Catapult Learning EduBlog

Interrupting Bias-Based Beliefs to Achieve Equity

By: Edward Fergus There are inherent challenges in creating a universal message of equity, particularly in an academic environment. Doing so requires leaders who are comfortable listening to others’ perspectives, considering those perspectives, and then making an equitable decision. Developing a universal message of equity is important – but it’s seldom that simple. In this article, we’ll look at some bias-based beliefs that are hurdles in the pursuit of equity as well as ways to interrupt those beliefs using a positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) framework that can help clear the way toward equity. How Bias-Based Beliefs Impact Equity [...]

2022-05-18T11:16:26-04:00May 18th, 2022|

Deficit-Thinking in Classrooms – and Four Steps to Interrupt It

By: Edward Fergus  Deficit-thinking, a common bias-based belief in the education field, is rooted in an ideology that explains academic performance by blaming individuals or groups for the conditions they find themselves experiencing. This type of thinking promotes the idea of cultural deficits in groups and discounts the presence of systemic inequalities that result from race-based processes, practices, and policies. Examples of Deficit-Thinking in the Classroom An unfortunate, yet common, example of deficit-thinking in today’s classrooms concerns low-income and racial/ethnic minority students. The effects can be devastating to these students because those on the receiving end of deficit-thinking beliefs are [...]

2022-04-20T09:51:06-04:00April 18th, 2022|

Three Ways to Mitigate Special Education Disproportionality

By: Dr. Edward Fergus Disproportionality within special education is not a recent trend. In fact, it was first identified and acknowledged in special education literature in 19681 and has increased in acknowledgement in the decades since. A report from the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 found that Black students were twice as likely to be identified with emotional disabilities and 2.7 times more likely to be identified as cognitively impaired than their white peers nationally. Similarly, Native American students were nearly twice as likely to be identified with specific learning disabilities and 60% more likely to be identified as [...]

2022-03-15T15:35:56-04:00March 15th, 2022|

How to Address Summer Learning Loss

Summer learning loss, also known as summer slide, has been a point of discussion and concern in K12 education for decades. While some experts claim that summer learning loss is a myth, assessment data and other evidence show otherwise. COVID-19 school closures and prolonged virtual learning have disrupted learning for millions of K12 students, leading to unfinished learning and, for many, increased academic, social, and emotional gaps. As we prepare for this summer, students face an unprecedented academic, social, emotional, and mental health crisis…so it’s important to ask: How can summer programming close academic gaps and improve students’ social skills [...]

2022-02-02T09:47:33-05:00January 27th, 2022|

What Makes an Effective Teacher Professional Development Program?

The world of education has undergone a sea change over the past 18 months. COVID-19 clearly illustrated why effective teacher professional development (PD) is so critical to the success of not only students but entire schools. When PD is done correctly and effectively, it’s an invaluable tool for educators. It keeps teachers in the classroom. Attracting and retaining skilled teachers is one of the most challenging area educators face in building and sustaining a thriving school environment.1 According to one study, one-third of teachers leave the profession within three years, and half of teachers leave within five years. Research consistently shows [...]

2022-01-05T13:23:13-05:00December 20th, 2021|

How Schools Can Responsibly Spend EANS Funding

EANS funding can be a difference-maker when you allocate those funds toward resources that allow your schools to accelerate their students’ learning, make up lost learning time that resulted from COVID-19, and address social-emotional learning. Before we get into some of the most impactful ways to spend your EANS dollars, here’s a brief overview of EANS funding. What Is EANS? The EANS (Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools) program is broken into two allocations: EANS I is $2.75 billion allocated to non-public elementary and secondary schools as part of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER II) fund under the Coronavirus Response [...]

2021-10-29T16:55:33-04:00October 27th, 2021|

Accelerated Learning: Focusing on the Foundations That Propel Growth

COVID-19 forced all of us to adapt how we taught and how our students learned during the 2019-20, 2020-21, and even the current 2021-22 school year. And while remote/virtual/distance learning helped to fill a gaping void in students’ academic lives, the effect that the disruption of being in and out of school had on academic progress for many students is staggering. It’s crucial that educators take swift and decisive action to reinforce academic foundations and support social-emotional well-being to accelerate learning to propel growth. Accelerated learning models provide intense and intentional support in 1-to-1 or small-group tutoring settings to reinforce [...]

2021-10-29T16:26:42-04:00September 29th, 2021|

Educator’s Guide to EANS Funding

Whenever federal funding is made available to schools, questions inevitably follow. Our Educator’s Guide to Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) Funding helps clarify the many rules and regulations involved with this type of funding, and provides answers to the questions you may have. As an educator, you’ll need to know all there is to know about EANS funds, such as: What is EANS and why should I apply for it? How do I know if my school is eligible for EANS funding? How do I apply for EANS funding? How do I access the funds, and how can I [...]

2021-10-08T13:59:53-04:00September 23rd, 2021|

How to Overcome Disproportionality in our Schools

By: Jason Botel | March 18, 2021 Educating children who have disabilities can be complex work — for districts, schools, families, and, most importantly, the students themselves. Let’s avoid exacerbating the issue by inequitably establishing which students actually merit the designation. The term “educational disproportionality” refers to when a racial or ethnic group’s representation in a particular education category is inequitable compared to their overall enrollment. Our country’s history is replete with policies, practices, and outcomes that have been disproportionately negative for certain groups, including Black people, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color, and those with disabilities. So, unfortunately, [...]

2021-03-22T12:48:53-04:00March 22nd, 2021|

The Importance of Summer School Programs for Elementary Students

Back in the day, the mere mention of the words “summer school” was enough to send chills down the spine of any student. After all, who wanted to spend their summer days in a hot, classroom learning, when friends were swimming or at the beach having fun? Those days are long gone, however. Today, summer school is more like an education camp for students. Many summer school programs, especially for elementary students, are designed to be fun as well as educational, with plenty of STEM and enrichment activities built into the program. Engagement within and outside the classroom—whether an in-person [...]

2021-02-23T12:30:41-05:00February 1st, 2021|
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