Inquiry into Promising Practices: Addressing the Achievement Gap
Notes by Andrea Zellner:

The urban sites network have been engaged in an intensive study into the achievement gap is real and that there are many reasons for it.
  • Not just an urban problem
• Ron Ferguson: Bridging the Literacy Achievement gap in grades 4-12
• Where are we in our thinking, share successful practices, organizational responses to this issue
Divided into three sections
• Survey: where are we now in our understanding of the achievement gap?
CEE belief statements (2005) in supporting linguistically and culturally diverse learners
• Looking at and sharing practice (small roundtables)
Pamela Morgan: Maryland Writing Project
• Addressing the AG from PD stance
Urban sites conference: Gloria Ladson-Billings in Washington, D.C.
o The Dream Keepers*
• Notes on the survey—interesting to note that achievement gap is associated with low SES, poor nutrition, biased assessment practices, “acting white,” and that it was important to note one’s own effectiveness with one’s students.
Linguistically and culturally diverse learners: Section 2
Nancy Mintz
• Ben Bates: Oklahoma State University Writing Project
• Handout: Belief statements on the CEE*
• Read and reflect on the statement
o What stands out in the document?

Final session: Sylvia Bailey Oakland Writing Project

o Story as a culturally responsive teaching practice
• Use the belief statements from CEE as a lens for what we are discussing
o Member of achievement gap task force, co-director of the Oakland Writing Project, been involved for 10 years
o What is something I can use in my classroom that might help?
• In business school, they used “cases” to discuss different issues
• The use of stories transcends grade level and subjects
o Use of story
• Using story to describe ideas
• Listen to stories to interpret customer’s needs, to teach and analyze problems
• Stories as identity: to tell who they are and their life stories
• Where I’m from; discussion of family stories, used to also build community in classrooms
• story to open discussion on social situations, culture and social stereotypes and how they have changed over time
• role playing along with storytelling across the curriculum
• use story as an opportunity to examine history from other people’s perspectives
o Geneva Gay: Culturally responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practices
• Impacts students through empowering student voices
• Useful for professional development with our peers