Entries by Joanne McEachen

Failure is not an option

Federal Education policy makes targeting the lowest performing schools the priority. It is widely understood that school performance across the US is uneven. While some schools are performing very well, others are in dire need of help. Under No Child Left Behind, interventions for schools that did not meet the federal standard were predefined by […]

Student Competency

The US education system assumes that a high school diploma means you have met certain standards in universal skills like language, mathematics and reading. Our systems are pretty much aligned with the concept that it takes until 12th grade to get all those minimum competencies. Much the same way that you can walk into a Starbucks […]

The New Assessment Challenge

Creating a new system to assess learners has its challenges, but it can be done. How? Start by considering what matters most to your learners, within their context. Think about what success means and describe what it looks like. Once you have this picture of success firmly implanted in your mind, ask yourself the following […]

Engaging Kids Through Our Rich, Modern Media Environment

Many parents are concerned about the effect that modern technologies like video games and social media are having on their children. The Iñupiaq people in Alaska are no exception. Because their language had no writing system for most of their history, oral storytelling has remained a central tool for transmitting their cultural heritage through the […]

Learning Programs

Schools and systems  want a better way of teaching and assessing their students, but often don’t know how, or where to begin. The education system has been so focused on test scores and standardization that although we know we need something different, it’s become a challenge to see what “different”  looks like. Our Professional Learning […]

Designing Deep Learning

Learning is deepest when it connects to students’ lives – who they are, what they are interested in learning, and how they can use their learning to make a difference in their own lives, the lives of others, and the world. When thinking about how to design “deeper” learning experiences, it helps to keep a […]

We’re Back!

The Learner First have updated our website, and it is more than just a fancy new look – we have added helpful content about what we do and how we do it, including a breakdown of our framework and the tools we use. There is also a page for our videos, flyers and papers. We […]

How to Achieve Whole-System Lift for Struggling Title I Schools

Event: eStudy from the American Evaluation Association Dates:  Monday, June 20th & Wednesday, June 22nd 3:00p.m.-4:30p.m. ET Presenters: Dr. E. Jane Davidson & Joanne McEachen Register: http://www.eval.org/eStudy Want to hit the ground running with ESSA, get measurable lifts for your bottom 5% of Title I Schools? This eStudy, from the American Evaluation Association, reveals a powerful […]

Teacher Appreciation Week

  To all our wonderful teachers, Learning is knowing who you are; how you fit into the world; and how you can contribute back. The lives of all students are in our teachers’ hands. You are literally changing the destinies of kids every day. Keep pushing the envelope and doing amazing things. You are so appreciated! The […]

Testing Song 2016 (I Can’t Feel My Face)

Testing season got you down? Ashley Haddox-Williams, a teacher at Hayes Elementary School (one of the schools working with The Learner First in Oklahoma City), and her husband have recorded a little musical relief. Each year, the couple crafts and records a song for Hayes. This year’s tune, a parody of The Weekend’s “Can’t Feel My […]