If Some High-Poverty Schools Do Well, Can All?

Dr. Anael Alston talks about what really turns schools around

Today we're talking to Dr. Anael Alston about specific issues with high-poverty schools. In a refreshing take on dramatic school change, Anael does not recommend that we assign blame. Instead, he recommends an approach that focuses on teacher expectations and several other things. As a turnaround principal himself, Anael has insights into how to help teachers change their attitude about how students can perform.

high poverty schools

I think his principles apply to all teachers, because we all have students who struggle. We all have students who need us to believe in them. I think perhaps the greatest challenge is what Anael tells teachers who just don't believe the kids can do it. It's actually genius. Take a listen.

(Oh, and there were so many great quotes, I've included them in graphics at the bottom for those listeners who love to pin great quotes to Pinterest!)

Listen to this show on: BAM Radio Network | iTunes 

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I reject that poverty is the reason for school failure

Show Notes:

  • How do you get started with change in high-needs schools?
  • What should principals do when teachers just don't believe the kids can do it?
  • How do you help teachers reframe their expectations?
  • What kinds of things did Anael do to help teachers change their attitudes in the high-needs schools that he has helped turn around?
  • Why does the blame game accomplish nothing? What do you do instead?
  • What can teachers in high-needs, high-poverty schools do to adjust their own attitude when they feel like they're not getting leadership from the top?

Who is Dr. Anael Alston?

Born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn, Dr. Anael Alston @DrAAlston is the Superintendent of the Hamilton Central School District. Dr. Alston has written political commentary for Newsday, written nationally for EdWeek, has presented at national and statewide conferences on school change and curriculum reform, testified for Governor Cuomo’s Education reform Commission, and occasionally does radio as an education expert.

working with students in poverty

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