Author: Laurie Motyka

Overcoming the Assessment Culture to Achieve Real Education Reform By: Dr. Richard Elmore Generation Ready Advisory Board Member; Gregory R. Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership, Administration, Planning and Social Policy, Harvard Graduate School of Education March 3, 2014 Professional development for educators is a fundamental key to large-scale improvement of learning for children. Yet building the capacity of adults charged with preparing students for the future is the weakest part of our nation's reform strategy. This is not because we don't know what to do. We understand that professional development must be sustained over time. We know it must be structured and focused, and include direct observation and support in the classroom. We know that teachers and school leaders must understand the importance of children's cognitive and emotional development and embrace it with a sense of urgency. Our nation's record in professional development isn't weak because we don't have the knowledge or the tools to do it right. It's weak because it is difficult to do and because policymakers tend to gravitate toward what is easier. Professional development is an investment of dollars and time. And, it often demands profound culture change. Culture change is particularly difficult in an environment with schools that have been redesigned around assessments, which measure school performance. And we have not figured out how to make this accountability system support the development of human beings. I would argue that this assessment culture is the single biggest challenge facing professional development and school improvement. If you visit most American...

How to Ensure Your PD Investment is More Than Window Dressing by: Dr. Michael Ward, Graduate Faculty University of Southern Mississippi Department of Educational Leadership and School Counseling February 7, 2014 Professional development (PD), when done right, is one of the most important investments a school can make. That’s because it’s not just an investment in teachers, but in students and the economy. Unfortunately, much of what passes for PD these days is more window dressing than anything else. Schools often don’t resource it well – either because they haven’t made it a priority or because they simply don’t have the budget. At other times, the PD itself is lacking in quality. PD, engages teachers directly using multiple teaching methods (just like the best classroom teachers do for their kids). It provides hands-on, classroom-based collaboration between education consultants and the teacher. And it incorporates a constant feedback loop, based on direct observation, to ensure progress. There are many PD providers out there, and nearly all of them can chatter about why their way is best. This can make it difficult for school leaders to winnow out the wheat from the chaff. Yet, there are sure signs of quality that an astute school leader can look for to choose an effective, high-quality PD organization. First, it’s worth noting that there are all kinds of reasons schools, and school districts, seek PD for their teachers. Some have been shamed into doing something because the situation in their schools has become dire. Others run good schools that...

Strong teachers make strong students. That’s the belief underlying a new partnership designed to raise student achievement by developing teachers and school leaders. Generation Ready, one of the nation’s largest providers of professional development and school improvement services, has announced a national partnership with the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) to offer leadership support and teacher professional learning....

Sheena Hervey Testifies in Front of the New York State Senate on Common Core and Professional Development By: Stephanie Guerami November 20, 2013 Addressing the challenges and opportunities to best prepare our students to be college and career ready requires broadening our views of student achievement. This goes hand-in-hand with dispelling the myths and having a clear understanding of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which increase the rigor of our current curriculum, significantly raising the expectations for our students. Sheena Hervey, Generation Ready’s Chief Academic Officer, addressed the substantial need for more teacher and leader professional development around the Common Core at the November 13th New York State Senate hearing. Hervey discussed the pertinent need to value the professionalism of our teachers and acknowledge the importance of their ongoing professional growth. We know effective teachers pave the way for capable and successful students. Hervey stated, “We know that teachers make a difference in their students’ learning when they understand that their students have differing learning needs, strengths, interests, and have high expectations for them as learners…if we want to dramatically change the trajectory for many of our students, we need highly skilled teachers and leaders.” New York continues to pave the way in making the changes necessary to improve the educational outcomes for their students. Providing the ongoing professional development our teachers deserve is an important, but oftentimes, overlooked issue that needs to be invested in and addressed.   Read the full testimony here....

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 14, 2013  Leading provider of school improvement services announces advisory board Generation Ready Taps Expertise of Esteemed Education Thought Leaders New York, NY – Generation Ready, one of the largest providers of professional development and school improvement services in the country, is proud to announce the names of its 11-person advisory board. The diverse group of professionals will offer recommendations and actively elevate the national discussion concerning the state of education in the United States, including advice and counsel about school achievement, literacy, the Common Core State Standards and other key education issues. For example, advisory board member Sheena Hervey, chief academic officer for Generation Ready, recently spoke at the AASA Women in School Leadership Forum about the importance of middle school literacy and continues to offer her expertise at national education conferences. Meanwhile, the Obama administration recently elected board member Dr. Ivory Toldson to serve as the deputy director of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities White House initiative. In October, Dr. Richard Elmore, Dr. Pedro Noguera and Dr. Michael Ward collaborated with Generation Ready on a thought leadership event and panel discussion that focused on challenges schools and students face regarding college and career readiness. The Generation Ready advisory board includes: Dr. Richard F. Elmore – Gregory R. Angrig Professor of Education Leadership focusing on administration, planning and social policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. James L. Herman – Director of the Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia at Middle Tennessee State University. Sheena Hervey...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 8, 2013  Generation Ready to Host Forum Focused on Literacy, Common Core State Standards and Raising Student Achievement  New York, NY – Critical issues related to raising student achievement in New York City will be discussed Oct. 10 when Generation Ready hosts an education forum featuring internationally respected leaders in practice, policy and research. Generation Ready, one of the nation’s largest providers of professional development and school improvement services, has gathered New York City educators, policymakers and community members to discuss key education issues facing the city’s schools. Topics will include Common Core State Standards, student assessment, the literacy gap in middle school and how professional development can raise school achievement. Ben Chapman, education reporter for the New York Daily News, will moderate a panel discussion with the following education thought leaders: Dr. Richard F. Elmore – Gregory R. Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership, Administration, Planning and Social Policy, Harvard Graduate School of Education Dr. Pedro Noguera – Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, New York University Dr. Michael Ward – Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty in Educational Leadership, University of Southern Mississippi Sheena Hervey – Chief Academic Officer, Generation Ready All four education experts will be asked to offer their perspectives on what schools, districts and education policymakers can do to ensure that this generation of students is prepared for college, career and beyond. “This is an ideal time to have an open discussion about some of the underlying conditions which teaching and learning occur," explains Dr. Pedro Noguera, a sociologist whose scholarship...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 1, 2013  WHITE PAPER DOCUMENTS LITERACY CRISIS AMONG U.S. MIDDLE SCHOOLERS Professional Development in Key Areas Seen as Crucial New York, NY – Preparing students for tests and preparing them for life beyond school are very different goals, says a new Generation Ready white paper that documents an alarming gap between middle school students’ ability to read words and their ability to comprehend texts across various disciplines. “We see evidence that progress has been made in middle school literacy, but it’s also clear that an enormous number of current middle school students will graduate unprepared to comprehend complex texts necessary to succeed in college or in today's competitive workplace,” said Sheena Hervey, Generation Ready’s chief academic officer and the paper’s author. “One huge key to future progress will be providing teachers with the strategies they need to help students close those gaps.” Titled “Adolescent Readers in Middle School,” the paper documents that: Too often, students who need the most time engaged in a variety of reading practices spend the least amount of time doing so. While Common Core State Standards are designed to address low literacy rates by emphasizing more complex texts, they may come too late for the 50 percent of current 6th graders who risk graduating from high school unprepared for college or career. To become competent in a number of academic content areas requires more than just applying the same skills and comprehension strategies to new kinds of tests. The paper notes that middle school students need: Explicit teaching of comprehension...

