MINIMALLY ADEQUATE, MEET MAXIMALLY AMAZING
By Lynne Munson, Founder & CEO of Great Minds
The Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina, just ran a series on disparate education quality and poor student outcomes in South Carolina schools. Called “Minimally Adequate,” after the minimum statewide education standard, the project explored how circumstances leave too many Palmetto State students behind.
Amid the negative findings, the reporting named a few bright spots. One was Meeting Street Academy in Charleston, an exemplar school where students from under-resourced backgrounds are thriving and teachers are fulfilled.
Several factors make Meeting Street Academy successful, but a key element is quality curricula.
The school happens to use curricula from Great Minds®.
That’s by design. Our curricula reflect research showing that teacher support and training and quality, standards-aligned materials outweigh other factors in raising student achievement, including, importantly, that of disadvantaged students. Students respond to math that teaches the facts behind problem solving and to English language arts education that inspires a love of reading. Teachers stay where they value the materials. As one of Meeting Street Academy’s top educators put it, excellent teachers and curricula are a “juggernaut” for success.
Choosing the right curricula is important. It affects not only whether students and teachers succeed but also whether they excel. Fortunately, educators can turn to independent organizations such as the nonprofit EdReports.org to help them identify the highest quality instructional materials. EdReports gave Wit & Wisdom near-perfect scores for standards alignment and usability for Grades 3–8 and gave Eureka Math high scores for K–8 and a high score in a partial rating for high school.
Great Minds is also the only curriculum developer to have earned three Tier 1 ratings, the highest possible, from the Louisiana Department of Education for Eureka Math, Wit & Wisdom, and our newest curriculum, PhD Science™. Experts laud Louisiana’s thorough review of curricular materials as among the best in the nation.
At Great Minds, we work hard to create quality products. Our experienced teacher-writers develop rich content and methods that deliver lasting knowledge. After our curricula are in place, we support teachers with professional development. We offer parents homework resources. We seek feedback from teachers and school administrators and use it to refine our materials.
Great Minds exists to help create success stories like Meeting Street Academy. All students, wherever they live, deserve an education that instead of minimally adequate is maximally amazing.