Entries by Joanne McEachen

Community & Contribution: How Can Schools Improve Their Communities?

Communities across the United States share a common and worthy concern: how can our community improve its schools? The value we place on individuals’ education stems from the long-standing promise of the American school system that receiving an education leads to better-paying jobs, reduced inequality, and lifelong success. But despite being more highly educated than […]

Future for Us

In January 2019, Seattle’s Aparna Rae and Sage Ke’alohilani Quiamno launched Future for Us, an initiative designed to accelerate the advancement of women of color through community, culture, and career development. They envision a world where women of color lead at the highest levels of corporate, government, and social sector organizations. For everyone pioneering this […]

Chaos or Mindfulness?

After spending a week in Austria at the Salzburg Global Seminar on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), I was inspired to rekindle my attempts to make mindfulness a purposeful part of my life. The inspiration came from leading voices from all over the world – from Manish Sisodia (Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi), who spoke about […]

Diminishing Returns

A recent article from the FFT Education Datalab examined the effects of school quality on students’ long-term outcomes. The study compared students from lower- and higher-performing schools over the span of fourteen years and concluded that while measures of school quality were somewhat associated with measures of students’ long-term outcomes, the association diminished over time. […]

The Whole World Waits

In my experiences with teachers and school leaders in educational systems around the world, one frequently asked question stands out from the rest: “How can I balance the demands of the system with the interests and needs of my learners?” A lot is expected of teachers and school leaders, and those expectations don’t always align […]

Measuring Human Return

What do we value as humans? Some things are important no matter where or who we are. These universal human values demonstrate what we want for ourselves and others both individually and collectively, along with what it really takes to lead a meaningful and fulfilling life. They show us what matters and where we have […]

Calling All Teachers to Stop the Insanity

Let’s do our part, teachers, to stop the insanity. Let’s not wake up again, like every other day, to hear about the next mass shooting, the shooting of a person because of their color, or other tragedies of politics, famine, war, and hate, and then wonder why. We know why. We know that for decades […]


What would happen if: Equity was a right, not a fight? We didn’t need to have money as the means for trading? We all cared for, took responsibility for and loved at least one person each? Everyone had access to health? Learning was relevant and is a genuine part of daily life? What you contribute […]

Learning Beyond the Known

Putting the learner first and at the center of the teaching and learning process means evaluating every decision – at every level of the education system – through the lens of how it will impact learners. It requires educators to understand and celebrate who their learners are, what they are interested in learning, and how […]

Measuring the why of student success

Standardized tests are supposed to objectively show what a learner knows. The theory goes that if all students answer the same test questions, you will get a clear picture of who knows what. But that isn’t how it works in the real world because students aren’t as standardized as the standardized test’s they are taking. […]