Linda Diamondby Linda Diamond, President, CORE and author of Teaching Reading Sourcebook and Assessing Reading: Multiple Measures

I discovered Jasmine Lane while listening to an Amplify podcast interview. After listening to her speak about equity and education and the power of literacy, I started reading her blogs and her pieces on Project Forever Free. Ms. Jasmine, as she goes by on her blog, is unafraid to speak the truth about the conditions of education that impede equity, in particular, the failure to teach reading based on the research evidence. A post at Project Forever Free that particularly moved me was one called “Literacy: The Forgotten Social Justice Issue.”

Ms. Jasmine opens with an account of her grandfather, who did not learn to read until in his 30s and who risked, if caught reading, being “attacked, threatened, or possibly murdered for daring to be a Black Man reading in the Jim Crow south.” Jasmine connects this account from her personal history to today’s failure to apply the science of teaching reading, resulting in too many children not able to read. Ms. Jasmine is a high school English teacher, on the receiving end of students arriving with poor literacy skills year after year. This is what she says that struck me so powerfully about why she starts with her grandfather’s history: (more…)

Join Pivot Learning and UnboundEd for a free webinar Wednesday, July 15 from 3:00 – 4:00pm ET (12:00pm – 1:00pm PT) to learn how to use the tools and resources in their newly launched Equity Reset Toolkit to discover unfinished instruction needs as a result of school closures and how to develop a plan to address these need equitably.

You’ll also learn how to:


Register for this webinar to gain valuable insights into how to move forward into the fall with a plan for equitable ELA and math instruction adaptable for in-person, remote, or blended learning.


In 2015, Oregon passed legislation that requires that at least one teacher in each K–5 school complete dyslexia-related training. The legislation requires that the training must (a) comply with the knowledge and practice standards of an international organization on dyslexia; (b) enable the teacher to understand and recognize dyslexia; and (c) enable the teacher to implement instruction that is systematic, explicit and evidence-based to meet the educational needs of students with dyslexia.

CORE’s in-person and Online Elementary Reading Academy were recently approved by the Oregon Department of Education to address the following two focus areas:


Nancy McGivneyBy Nancy McGivney, Senior Educational Services Specialist, CORE

In one of my favorite movies, The Gods Must Be Crazy, there were two side characters who drove the jeep in their guerrilla warfare army. Whenever there was a stop in the movement forward, they’d pull out a deck of cards and get back into whatever game they were playing. I totally relate to them. I’m happy to carry around a deck of UNO cards and keep a running game going. Card games are good for more than occupying time; they are also great for developing math skills. During this time of school closures, card games are an excellent way to continue to develop math skills at home and make use of resources likely available. (more…)

Zaretta HammondAn important Conversation from the Center for the Collaborative Classroom with Zaretta Hammond on Instructional Equity. Reprinted with permission.

Collaborative Classroom is dedicated to transforming the school experience, developing students, and empowering educators by deepening their teaching practices. Zaretta Hammond is one of Collaborative Classroom’s best thought partners in this work, consistently pushing their thinking and challenging them to do better. A national education consultant for the past 25 years and the author of the best-selling book, Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students, Ms. Hammond joined the Collaborative Classroom Board of Trustees in November 2018. Collaborative Classroom recently had the privilege of discussing instructional equity­—both the big picture and classroom practice—with Ms. Hammond. We’re delighted to share excerpts from this rich, wide-ranging conversation with you. (more…)

NCTQ State Literacy GuidelinesThe National Council on Teacher Quality will be releasing a detailed guide that outlines the four actions states must take in order to support reading success for all students. The guide also includes a list of 13 essential aspects of reading every elementary teacher should know about reading instruction. You can get a sneak peek of it now.

CORE’s president, Linda Diamond, was one of the team of reading experts that contributed to the action guide. This guide will be an invaluable resource for states and districts as they strive to ensure all teachers have essential knowledge of the science of reading and how to teach students to read.


Linda Diamondby Linda Diamond, President, CORE and author of Teaching Reading Sourcebook and Assessing Reading: Multiple Measures

I write to you, colleagues in education, with a deep sense of sadness and unease as I continue to watch the events that are unfolding in our communities and in our nation. At no time that I can recall has our country been so divided and so traumatized. We have been living in the midst of a public health crisis and an economic and unemployment crisis of staggering proportions. These conditions already impacted the most vulnerable in our country and hit the Black community hard. But now the chilling and brutal murder of George Floyd escalated the crisis in our country and rekindled fear and outrage, particularly among Black Americans for whom this killing is all too familiar. As educators striving for equity and educational and social justice, we must redouble our efforts to increase awareness of the discrimination that exists in our country and in our educational institutions. (more…)

CORE, Pivot learning, and Center for the Collaborative Classroom have been examining our own practices with a critical eye, looking for ways to better equip educators with the tools and support they need to connect with a diverse student population that has been adversely affected by school closures. When we look ahead, we understand school will likely look different in ways we cannot even imagine.

To support our educator partners, we offer guidance and resources that can be used over the summer and taken into the fall to support students both academically and socially. Pivot Learning’s CEO, Arun Ramanathan, and Collaborative Classroom’s President and COO, Kelly Stuart, share what we believe is essential for making sure our students don’t fall behind. Read their commentary on the Collaborative Circle blog.

Our partners at Center for the Collaborative Classroom recently interviewed Michelle Rodriguez, EdD, superintendent of Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) in Watsonville, California and CORE’ president, Linda Diamond about the current reality of remote learning, how and why Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words (SIPPS) is a key component of PVUSD’s impressive achievements in improving student literacy outcomes, and how a strong change-management approach has positioned PVUSD for long-term success. Read the interview in the Collaborative Circle blog.

Also be sure to read a commentary by Pivot Learning’s CEO, Arun Ramanathan, and Collaborative Classroom’s Kelly Stewart about the guidance and resources being offered by CORE, Pivot Learning and Collaborative Classroom that can be used over the summer and taken into the fall to support students both academically and socially. Read what we believe is essential for making sure our students don’t fall behind in Resources for Reconnecting and Accelerating Student Learning.

Educators are doing more than ever to support students. In this time of crisis, it’s important to take care of and nurture ourselves so that we are mentally and emotionally able to take on the many challenges of remote learning and life in a pandemic.  Our friends at Amplify have put together a list of tips to help you first care for yourself so you can continue to care for your students.

  1. Get some air! Walk around the neighborhood, bring a chair and your laptop outside, or, at the very least, throw open a window, rain or shine.
  2. Eat. When you’re less locked in to a regular schedule, it’s easy to lose track of time—even meal time. Frozen vegetables are your friend!
  3. Make time for small indulgences.
  4. Spruce up your work space. Wherever you’re working these days, take a quick 10 to make it more ergonomic, clear a little clutter, or screen it off from the rest of your space.
  5. Embrace endorphins. Make sure to move, whether it’s a long socially-distant run or a quick TikTok dance.