National Writing Project

Untangling Urban Middle School Reform

Date: August 11, 2016

Summary: Cynthia Urbanski, author of Untangling Urban Middle School Reform, discusses her work with Writing Project professional development at Rosa Parks Middle School, focusing on the clash between competing narratives of student success.


Excerpt from Show

Cynthia Urbanski on the importance of recognizing the constraints that administrators operate under when winning them over to Writing Project work:

You have to sit down with the administrator and say 'look, if you teach writing the way we're saying teach writing, the test scores will come.' But we're asking administrators to play a believing game, and so we have to really make that case for them that everything is going to be better than okay, and we're going to help students reach beyond the measures of the test."

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