Equity-Focused Schools Carry All Students to High Levels

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Despite decades of experience supporting efforts from local to state levels to improve learning for underserved students, Sonia Caus Gleason and WestEd’s Nancy Gerzon could not point to examples of entire schools accomplishing what they believed was possible: high-poverty public schools personalizing learning for all students to consistently reach high achievement.

They began asking colleagues to identify exemplary schools that met their dual criteria of high poverty and high achievement. A typical response: “I don’t know any, but tell me when you find them.”

Gleason and Gerzon persisted, eventually selecting four schools to study in depth. “The schools actually exceeded our expectations,” says Gerzon, a WestEd Senior Program/Research Associate. “The sophistication and intensity with which they personalize learning for students and staff goes well beyond what we thought we’d see.”

She and Gleason capture what they learned from these four exemplary schools in a new book, Growing Into Equity: Professional Learning and Personalization.

Read about the main findings detailed in this book.

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