Teacher evaluation can (and should) be way more meaningful

By Greg Fisher • Jan 26, 2023

Peer observation and collaboration succeed where top-down reforms fail. This is the first of a two-part set of articles on Teacher Evaluation. Contact Greg Fisher at schoolempowerment@gmail.com. Teacher Evaluation is at an inflection point. There is a growing realization that the mandated process is perfunctory, flawed, and meaningless. If the purpose is that teacher evaluation is […]

A Letter to Madam Tracy Lake

By Paula Zwicke • Sep 09, 2022

Cultivating creative, curious learners outdoors at a teacher-powered school Sometimes, people give up on kids. I have twenty of them in my little school, Class ACT. We call it a forest school because the school forest is our home base. “These are the tough kids,” some say. They are, but they deserve a free, high-quality […]

In teacher-powered schools, many hands move ideas forward

How a school run on shared decision-making demands an all-in approach

By Kevin Ward, teacher-advisor, Avalon School • Apr 28, 2022

A student meets with their teacher-advisor at Avalon. “How’s that working out for you?” Any time I explain to anyone in traditional public schools how Avalon School — where I’ve worked since 2002 — has no principal, no director, that is the response. “How’s that working out for you?” It means in the middle of […]

At West Hawaii Explorations Academy, students drive inquiry into the natural world

By Sara Kemper • Jul 29, 2021

Illustrations by Khou Vue for Education Evolving Abruptly shifting to distance learning is a shock to the system for any student, but especially if you’re used to going to school among sharks and tide pools. Such was the case for students at West Hawaii Explorations Academy, or WHEA (pronounced “WAY-uh”) when Covid hit last year. […]

Is a change in schooling just too obvious?

By Curtis Johnson • May 21, 2021

Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages The lessons of the pandemic start with the inadequate attempt by too many schools at remote learning for kids. Parents saw, many for the first time, those lesson plans. The kids found what was often boring at school horrible at home. Many did not participate. Others disappeared entirely. The […]

At UCLA Community School, student-centered learning means honoring identity and core needs

By Sara Kemper • Apr 22, 2021

Illustrations by Khou Vue for Education Evolving When we hear about “student-centered” and “personalized” learning, we often hear about individualizing learning: one-to-one access to technology, curriculum designed to meet unique student needs, content driven by students’ individual interests. At UCLA Community School, being “student-centered” is just as much about acknowledging and celebrating our shared humanity […]

Creating a virtual learning community proves to be isolation antidote

By Adam Haigler • Dec 17, 2020

Photo by Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action. Fighting isolation in 2020 has become a dilemma in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, educators are absolutely overwhelmed with the overnight shift in expectations of their job descriptions. In case you didn’t already know, 2020 is an especially hard […]

Rethinking power in education at national gathering of teacher leaders

By Marcus Penny • Nov 02, 2020

“Who is at the table with me making decisions, designing our school programs or new schools, or even a first project for a beginning independent learner?” Tony Simmons asked those gathered at an event for educator teams designing and leading schools. Then he challenged: “Who isn’t at that table?” From October 19 to 29, more […]

Powered and Prepped

By Jonathan Tam • Sep 09, 2020

It has been a summer like no other that has redefined our definitions of rest, relaxation, and restoration. It has tested our limitations and inspired new forms of creativity in our families, hobbies, personal lives, and professional ones. All the while, schools have been making progress by leaps and bounds to refine instruction for the […]

Ensuring Black lives matter in schools: 9 teacher-powered practices to support Black students

By Zaynab Baalbaki, Rebekah Kang, and Danny Flannery • Aug 12, 2020

For many educators, the necessary demand for racial justice in how we police our communities has been inextricably tied to how we educate our Black youth. In our role as educators serving a diverse group of students in urban areas of Los Angeles, Boston, and Milwaukee, we have grappled with the question of how we […]