Intersections: Overcoming Bias

October 24, 2017 by Bill Ivey

This morning, Sarah Littman shared an article entitled “A+E Chief Nancy Dubuc: Abuse of Power Begins With Unconscious Male Bias (Guest Column).” Among Ms. Dubuc’s takes on the Harvey Weinstein scandal: “We're hearing that there have been attempts to report on this for years, so how does something time and time again rise to that level and then when it's finally reported, everybody gets to say, "Oh, I had no idea"? Something there doesn't make sense.”

Filed Under: anti-racism, Feminism, Education, Intersections, overcoming implicit bias, implicit bias

Intersections: "Creating a Culture of Feedback."

August 15, 2017 by Bill Ivey

(originally published on MiddleWeb)

The further I get into my career, the more I realize how fundamentally critical formative assessment is to the process of learning – assessment for learning as opposed to assessment of learning (Stiggins and others).

(read more here)

Filed Under: Education, Intersections, pedagogy

Intersections: Excellence

February 17, 2017 by Bill Ivey

Here is a comprehensive list of all the NCAA basketball programs besides the UConn women’s side that have ever won 100 straight games:

1.

Not only is the feat unprecedented, but also they have kept it going in a year where few people if any predicted they would maintain this level of dominance. Their top three players - who just happened to also be the first three players taken in the WNBA draft, a feat that is also unprecedented - had graduated, and while this year’s group certainly had talent, they were seen as a young team due for what passes as a rebuilding year at UConn.

Filed Under: Teaching, student voice, athletics, Education, Student support, Intersections, Excellence

Intersections: #ProductOfPublicSchools

February 12, 2017 by Bill Ivey

Honestly, I never dreamed it would be a controversial post. One of my friends had posted a listing of all the public schools she had attended with the caption, “Proud member of #ProductOfPublicSchools.” So I did the same, from O’Dea Elementary School in Fort Collins, Colorado through my four schools in Amherst, Massachusetts: Marks Meadow Elementary School, Amherst Regional Junior High School, Amherst Regional High School, and the University of Massachusetts, where I got my M.A.T. in French (For the record, I got my A.B. in French from Middlebury College, which I also loved.) Not two minutes later, I got the response back from another ARHS graduate: “So what?”

Filed Under: education policy, Education, Intersections, Department of Education, Public Schools

Veritas Supra Omnia

December 12, 2016 by Guest Faculty Bloggers

Speech delivered at the Dec. 6, 2016 Honor Roll Assembly by Karen Suchenski.

Good morning of Dec. 6, 2016, Stoneleigh community. Thank you, StuCo, so much for inviting me to speak today. Please know how honored and humbled I am to be in your company. Each of you brings honor to this community each day in countless ways that awe and inspire me.

In thinking about a meaningful focus for my address to you, it occurred to me we often linger at our collective reflective moments on our mission statement — you know, the one that focuses on helping girls be their “best selves” and “find their voices.” And yet, as often, we overlook the vital Latin motto of our school (it sits under our mascot owl.) “Veritas supra omnia.” Do you know what that  means? Yes.  “Truth above all.”

It is about truth—and the need to not ever stop seeking truth, however hard to grasp even what that is—that I speak to you today.  

Filed Under: Honor Roll, Feminism, Education, Honor

Intersections: Traditional Support

November 07, 2016 by Bill Ivey

Over the weekend, I came across an NAIS blog post by Debra Wilson on “Taking Steps to Support Transgender Students and School Communities.” I know that for national organizations, policy statements on transgender people can be fraught with difficulty as some member schools may be part of communities who simply do not accept trans identities. (Just the other day, at the AISNE Diversity Conference, several people in a session on supporting trans students said they as LGBTQ+ adults did not feel safe coming out in their schools. And that’s in New England, a region generally considered to be more LGBTQ+ friendly than many others.) I wondered what path NAIS had chosen. It turned out to be, perhaps unsurprisingly, a somewhat tentative middle ground.

Filed Under: LGBT Support, Education, transgender

Intersections: Deciding to Rise

November 02, 2016 by Bill Ivey

When I was a girl, I had parents who loved me and believed in me, but those doubts still worked their way inside my head and my heart, and I was always worried about something. Does my hair look right? Am I too tall? Do I raise my hand too much in class? So when folks said that a girl like me shouldn’t aspire to go to the very best colleges in this country I thought, "Maybe they’re right." But eventually I learned that each of those doubts were like a little test, a challenge, that either I could shrink away from or rise up to meet and I decided to rise. - Michelle Obama, quoted by AISNE Assistant Director Bonnie Ricci at the AISNE Diversity Conference on November 1, 2016

It wasn’t particularly easy waking up at 4:45 in the morning to head out to the 2016 AISNE Diversity Conference. But it was well worth it, and not just for the chance to connect with familiar faces from other schools I don’t see often enough.

Ralph Wales, Head of Gordon School, welcomed us, asking the question, “What would happen if we were to start a school today?” He talked about aligning the power pyramid with our work in support of it, of the force and power we have to do right by all children, and of the concept of “pushing subversion.” Speaking as a person whose mood indicator has been stuck on subversive for several years, I can support that. The question, of course, is what to subvert, and how.

Filed Under: LGBT Support, anti-racism, social justice, diversity, Feminism, Education, Intersections, inclusion

Intersections: Quietly Revolutionary

October 26, 2016 by Bill Ivey

Varied Assessment: Continuous, authentic, and appropriate assessment measures, including both formative and summative ones, provide evidence about every student's learning progress. Such information helps students, teachers, and family members select immediate learning goals and plan further education. - from This We Believe, the 16 research-based characteristics of successful middle schools, published by the Association for Middle Level Education

Dear Middle School Team,

I sit here with a feeling of quiet pride. What we accomplished yesterday would be considered revolutionary in many schools, not just the decision we took but also the means by which we came to this point. And, as is always the case with us, it was a decision that put our students front and center while also keeping in mind and having consideration for the multiple perspectives of everyone involved.

Filed Under: Middle School, Middle Level Education, Education, Assessment, Intersections, Rick Wormeli

Intersections: I Shall Wear Purple

October 20, 2016 by Bill Ivey
Today, I am wearing purple. As it happens, I like purple - in fact, it’s one of my favourite colours. But more to the point, I am supporting GLAAD in marking Spirit Day and taking a stand against bullying and in support of LGBTQ+ youth.

Filed Under: LGBT Support, Anti-Bullying, Education, GLSEN, Intersections, Spirit Day, GLAAD

Intersections: Highlights

October 18, 2016 by Bill Ivey

I use Facebook as much as a professional networking resource as a means of keeping in touch with family and friends. I recently shared for anyone who may have been interested how proud I was of the students who recently made the GLSEN presentation in housemeeting, beginning my post by saying, “I know I say it perhaps more than I should, but students are amazing.” My mother-in-law said, “Never more than you should,” a friend added, “Never too much. Keep posting these anecdotes. It's a soothing balm to the ills of all the other junk we're seeing now.,” and Mark Springer said, “Students never cease to amaze, and we should never cease to say so.”

Filed Under: Middle School, Middle Level Education, Education, Democratic classroom, Intersections