One year ago this week teaching and learning at the underserved, underperforming Ortiz Middle School in Santa Fe, NM was pretty much what you would expect: students lining up quietly in the hallways; sitting quietly in rows and pods of desks; completing worksheets; raising hands one at a time to answer questions or read a section; teacher at the front of the class.
This is what Ortiz looks like now. Test scores are up, parents are coming in record numbers to student-led conferences, teachers are starting to build interdisciplinary themes, students are working in the halls, on the floor, and pursuing lines of inquiry based on interest. I am so proud to have worked alongside colleague Julie Wilson, principal Steve Baca, and this team of teachers proving that, yes, we CAN scale great learning, even in schools that perhaps most had given up on.
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