• JP brings together several critical factors in the development of an effective school.

  • JP partners with schools and districts across the country to provide intensive professional development for scientifically-based programs.

  • JP Associates offers our sites grant writing assistance. Take advantage of our experience writing successful grant requests.

  • Common Core State Standards, Factors Influencing Student Achievement, Responsive Coaching, Teacher Evaluation, Autism

  • JP works with schools providing training on how to ameliorate teacher weaknesses brought to light through the process of teacher evaluation.
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Why We Should Be Disagreeing More at Work

Business, school, or any organization disagreement can be not only healthy, but productive. New ideas or solutions don't come from everyone having the same opinion. JP Leadership Coaching provides strategies for how to disagree to grow. 

 

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When I worked as a management consultant, I had a client that I thought of as difficult. Let’s call her Marguerite. She and I didn’t see eye to eye on much. I disagreed with the direction she was taking our project, the people she chose to involve, and the pace at which she thought we should do our work (why did she need to go so slow?). But because she was the client, and I was just starting out in my career, I didn’t think it was my place to openly disagree with her. Instead, I forwarded every email she sent me to one of my colleagues and complained about how Marguerite was making bad decisions and not heeding my vague, and likely passive-aggressive, suggestions that we try different approaches.

One day, instead of forwarding the email, I hit reply. I thought I was complaining to my coworker but I was actually sending Marguerite a direct email about what a pain I felt she was. About 15 seconds after I pressed send, I realized what I had done and thought, “I’m going to be fired.” Thinking it’d be better to get it over with quickly, I walked over to my boss’s desk and fessed up. To my surprise, he didn’t get mad or threaten to send me packing. He simply said, “Go apologize.”

Marguerite’s office was 30 blocks north of ours, in Midtown Manhattan. My boss suggested I stop at the florist on my way. For a moment, I contemplated whether being fired would be preferable to having to face Marguerite and what I’d done, but he was right. And when I showed up in Marguerite’s office with an inappropriately large bouquet, she laughed. To her credit, she told me it happens and that she preferred that the next time I disagree with her, I just tell her so that we could talk about it. It was generous and helpful advice.

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Teacher Shortages Linger in Many States

The teacher shortage is a national challenge. Let JP help you support and grow a culture where teachers want to work.  Here are just two ways JP can help!

 

Monta Johnson

All 50 states began the current school year short on teachers. And schools nationwide still are scrambling to fill positions in a range of subjects, from chronically hard-to-staff ones such as special education to usually easy-to-staff grades such as kindergarten. 

Districts that can’t find a qualified teacher may stop offering a certain class or hire a rookie with an emergency credential, a move that could lower the quality of instruction. So lawmakers in several states took action this year to increase the supply of new teachers or raise teacher compensation. 

“The teacher labor market is a labor market like any other,” said Elizabeth Ross, managing director for state policy at the National Council on Teacher Quality, a nonprofit research group in Washington, D.C.

Arizona, Illinois and Minnesota are among the states that have sought to increase the supply of teachers by changing their licensure rules to make it easier for people who didn’t complete a traditional teacher preparation program to enter the classroom.

In Minnesota, for instance, under the new structure aspiring career and technical education teachers no longer need a bachelor’s degree to get a teaching license. They can get a one-year teaching license if they have an associate degree, an industry credential or at least five years of work experience. The one-year license can be renewed three times.

Changing licensure rules can be controversial, however...

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Impacts of Early Childhood Education on Medium- and Long-Term Educational Outcomes

Despite calls to expand early childhood education (ECE) in the United States, questions remain regarding its medium- and long-term impacts on educational outcomes. We use meta-analysis of 22 high-quality experimental and quasi-experimental studies conducted between 1960 and 2016 to find that on average, participation in ECE leads to statistically significant reductions in special education placement (d = 0.33 SD, 8.1 percentage points) and grade retention (d = 0.26 SD, 8.3 percentage points) and increases in high school graduation rates (d = 0.24 SD, 11.4 percentage points). These results support ECE’s utility for reducing education-related expenditures and promoting child well-being.

