News & Viewpoints

Current events and perspectives from the Eskolta team

Back on Track Report: How to Help Struggling High School Students Reach Common Core Standards

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Transfer School Conference 2017 Highlights

Transfer School Conference 2017 Highlights

“The advocacy work of transfer schools goes beyond being in the classroom and running schools. Being in a transfer school means consistently being a revolutionary about the work.” –Dr. Christopher Emdin On June 8, 2017, more than 950 district and organizational...

Eskolta’s 2016 Annual Report

We are excited to announce the release of Eskolta’s 2016 annual report. This report shares the details of our continued and growing impact working with reflective and empowered educators to solve problems collaboratively and spearhead meaningful change. In 2016, we...

The Road to Standards-Based Grading Schoolwide

There are many steps that go into the development of a schoolwide standards-based grading system. At Murray Hill Academy, the Eskolta team has been working with department heads to launch a new system of rubric creation. In the past, every teacher in the building had...

Eskolta Releases 2015 Eskolta Annual Report

The staff and leadership team of Eskolta School Research and Design are pleased to announce the release of our 2015 annual report. In our collection of data and writing of this year’s report, we have learned many lessons in how to best convey the story of Eskolta’s...

New Eskolta Case Study Release

“They’ve heard it a million times: ‘Yeah, you’re going to say I’m smart; I’ve got the potential.’ They don’t believe it, and the ones that do don’t get how it translates. When you use effort language, it sends the message that it’s a process, that you’re not...

Interview with Michael Wolach, Eskolta Fellow 2016

As part of Eskolta’s inaugural fellowship, teacher leader Michael Wolach is honing his skills in project management, data collection and analysis, and design principles. Though this is his first foray in formally studying those skills with Eskolta, his exposure to our...

Metacognitive Learning at Metropolitan Diploma Plus

Metacognition, the awareness of and reflection on one’s own thinking process, is critical to student success. It is critical to adult success too. The story of Eskolta’s work with Metropolitan Diploma Plus is a story of how metacognition is helping schools improve....

Launch of Eskolta Fellows Program

This fall, Eskolta announced a new fellowship program designed to train school and district-based educators to lead the school change process. Through this program, a cohort of Eskolta Fellows is engaging in a unique learning experience focused on the methods and...
The Problem with Accountability

The Problem with Accountability

Nine years ago, I and others working with transfer schools sat with the NYC Department of Education staff responsible for creating the first progress reports. They generously listened to feedback on how to assess transfer schools and let the progress report evolve...
Transforming Teacher Learning

Transforming Teacher Learning

A few years ago, I decided I would learn to play the mandolin. Even though in my youth I had adopted the refrain that “I’m not a musical person,” I figured I had changed as an adult. I considered myself a lifelong learner and had chosen a career (education) in which I...
In Schools We Trust…

In Schools We Trust…

Recently, the New York City Department of Education added a simple but critical element into its capacity framework for schools: Trust. Trust, of course, is important for more than only schools. As the philosopher Sissela Bok wrote: “Whatever matters to human beings,...
What Do Great Schools Produce?

What Do Great Schools Produce?

Several years ago, I had the chance to visit a number of schools in Kenya that had been started specifically for impoverished children—Nairobi has an estimated 100,000 orphans living on the street, and these schools reached out to them. One school particularly stuck...
School Accountability after 2014

School Accountability after 2014

What does the year 2014 matter in the history of public education? For those who are keeping score, this is the year, according to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), when every student in America was supposed to have achieved proficiency. According to the law, which...
A Nation Still at Risk

A Nation Still at Risk

Thirty years ago, the authors of A Nation at Risk told us: “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed...
Peer Learning: Worth All Its Inefficiency

Peer Learning: Worth All Its Inefficiency

At first glance, democracy is not a very efficient system. Put a good dictator in charge and it would seem you can get a lot more accomplished a lot more quickly. But we have learned since grade school to recoil at such ideas in part because we know that the more we...
What Do We Value in Our Students?

What Do We Value in Our Students?

Values: They’re the third rail of public education. You can talk about preparing students for college or career or learning basic skills, or you can talk about teaching dancing or drumming or DNA. Just don’t talk about teaching values. I can understand people’s...
How to Deal with Failures

How to Deal with Failures

What if you were repeatedly told you were a failure? Eventually, you would turn off, give up, drop out. This is, unfortunately, the experience of many students who struggle in New York schools, just a few of whom get back on track and end up in transfer schools. Five...
Making the Grade

Making the Grade

It is virtually impossible to think about schools without thinking about grades and test scores. For many, they are taken for granted as the way to judge results. Test scores have many advantages. They feel reassuringly final: no wishy-washy changing them after the...
What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name? “Eskolta” may be hard to spell, but here at Eskolta, it means a lot to us. Latin happens to have two very similar words for “listen” (ausculto) and “school” (schola); squashing them together, you get: Eskolta. It was important to me in naming this...