the old saying, “Slow and steady wins the race.”   For the most part, this is true. And in most endeavors, this is good advice.   Most endeavors…   But not campus operations.   Why? Because in the case of campus operations slow and steady hurts students. Don’t believe me? Let’s do the…

A Reader Shares… The Fundamental 5 is Fantastic!

A new LYSer share the following:   SC,   It has been about 6-weeks since I attended the Fundamental 5 National Summit.  If you had asked me prior to the F5 Summit I would have told you that I was already good at all five practices. However, after watching the speakers “talk the talk,” but…

Top 10 LYS Tweets – January 16, 2018

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list.   We need to find more ways to recognize students for…

A Reader Writes… The Angry Dinosaur – Part 1

In response to the 8/17/17 post, “The Angry Dinosaur,” an angry reader writes… You, good sir, are out of touch with reality. Come down out of that ivory tower and get down in the trenches with us, and I guarantee it will not take you long to see that this teacher (the one who wrote…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of December 3, 2017

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of December 3, 2017 when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list. 1. I worry about the “not everyone needs…
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