The following story ran in the Texas College and Career Readiness Network news in March, 2015.  Read it in its original location here. Faculty and school leaders from community college and school districts who participated in the Gulf Coast Partnership for Achieving Student Success (GC PASS) project are expanding the initiative to help students successfully…

Parents and community leaders have a substantial stake in the quality of public schools – but too often, high quality is difficult to identify.  Do the beautiful grounds suggest that this school has the resources to meet every need?  Do the charming student performances indicate that students here are accomplished and happy?  Is there a…

“If you want to see a country that systematically underestimates what kids can do, come to the U.S.” So concludes journalist and bestselling author Amanda Ripley, whose most recent book, The Smartest Kids in the World, explores the international education landscape to learn how top-performing systems prepare all students to reason, communicate, and really think….

The Houston A+ Challenge Speaker Series on Public Education took an unprecedented international focus in 2013-14. Thanks to Chevron’s generous sponsorship, Houston’s educators and thought leaders had the opportunity to learn from Pasi Sahlberg of Finland’s education ministry; Ee-Ling Low, representing Singapore’s teacher training institute; Andreas Schleicher, founder of the international PISA test; and Sugata Mitra, TED Prize winner and education…

What does it mean to be a great teacher – and how to teachers learn to be great?  True to form, Singapore addresses this complex issue with a well-defined system, according to Ee-Ling Low of Singapore’s National Institute of Education (NIE).  Low spoke on February 19 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as part…

Finland’s education success story is one of the world’s best-known: over the past 40 years, Finnish schools have transformed from a diffuse collection of schools varying in quality to a unified network of independent yet high-performing schools that serve all children well.  These reformed have not only made Finland a star in international education, but also propelled…

In 1999, Sugata Mitra embedded computers in the walls of Delhi slums to examine how children interact with technology, and shocked the world with his discovery that children could teach themselves just about everything from web surfing to genetic mutation with almost no adult guidance. Today, more than a decade of research supports this revolutionary idea,…

News coverage of the 2012 PISA exam focused on the U.S.’s slipping performance in comparison to East Asian nations (and perpetual overachiever Finland). But as Andreas Schleicher detailed in his March 26 presentation, the exhaustive study of education systems that accompanied the exam reveals much more about the world’s most effective schools. Five Lessons from…

Dr. Scott Van Beck, Executive Director of Houston A+ Challenge, offered the following testimony to the Texas House of Representatives Committee on Education in Spring, 2014. Chairman Aycock and members of the House Committee – My name is Scott Van Beck and I am the Executive Director of the Houston A+ Challenge.  We are an…

As much as we talk about technology revolutionizing schools, in truth, we’ve only scratched the surface.  In today’s connected classrooms, it’s possible for students to learn with very little assistance from teachers. So says Sugata Mitra, an education trailblazer who has gained a following – and a TED Prize – for his widely publicized Hole…

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