High-performing, high-poverty schools (HPHP) are “outliers”; their successes remarkably defy the seemingly insurmountable odds against them. By definition, an outlier school’s success is uncommon; yet, such schools can be found across the United States and abroad as well. In this era of pandemic schooling, our proposition is this: Much can be learned from these public HPHP schools that have succeeded in overcoming the formidable challenges of poverty and underachievement.
Even a cursory scan of the current education landscape reveals a vivid picture of multiple and common pandemic-related problems of practice. Paramount among these problems is the need to 1) emphasize SEL and provide trauma-sensitive support to students, 2) accelerate learning, and 3) more authentically engage parents. Moreover, educators continue to face these challenges at a time when their self- and collective efficacy may be wavering, considering all, over the past two years, they continue to be asked to do in their classrooms and schools.
Given the adverse, long-standing effects of poverty on students’ lives and learning, educators in HPHP schools tackled, by necessity and design, the same issues that pandemic schooling has recently leveled on most public schools. Without cultivating the self- and collective efficacy necessary to address social and emotional learning and effectively respond to trauma, accelerate learning, and authentically connect with and engage parents, the chances of improving academic and student outcomes in these HPHP schools would have been significantly diminished.
In this three-part series, Kathleen and Bill, authors of Turning High-Poverty Schools into High-Performing Schools, 2nd Edition, (ASCD 2020) and Disrupting Poverty: Five Powerful Classroom Practices (ASCD 2018), will reveal the strategies educators used in these schools to cultivate the necessary self- and collective efficacy to tackle these problems of practice. Protocols, tools, and processes for taking action to cultivate self- and collective efficacy, even in these challenging times, will be shared.
Emerge with an enhanced understanding of the processes and strategies through which high-performing, high-poverty schools successfully address three problems of practice common to many schools in this era of pandemic schooling.
Further develop the knowledge, skills, and understanding necessary to cultivate individual and collective efficacy in your school.
Develop an awareness of effective protocols, procedures, strategies, and tools to support timely action planning.