GENERATION READY TO HOST EDUCATION FORUM FOCUSED ON LITERACY, COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS AND RAISING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT WHAT:        Education Forum and Reception WHEN:       Thursday, Oct. 10, at 4:30 p.m. WHERE:     Affinia Manhattan Ballroom 371 7th Ave. New York, NY 10001 WHO:         New York City educators, policymakers and community members   DETAILS: Generation Ready, one of the nation’s largest providers of professional development and school improvement services, will host an education forum featuring internationally respected leaders in practice, policy and research. New York City educators, policymakers and community members will discuss key education topics facing New York City Schools, including Common Core State Standards, the district’s Middle School Quality Initiative surrounding literacy and how professional development can raise school achievement while aligning with Chancellor Walcott’s new instructional expectations. A wine and cheese reception will start at 4:30 p.m., followed by a panel discussion by: Dr. Richard F. Elmore – Gregory R. Anrig Professor of Education Leadership, Administration, Planning and Social Policy, Harvard Graduate School of Education Dr. Pedro Noguera – Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, New York University Dr. Michael Ward – Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty in Educational Leadership, University of Southern Mississippi Ms. Sheena Hervey – Chief Academic Officer, Generation Ready “With this event, we're hoping to engage in the type of dialogue that will bring us closer to raising school achievement and improving college and career readiness for all students," explains Dr. Richard Elmore, panel member and past president of the Association for Public Policy and Management. Education media also will have an opportunity...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 21, 2013 LEADING PARTNERS IN EDUCATION TEAM UP TO RAISE SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT Generation Ready Believes Parent-School Relationships Crucial to Success New York, NY – When it comes to school improvement, parents are an integral part of the process. That’s why Generation Ready, one of the nation’s largest providers of professional development and school improvement services, has announced a national partnership with Parents for Public Schools (PPS) to keep parents informed and engaged in school improvement efforts. PPS is a national organization with local chapters throughout the country that elevates the role of parents in public schools from passive consumers to active participants. PPS parents help raise standards, solve problems and advocate for their community. In short, PPS parents demand excellent schools and have the skills to help make it happen. “Parents are a crucial part of a successful school. Our education consultants working in both rural and urban schools will benefit tremendously from collaboration with PPS,” said Justin Serrano, Chief Executive Officer of Generation Ready. “When parents are properly engaged, strong parent-teacher relationships develop, benefiting the entire school improvement process.” Linda Perks, a mother of five, became involved with the PPS program after moving to Mississippi five years ago. “Parents for Public Schools has helped me understand that my involvement is key to my child’s success,” said Perks. “There is a component of leadership that parents can offer to help navigate school improvement.” Generation Ready believes so strongly in the idea of “strong home, school and community” involvement that it embedded...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 16, 2013 LEADING PARTNERS FOR EDUCATORS BECOME GENERATION READY New Name, Look and Website Launch Company Into the Future New York, NY – Building on 20 years of experience raising student achievement through school partnerships, Editure Professional Development Inc. and JBHM LLC are becoming Generation Ready Inc. The company, which was created through acquisition by Weld North Holdings LLC last September, unveiled the new name and brand today at its Best Practices Conference in New Orleans. “The Generation Ready name and brand represents our organization’s mission to help educate a stronger, more vibrant generation of students who are prepared to meet life’s challenges,” said Justin Serrano, Chief Executive Officer. “Our comprehensive range of services has been developed in partnership with both rural and urban schools and can help support leadership and instruction in schools at any stage of development.” Generation Ready is one of the nation’s largest providers of teacher and school leader professional development services, through partnerships with districts, schools and state departments of education. The company's unique approach offers an evidence-based system of job-embedded education consultancy based on The Six Essential Practices of Effective Schools, professional development best practices and its proprietary ReadyPath technology platform. This blended delivery model has a proven track record of supporting and sustaining teacher skills and capacity in thousands of schools and ensuring a tight connection between professional development and student achievement. Additionally, Generation Ready today announces that Dr. Richard F. Elmore, a professor of Harvard Graduate School of Education and...

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