TLA Blog

The field of education is constantly innovating as schools across the country search for the best ways to improve learning for each student. On the TLA Blog, The Learning Accelerator team and guest experts investigate and help you navigate the latest research, commentary, and useful tools to push the field forward.

A Personalized Journey: Three lessons learned from school redesign

by Kristen Watkins on March 21 2019

“How might we redesign school to better meet the needs of each student?” We posed this question to educators in the Dallas Independent School District back in 2014 with the hope of bringing together like-minded educators who wanted to redefine what’s possible for students and teachers in a large, urban district. This question still continues to...
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Coast-to-Coast Connections: How a national network fosters better education for all students

by Amy Dodson on March 12 2019

When I was a little girl in small-town Texas, I loved to travel. I also loved school. Learning and seeing other parts of our country were simply my favorite things. On an extended trip to New York City, I remember meeting a little girl from New Jersey in a laundromat when I was seven years old. We talked like little kids do – “how old are you?...
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Failing Forward: What school innovation networks have taught me about learning from failures

by Grace Magley on February 28 2019

Do you think about failure as a way to look at how to transform education? The last two years have enhanced my abilities to do just that! I credit the state and national innovative leadership networks that I belong to for opening my eyes to look at failure in the same way I look at success in helping me solve complex problems. My district, Natick...
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Crafting a “Data Vision”

by Daniel Owens on February 25 2019

"Information consumes attention. A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention." - Herbert Simon We know that all effective teachers use data to inform instruction, but with the integration of technology in classrooms and the need and desire to personalize instruction for students, the different academic and non-academic datasets teachers...
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Stuck in the Cycle: What teachers really face when we ask them to use data in their classrooms

by Stephen Pham, Beth Rabbitt on February 21 2019

Educators are masters of working with scarce resources, including something most limited and valuable – time. Time is always in high demand but short supply, and teachers are constantly forced to make critical, and often tough, choices about where to focus their limited attention as well as students’ efforts. One of the promises of blended...
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Introducing TLA's 2019 Blended Learning Measurement Fellows

by Saro Mohammed on February 19 2019

In 2017, we launched our annual measurement fellowship at The Learning Accelerator to catalyze the effective measurement of blended learning innovation and implementation to understand outcomes and inform collective improvement by building the pipeline of relevant and actionable research. We're excited to announce our 2019 Measurement Fellows...
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Building Community and Connections: An update on TLA’s Innovation Directors Network

by Jin-Soo Huh, Juliana Finegan on February 13 2019

The Learning Accelerator’s (TLA) Innovation Directors Network (IDN) recently finished its second convening in Dallas, TX. Once again, we were inspired, energized, and humbled by the amazing group of 13 system-level leaders and innovators who attended. We enjoyed two packed days of exploring, connecting, sharing, learning, and observing some best...
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When we talk about “assessment,” what do we really mean?

by Nithi Thomas on January 17 2019

When we talk about teachers and classroom data use, we’re oftentimes talking about data produced via assessment, or as Stassen et al. (2001) eloquently write, “the systematic collection and analysis of information to improve student learning.” The word “assessment” can conjure a lot of things for a lot of people, ranging from the high-stakes world...
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Making good on our data resolutions: Introducing a new series on lessons from TLA’s 6-month study on the current state of classroom data use

by Beth Rabbitt on January 15 2019

At TLA, we believe that the use of data is one of the most powerful strategies for realizing an effective, engaging, and equitable outcome for every child in classrooms across America. As our friends at the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) say, when used in service of learning “data is one of the most powerful tools to inform, engage, and create...
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So You Want to Innovate? Remember to Communicate

by Kira Keane on January 10 2019

Schools across the country are transforming education by embracing innovation and breaking out of the traditional paradigms of time, place, and pace. Teachers are blending in-person instruction with technology to differentiate lessons, using real-time data to personalize learning and allow for mastery-based progression, and they are incorporating...
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