 

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Joyful Independent Reading: Choice, Agency, and Engagement with Books

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Choosing books to read and enjoy is at the heart of what it means to be literate. Our classrooms provide a learning community in which each child falls in love with books. Children taste the language and art of wonderful authors and illustrators and expand their worlds through books. When they walk into a classroom that features a library of appealing categories—authors, topics, illustrators, genres, award-winning books, or series—they learn that their days in school will include time and resources to nourish their hearts and minds. They learn that they will have the opportunity to read books they want to read, and they will develop their habits, tastes, and identities as readers. Children learn to read by reading, thinking, talking, and writing about reading. And the research is clear: Independent reading is unmistakably linked to student achievement (Reutzel et al., 2008).

All Roads Lead to Independent Reading

We envision a multitext approach, using different texts in different instructional contexts, to support independent reading. In this approach, students engage with

  • High-quality children's literature that the teacher selects and reads aloud to the students.
  • Beautiful, enlarged texts that students read together in a shared way.
  • Short, high-quality, and leveled texts that the teacher selects for teaching small groups during guided reading.
  • Engaging trade books that students choose to discuss in book clubs.
  • Individual titles in a classroom library for students to choose for independent reading (organized by topic, author, genre, or some other characteristic, rather than by level).

A multitext approach is coherent because students work toward building a system of strategies for independent, proficient reading across each context (Fountas & Pinnell, 2017a). Students experience a variety of genres in different ways and bring all their understandings to the books they choose to read for themselves.

Essential Supports

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Accelerate Learning Through Independent Reading

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In his address to the American Library Association in 2005, then-Senator Barack Obama noted that "literacy is the most basic currency of the knowledge economy." The knowledge economy relies on people who can communicate with others, engage in self-reflection and self-direction, and learn autonomously. In a world where information and technology are moving at ever-increasing rates of speed, our students need to know how to build their knowledge independently and not simply wait passively for someone else to present it to them. The path to building these skills, habits, and dispositions begins with independent reading. Whether in school or out, independent reading builds knowledge. And knowledge, in turn, amplifies reading skills.

Independent Reading Builds Knowledge

Research on the correlation between achievement on standardized tests and reading outside of school is clear—reading volume is associated with academic performance (Anderson, Wilson, and Fielding, 1988). To illustrate this point, consider three hypothetical 5th grade students. The first reads 40 minutes a day on average, meaning she is consuming more than 2.3 million words per year. Her test scores show it; she's in the 90th percentile on standardized assessments. The second—an average student—scores in the 50th percentile. The correlational data show that he reads on average for 12 minutes a day, resulting in about 601,000 words consumed per year, or 1.7 million fewer words than his high-achieving classmate. Of even more concern is the child who reads for only 90 seconds a day on average outside of school. This child is exposed to a deeply impoverished 51,000 words per year (about the same reading volume the first student reads in a week) and scores in the 10th percentile on standardized tests. He will enter high school nearly 7 million words behind his high-achieving classmate. This sobering data is correlational, not causal, but it points to the multiplicative effect of low reading volume across the school years.

Knowledge Builds Independent Reading Ability

Now let's look at the reciprocal: what does knowledge do for reading? Evidence comes from studies like this one done with 7th graders. Students were sorted into four groups across two criteria: current reading level and baseball knowledge. After reading an informational passage about baseball, they were assessed on their comprehension and recall of what they had read. To no one's surprise, those who were strong readers and possessed high knowledge of baseball scored at the most proficient. But to everyone's surprise, the students with lower reading skills but high levels of baseball knowledge performed at comparable levels. In fact, they outperformed those who had high reading skills but low levels of baseball knowledge (Recht and Leslie, 1988). In other words, prior knowledge had a mediating effect on reading performance. The takeaway from these two iconic studies? Knowledge is acquired through reading and in turn plays an influential role in what is understood when reading.

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JP’s Services

  • Detailed Needs Assessment
  • Customized Professional Development
  • Grant-writing
  • Strategies for serving students with Autism
  • Creating a positive school/classroom culture
  • Leadership training and coaching
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Effective Instructional Practices
  • Differentiating Instruction
  • Effective Reading Instruction
  • Job-embedded, side-by-side, onsite coaching
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