Federal and state standards in education are intended to keep schools on track in the development of their students. In most cases, the schools and teachers that perform the best (based on test scores) receive incentives and rewards.
And many times, when parents are making decisions on which school to send their children to, they immediately review the school’s rating, which is based on standardized test scores.
While schools, teachers, and students need guidelines to follow, there may be something amiss in the steps to developing and teaching a curriculum that fully supports student success. Simply teaching to grade level is not enough for many students, and fixating on grade-level competency can create staggering shortcomings for the students who have fallen behind.
In a recent article, Joel Rose, co-founder and CEO of New Classrooms, shares the organization’s vision that schools should be meeting students where they are to help them get where they need to go. The personalized learning approach that Rose and his team developed is called Teach to One: Math, and its success in schools across the country is proving that providing students with individualized lesson plans encourages independence, critical thinking, and accountability.
In the article, Rose specifically discusses his report entitled “The Iceberg Problem: How Assessment and Accountability Policies Cause Learning Gaps in Math to Persist Below the Surface… and What To Do About It.” The study shares valuable data about the significant impact that learning gaps can have over time, reducing a student’s growth and proficiency in the subject and their ability to become college and career ready.
It is clear that federal policies push states and school districts toward grade-level competency tests, and teachers have felt the effects. Given the traditional education model, teachers simply cannot take time to catch students up after they have fallen behind. However, providing a modern, innovative, and technology-based approach to learning empowers students to progress far beyond their current grade level.
Teach to One: Math (TTO) offers a unique approach that is designed to meet students where they are using technology to track student progression. This new learning solution empowers students to accelerate their knowledge through various learning modalities that include independent work, group collaboration, and teacher-led instruction.
The dynamic approach to learning that TTO offers is breaking barriers to the traditional classroom learning environment. The Teach to One method is designed to target deeper levels of conceptual understanding of math skills and help students develop lifelong habits of success.
In the article, Rose discusses data from studying TTO’s method in 14 schools over a three-year period. Teach to One measures student growth throughout the year with adaptive tests called measures of academic progress (MAP). The data shows that students who utilized the personalized learning approach made faster gains over the three-year period than students who were simply taught and tested for proficiency.
Rose makes clear in the article that the Teach to One approach to learning does not lower expectations of students, nor does it reduce accountability or standards. In fact, he states that “individualized instruction and high expectations can go hand in hand, and if we are able to identify and address unfinished learning from prior years, students can advance more quickly and successfully toward their goals.”
The main takeaway that Rose encourages is that people who care about our education system need to work with policymakers and school districts to impose change. States can work with the current federal system to create innovative learning opportunities to close the educational gap that so many students are facing and help create bright futures for all.
About New Classrooms and Teach to One: Math
Teach to One: Math is an innovative learning solution developed by New Classrooms, a nonprofit that aims to transform the traditional learning environment across the country by personalizing learning for each student. Joel Rose and Chris Rush, co-founders of New Classrooms, originally launched School of One as a middle-grade math solution for NYC Public Schools.
After School of One’s success, the pair formulated Teach to One, which is now available in schools across the country. Teach to One is an award-winning educational modality that meets students where they are in their individual educational journeys. The approach engages students with technology and a mix of collaborative and independent learning. To learn more about New Classrooms and Teach to One: Math, visit www.newclassrooms.org.