Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ron Ferguson: WEC annual meeting

Ron Ferguson is the featured speaker this evening at the Worcester Educational Collaborative third annual meeting. His talk is entitled A Twenty-First Century Social Movement for Excellence with Equity.Ferguson  is part of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard.
I may not make the whole thing here, as I have to duck out for a hearing. Posted without commentary for now.

early phases of a national movement that will be as profound a change as the civil rights movement was
"challenges that are very unique for the time that we live"
poem from the perspective of a child who started from behind, principal "change(s) the game" from teachers who like the kids who know the answers best
"everyone's important now"
cites GlaxoSmithKline director Bill Shore on "a Sputnik moment" on needing a workforce
baby boomers retiring, can we replace those workers
"need to stop having meetings and have a movement"
"that same kind of energy is coming back right now...quality of the product of their education system"
"ten years from now it's going to be a very different world...even five years from now, around how we evaluate teachers"
counting apples in a seed...to get more apples from the seed...cultivate more effectively
"Movement>goals>strategies>policies>programs>projects>principles>practices" is the chart he puts up next (a triangle, starting at the top with movement and moving down)
"it's not about scaling up; it's about disseminating effective principles and practices"
in any conversation it's important to know what level we're talking about
"it's not just about policy, it's not even mainly about policy"
affect kids' lived experiences across all their learning
not increasing number of high school degrees (increase in diplomas in some cases from GEDs, which he says are not the same)
lower in math scores, lower scores among children of color than white and Asian children
"our white kids are not leading the world anymore especially in math" (in the program for international student assessment...anyone heard of this one?)
says that most kids at 15 are still in school so "can't dismiss this" (but doesn't mean that all kids are tested?)
wants to have all groups equally represented under the bell curve...equally distributed
by age two gaps are apparent
kids from all backgrounds the opportunity to learn, partly about giving parents the information they need to get their children to learn
shrinking IQ gaps
NAEP gap shrunk dramatically between 1970 and 1990 (by 62%) between black and white students at age 17
nine year olds moving towards group proportionality (everyone equally distributed under the bell curve)
growth gap closing...test score gains cited as evidence of excellent schools
roles for parents, teachers, peers, employers, community
resources in employers and community to support work within schools and families
parents: parent engagement with schools...also family dynamics..."authoritative parenting and learning-focused home life"
package the information that parents need and share it respectfully
over time, the gap among children who have parents with different levels of education widens
"achievement gap does not originate in school in most cases...opens up between ages one and two"

"Seeding for Success"

  • maximize love, minimize stress beginning at birth
  • talk, sing, and use gestures
  • use number games and rhythm; foundations of numeracy
  • enable and encourage spacial awareness by letting kids crawl in cluttered spaces and handling three-dimensional objects
  • discuss what you read and see (don't just read) (lower and higher order thinking)
Make these the new normal
ducking out...

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