Trouble the Image

If we are not going to to share the good work we do daily in schools, who will? I ask this question because I feel it is not longer an option to just assume our parents and the public know what are students are learning. There is little reason anymore to remain private about public education. Without a consistent voice from the classroom, communities make assumptions about schools based on their own past experiences. Even worse, people with anti-education agendas can spout false information that only serves their bottom line. It is our responsibility to visibly refute false claims. We are the closest to the source, after all.

Matt Renwick


Engagement in practitioner research is one way to trouble the images held by the education community, the policy community, and the public. – Nancy Fitchman Dana

Kimberly Schools Create Award-Winning Literacy Model by Jen Zettel (Appleton Post-Crescent, December 16, 2014)

A Wisconsin school district was profiled for their efforts to improve student literacy achievement. Using a common instructional framework and existing resources, the K-4 staff carved out 30 minutes of their school day for intensive learning support for students. They worked on “a variety of skills, including sentence structure, descriptive words and spelling”. Kids are flexibly grouped based on current assessment data and progress.

To prepare for this type of instruction, teachers used collaborative planning time to make responsive decisions, as well as to “exchange ideas, offer feedback and set strategies”. While the district has observed increased student achievement, “the most important thing is we’ve already come back now twice…

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Author: Matt Renwick

Matt Renwick is an 18-year public educator who began as a 5th and 6th-grade teacher in Rudolph, WI. He now serves as an elementary principal for the Mineral Point Unified School District ( Matt also teaches online graduate courses in curriculum design and instructional leadership for the University of Wisconsin-Superior. He tweets @ReadByExample and writes for ASCD ( and Lead Literacy (

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