Council of Great City Schools Curriculum and Instruction 2023 Recap

I was honored to attend the Council of Great City Schools 20th Curriculum, Research, and Instructional Leaders Meeting in Portland this week alongside my colleagues Cindy Hollar and Tarah Taylor. We are grateful for the hard work that district leaders put in every day to help all students achieve.

The themes of this year's conference were outcomes and equity. The recently reported decline in NAEP scores as well as similar static and downward trends in NWEA MAP data released this week made it impossible to ignore the urgency of those problems. And Dr. Bettina Love drove home the emotional urgency of this crisis in a way we'll never forget.

In an opening panel on literacy instruction, Kareem Weaver said that if he could change one thing in districts, he would get district leadership to travel to other districts with outlier results and learn what they are doing differently to help all students achieve.

Although we didn't get to physically travel to other districts this week, we took Kareem Weaver's advice to heart and had the opportunity to attend several outstanding district presentations on what they are doing differently on early literacy to get superlative results, particularly:

  • Kelly Rivers' session on A System's Approach to Leading Literacy in Columbus City Schools
  • Dr. Emily Glasgow and Melissa Schachner's session on Bringing the Science of Reading to Life in Portland Public Schools
  • Jusmar Maness and Kara Hamilton's session on School-Tutoring Partnerships to accelerate learning and address unfinished learning in Guilford County Schools
  • Carmen Alvarez' session with Age of Learning on Harlingen CISD's Story of Transformation
  • Cliff Jones' session with Just Right Reader on Using the Science of Reading for District Wide Achievement in Turnaround Schools in Fulton County Schools.

Finally, congratulations to Dr. Tauheedah Baker-Jones for winning the Equity Leader Award.

We look forward to seeing everyone next year and bringing exciting data from our randomized controlled trials in early reading. I promise you'll be on the edge of your seats.

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