DIFFERENCE MAKERS FOR STUDENTS?
The Expectations Project grounds our thinking in the best available research about what works to increase outcomes for students and help them thrive in life.
We are passionate wonks when it comes to numbers, data, case studies and models. Why? Because the evidence is clear. All God’s children can achieve at high levels. What are the biggest game-changers for students, parents and communities?
We believe investments in the following areas can make a huge difference:
Every child should have the opportunity to attend a high quality preschool that prepares them for kindergarten and beyond. This is especially true for kids from low-income families. Ages zero through five are the most critical years for brain development. Children who attend a high quality preschool outpace peers who don’t have access to one. It’s no wonder that low-income kids are falling behind early and often, and through no fault of their own. Let’s invest in them.
We embrace the idea that all children can learn and achieve at high levels, regardless of their background. The highest performing schools in low-income communities share a common trait of holding students to high expectations—measurable and tangible standards—and helping both students and teachers achieve these goals. Our education leaders should be accountable for these results and communicating those results in a transparent manner.
Every child deserves high quality teachers and school leaders, given the enormous impact on student achievement. Studies point to teachers as the most significant ‘in school’ variable that can improve student achievement. Teacher effectiveness matters even more for students who are far behind academically. School leaders set the tone for school culture and the most effective principals recruit and retain the best teachers.
All parents should have access to a high quality public school to send their child to, regardless of their zip code, their income level, or color of their skin. Neighborhoods too often define whether or not a child has a high quality school and family income generally determines where a family can afford to live. Fixing struggling neighborhood schools must be a priority, and in the meantime, parents should have other choices for their children.