Our Blog Posts

Challenging Our Beliefs

Jon Saphier - March 6, 2015: Virtually all the reform initiatives of the late 20th and early 21st century rely on commitment to a particular belief to be effective. These beliefs, however, are rarely an explicit part of the dialog in schools implementing the initiatives. It is important that they be addressed directly...

Presentation on High Expertise Teaching at the Learning Forward Conference

During his presentation at the recent annual...

The Nation’s Education Workforce Supply Chain Needs an Overhaul!

Jon Saphier - November 25, 2014: Ten disconnected processes influence the knowledge and skills of the teachers and leaders we have today. These ten processes could instead operate collectively as a SYSTEM. This system could embed and integrate the range and complexity of professional knowledge about high expertise teaching, learning, and leading.

Good Schools? Simple, It's Good Teaching!

Jon Saphier - November 19, 2014: It’s simple to say but hard to do. A decade of research replicated all over the country confirms that individual teacher knowledge and skill are the most significant variables in student achievement. It’s the most important place to focus...

The Ten Basics of High-Expertise Teaching

Jon Saphier - Oct. 30, 2014: Below are the highest leverage teacher skill-clusters for impacting student achievement. Each is selected not only because of the deep research base behind it, but because it causes other shifts as well. Inevitably, each skillset pulls in, like a magnet, a set of related high-power teaching skills.

Common Core State Standards Raise the Bar for Teachers

Jon Saphier - Oct. 17, 2014: The Common Core State Curriculum is a big step forward, but also an enormously demanding one. These standards raise the bar significantly for students’ ability to read, write, think, analyze, argue for, and organize their thinking. More than anything, these standards demand that all teachers teach all students the metacognitive thinking skills.

What’s Blocking Our Vision?

Jon Saphier - Sept. 26, 2014: Many important educational reform efforts are underway... However, there is a very large blind spot affecting these reform efforts... What exactly does this blind spot conceal? The fact that the knowledge and skill to teach effectively is larger and much more complex than what we prepare teachers to do or hold them accountable for doing.

Why Teacher Evaluation is the Wrong Priority

Jon Saphier - Sept. 23, 2014: Three years from now, in 2017, the current focus on teacher evaluation will have died away. Not that it wasn’t needed ... However, the fundamental education challenge we face, is not evaluating teaching, it is improving teaching.

Characteristics of an Effective School District

Jon Saphier - July 2014: Professions with rigorous professional standards have nine characteristics. But certain conditions must be present in districts to make progress toward creating these characteristics.

How to Close Achievement Gaps

Jon Saphier - July 2014: Achievement gaps between white students and African-American, Latino, and poor white students is endemic in American society...Yet, hundreds of schools in this country serving disadvantaged children manage to get break-the-mold results...