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Growing Into Equity

Growing Into Equity
Professional Learning and Personalization in High-Achieving Schools

Foreword by Stephanie Hirsh and Joellen Killion

Additional resources:

July 2013 | 216 pages | Corwin

High-achieving students and teachers—winning strategies from Title I schools!

What makes a Title I school high-achieving, and what can we all learn from that experience?  Professional learning and leadership that supports personalized instruction makes the difference, as captured in the ground-breaking research of authors Sonia Caus Gleason and Nancy Gerzon.

This illuminating book shows how four outstanding schools are making individualized learning a reality for every teacher and student. The common thread is the commitment to equity—every student achieving. Readers will find

  • Guidance on identifying obstacles to equity within your school
  • Background that builds a case for personalized learning
  • Four case studies that show the lived values, professional learning practices, leadership, and systems that have helped schools transform learning
  • How-to’s and templates for creating a team-based professional development program that expands individualized instruction in every classroom

Discover new approaches for individual, team, and whole school professional learning that support personalized learning, drawn from schools that are leaders in overcoming challenges and creating opportunities.

“Equity is not an afterthought to high achievement. Gleason and Gerzon's new book on outstanding equity-driven practice in four very different schools shows that if you want to raise the bar you have to start by narrowing the gap.”
—Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education
Boston College

About the Authors
1. The Case for Professional Learning to Support Equity and Personalization
Part I. Learning in Action: Four School Communities
2. Know Them by Name, Know Them by Need: Stults Road Elementary School (PreK-6), Dallas, Texas
3. Students First: Social Justice Humanitas Academy (Grades 9-12), Los Angeles, California
4. The Variables Are Time and Support: Montgomery Center School (PreK-8), Montgomery Center, Vermont
5. Heat and Light: Tusculum View Elementary School (PreK-5), Greeneville, Tennessee
Part II. Professional Learning to Advance Equity: Findings and Practices
6. Equity and Supporting Core Values
7. Personalized Adult and Student Learning
8. Leadership and Systems
9. Call to Action
Description of Online Resources

"Who says that schools can’t personalize learning, improve achievement, and provide an equitable and high-quality education for all students? As monumental as these goals may seem, they are possible. By highlighting four schools that do these things well, Sonia Caus Gleason and Nancy Gerzon provide a valuable lesson about personalized and equitable schooling and, in the process, remind us what public education should be about."

Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, Language, Literacy, and Culture
School of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

"Gleason and Gerzon focus their lens on four 'regular' schools that are paying attention to the whole child and getting results.  In these school communities, professional learning for educators produces personalized learning for students. Growing Into Equity offers readers wonderful insights into the structures and strategies, time and talents it takes to make that happen."

Randi Weingarten, President
American Federation of Teachers

"Equity is not an afterthought to high achievement. Gleason and Gerzon's new book on outstanding equity-driven practice in four very different schools, shows that if you want to raise the bar, you have to start by narrowing the gap. From Tennessee to Vermont, from Dallas to LA, this attractively written, morally uplifting and deeply practical book shows how extraordinary schools address and achieve social justice by making learning personal and engaging for every student, and by ensuring that professional learning is stimulating and practical for every teacher."

Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education
Boston College

"Growing into Equity is a timely and important new book which provides compelling evidence of how teachers, principals, school district leaders, and policy makers can create and embrace equity in school districts, schools, and classrooms to ensure that all students are learning and achieving."

Thomas Payzant, Retired Superintendent
Boston Public Schools

"Excellence and equity in public school classrooms don't happen by accident. In this book Sonia Gleason and Nancy Gerzon use detailed examples to show how sensitive, thoughtful and courageous leaders build school communities that favor every learner, including not only every child, but also every adult."

Ronald F. Ferguson, Faculty Director of the Achievement Gap Initiative
Harvard University

"Growing into Equity is both instructive and inspiring. Gleason and Gerzon emphasize the importance of professional learning, collaboration, shared leadership and a strong sense of collective accountability that envisions every student achieving his/her potential through personalized instruction. Should be required reading for anyone interested in transforming schools."

Dennis Van Roekel, President
National Education Association

"In Growing into Equity: Personalized Learning for Teachers and Their Students, Gleason and Gerzon provide rich examples of school-based practices that optimize professional learning and provide students with personalized learning opportunities. The detailed, insightful case studies illustrate what a visible commitment to equity looks like in high-performing schools."

Bob Wise, President
Alliance for Excellent Education

"Growing into Equity dispels the notion of the principal or teacher as hero. It takes a team of people to raise achievement. It takes clarity of mission and vision.  We are never 'there' but always getting better-- asking better questions so we CAN get better..."

Linda Nathan, Executive Director
Center for Arts in Education, Boston, MA

"The authors delve into four schools located in California, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont revealing how personalized learning promotes equity. Their discoveries provide an encouraging roadmap for K-12 educators in urban, suburban, or rural settings who wish to promote 'favoritism' for each student. The core belief that 'every child has a complex and compelling story as a person and as a learner' drives the need to personalize learning and the how-to is well documented in this break through work that provides hope The American Dream may still be realized through public education."

Kathleen Sciarrapa, Educational Consultant, Mentor, Trainer, and Coach for Principals and Aspiring Leaders
National Association of Elementary School Principals

"Growing into Equity provides an essential understanding of how critically important it is for schools to both create and sustain conscious willfulness and intentional practices among all stakeholders. Growing into Equity reminds us of the complexity of creating equitable learning opportunities in schools and at the same time provides diverse illustrations of personalized learning to move educators and students to that point."

Deborah Childs-Bowen, Chief Learning Officer
Alliance for Leadership in Education
Key features
For funding: The reauthorization of ESEA presses for a new definition of professional learning, one that supports learning that takes place predominantly in schools, that happens in teams, and that is embedded in the daily schedule and work of schools. Professional learning can get closer to the ground. There is a focus on rigorous national standards, which can raise achievement if we can make the standards relevant and exciting for students. There is also a powerful movement to move away from the recent, narrow focus on assessment that emphasizes high stakes testing. Two national, multi-state assessment consortia will seek to create assessment systems that embrace measures better equipped to inform instruction on a regular basis. There is also movement to develop state supervision and evaluation systems, that, at their best, could help build educator capacity to attend to student needs. Growing interest in developing proficiency-based learning requires understanding students and tracking their progress better, so they can proceed at an individual pace. This range of efforts, alongside interest in individualizing learning, creates a context for shaping professional learning that better focuses attention on individual students.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Front Matter

Chapter One

Chapter Two

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ISBN: 9781452287652
CAD$ 54.95

For large school/district orders, volume discounts, availability and shipping times contact customer service at 800-233-9936

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