Goal 1: Comparably high academic achievement and other student outcomes
"As data on academic achievement and other student outcomes are disaggregated and analyzed, one sees high comparable performance for all identifiable groups of learners, and achievement and performance gaps are virtually non-existent."
Lessons from La Joya
In the La Joya Independent School District (ISD), in partnership with IDRA’s SCCE, school leaders are taking up this charge and closing achievement gaps by focusing on teacher preparation through smaller learning communities. Appropriate teacher preparation in La Joya ISD is positively impacting student outcomes (Montemayor & Cortez, 2007).
"How can we look at them [students] in such a way that we start helping them see the array of their gifts and talents and how those connect very specifically to decisions I make in the classroom?"
In La Joya,
What teachers are saying
"I think a prime example is… the math scores were kind of low… And so, we realized that it was an issue, and we said okay, we need to fix this… Okay, you’re going to do math here…you’re going to do math there…and everybody said okay. We’re going to do it. And we’re doing it! Ms. L. is helping me teach math."
"It’s not whether you taught three years or 33 years, because you can teach one year 33 times."
"It is not about me succeeding; it is about all of us succeeding."
"You actually have time for reflection. You have discussions about the end of the day, and not only about the individuals but also as an educator, what am I doing to help these kids."
Listen in to learn more about how La Joya middle school teachers are making a difference.
[Classnotes Podcast] “Professional Learning Communities in Schools: Closing Gaps”
(November 26, 2007) A growing body of research has found that professional learning communities in schools, combined with mentoring, result in clear improvements in outcomes for staff and students. Josie Danini Cortez, M.A., an IDRA senior education associate, and Dr. Juanita García, an IDRA education associate, join Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center, to describe such a community in a middle school in south
Do you have a story to share about how you’re achieving Goal 1 of the Six Goals of Education Equity in your school? We want to hear from you! Send comments to email@example.com.
Learn more about how you can achieve Goal 1 of the Six Goals of Equity and School Reform
Valuing Youth – Reflections from a Professional Learning Community
By Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., and Josie Danini Cortez, M.A., IDRA Newsletter
Professional Development Through Learning Communities
By K.P. Fulton and M. Riel, Edutopia Online, 1999
George Lucas Educational Foundation
Professional Learning Communities: Communities of Continuous Inquiry and Improvement
By S.M. Hord, Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 1997
Principles of Effective Professional Development for Mathematics and Science Education: A Synthesis of Standards
By S. Loucks-Horsley, K. Stiles, and P. Hewson, NISE Brief
National Institute for Science Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, May 1996
Professional Learning Communities, Leadership, and Student Learning
S.C. Thompson, L. Gregg, and J.M. Niska, Research in Middle Level Education Online