"I believe schools should equip and empower students to navigate and shape society in order to deconstruct oppressive social institutions like racism and classism, by being places that model democratic decision-making.”
"...in this past year we have experienced many victories in the struggle for a more just public education system. The growth of youth organizing groups signals that the new generation can be a powerful voice in the movement toward equity and excellence in the public schools."
Through the reflections of New Hampshire Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) participants, Clara explains the power of teachers who become outliers and collaborate to improve student learning.
"Teach children how to use their minds well. Go for depth over breadth. Goals should apply to all students. A tone of decency and trust. Personalization. Student as worker; teacher as coach. Demonstration of mastery. A commitment to the entire school. Resources dedicated to teaching and learning. Democracy and equity. These are the Coalition values."
For our founding teachers, this was an issue of social justice—being able to provide multiple opportunities for students to achieve mastery of skills over time was simply more equitable.
There doesn’t need to be a chasm between deeper learning and critical pedagogy. In fact, there are plenty of opportunities for common ground.
Edwin O. Smith High School in Connecticut is working with CCE to create new performance assessment methods using cross-curricular standards that are authentic and creative.