August 15th, 2014

Report on Advanced Learning in the Cambridge Public Schools

On July 29th 2014, the Cambridge Public Schools’ Academic Challenge and Enrichment Program Manager, Paula Feynman, presented to the School Committee and Administration on the state of advanced learning in CPS. Slides from her presentation are here.

The presentation was covered by Jean Cummings in The Cambridge Day, in her article “Difficulties handling ‘advanced learners’ […]

January 17th, 2014

Are Academically Advanced Kids Human Capital?

In this recent article in Newsweek titled “America Hates Its Gifted Kids”, author Chris Weller argues that extremely advanced learners are human capital that is being squandered by the US education system. Here’s an excerpt:

Tomlinson’s frustrations, much like those experienced by many of the nation’s public school teachers, are compounded by the […]

January 8th, 2014

Invisibility of Students with Exceptionally Advanced Learning Needs

The staff of ScienceDaily.com, a science reporting website, recently published a piece titled “Are Gifted Children Getting Lost in the Shuffle?” The story cites a 2013 research journal article by David Lubinski and Camilla Benbow, of Vanderbilt University called “Who Rises to the Top? Early Indicators”.

Here’s an excerpt from the ScienceDaily article:

January 2nd, 2014

NYTimes Editorial Board Calls for Improved Gifted Education

The editorial board of the New York Times recently published this call to action, asking US education leaders to greatly increase efforts to identify and develop students of every race and class who have both the intelligence and drive to succeed at very high levels. The piece, titled “Even Gifted Students Can’t Keep Up“, offers […]

September 4th, 2013

A Brief History of Algebra 1 Instruction in Massachusetts

Kenneth Chang’s article titled “Expecting the Best Yields Results in Massachusetts” takes a look at the history of middle school math and science education in Massachusetts. Here’s an excerpt:

“Some think it was the added money; others note that successful countries operate schools at much lower costs.

Some think high-stakes testing […]

October 21st, 2012

Education Models for Delivering Advanced Learning

How have education models for teaching students in need of advanced learning changed over the last three decades? Two education experts offer insight and data. They are: Joyce VanTassel-Baska, EdD, the Jody and Layton Smith Professor of Education and executive director of the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary, where […]

September 1st, 2012

Introducing CPS’s new Academic Challenge Program Manager

I’m very happy to report that this week CPS Deputy Superintendent Carolyn Turk introduced the school district’s new Academic Challenge and Enrichment Support Program Manager. She is Paula Feynman, who has in recent years worked as a 6th grade science teacher in Sudbury, MA. She is very skilled in project-based learning and differentiating instruction, in […]

August 28th, 2012

Update on Academic Challenge from CPS District Leaders

Below are answers to questions that CALA coordinator Freedom Baird submitted to the School Committee in mid-August, around the issue of advanced learning, especially as it will be addressed in the new Upper Schools. The answers were prepared by Deputy Superintendent Carolyn Turk, and reviewed by Superintendent Jeff Young.

Cambridge Public […]

June 16th, 2012

Good Teaching Strategies for Advanced Learners

In this June 15th EdWeek article, Do We Know How to Teach Highly Able Learners?, Peter DeWitt explores approaches to teaching students with advanced learning needs. He recommends that teachers focus on individual student growth rather than achievement, as many highly able learners may achieve high or adequate grades without growing or stretching themselves at […]

March 16th, 2012

Massachusetts School Improvement Blueprint Addresses Advanced Learners

The new Massachusetts Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is a blueprint for statewide school improvement which has evolved out of MA’s Response to Intervention program over the last 5 years. A complete outline of MTSS was recently posted on the Massachusetts Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education website (Fall 2011).

The introduction to MTSS states:

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