Build stronger teachers
At the National Summer School Initiative, partner teachers from around the country hone their craft guided by expert mentors—watching their moves and making them their own.
The heart of our model is an intensive investment in professional development. Before the program launches, every participating teacher will benefit from a week-long Institute that deeply prepares them in the specific pedagogies, curricula, and virtual teaching methods.
Then, twice each week, teachers will join their peers across the country in a National Grade Team Meeting. The emphasis is not on academic procedures but rather meaning-making—preparing to incite students' curiosity. Each session focuses on the two essential levers of great instruction: intellectual preparation and student work analysis.
INTELLECTUAL PREP. In intellectual prep, teachers have the time to go deep in the novels, texts, and mathematical problems they will be exploring with their students the next day.
They master the next day's text (and generate a love for it), anticipate student misconceptions, and develop the "roadmap of questions" that will guide students to making meaning, without taking away from them the intellectual work.
STUDENT WORK ANALYSIS. In student work analysis, teachers will look closely at what their students are actually producing. Teachers ask themselves, what can the work tell me about my students' conceptions? And how should I adjust my course?
IT WORKS. At Ascend Public Charter Schools, where these methods were deployed, student achievement soared. On the annual New York State assessments, students gained over four years 36 percentage points in English Language Arts proficiency and 40 points in math—the greatest gains in New York City.