Denver Fellows and Addressing the Opportunity Myth
By, Kristin Hubbard
Our mission is to close the opportunity gap by providing small group math & literacy instruction for our highest need students in order to accelerate their academic growth in preparation for college and career.
When students graduate from high school they expect to be academically prepared to achieve at the collegiate level—it is the social contract of our public education system. However, many culturally and linguistically diverse students are graduating high school not prepared to further their education resulting in being forced to pay for remedial classes as they begin advanced studies.
Can you imagine how discouraging that would be? Why is this happening?
The New Teachers Project (TNTP) has aptly named this problem The Opportunity Myth—education is failing to deliver on a key promise to our youth. In 4:10 classrooms with a majority of students of color never received a single grade-level assignment despite 82% of teachers supporting the content of their state’s standards. In fact, only 44% of teachers expected their students to have success with these standards according to The Opportunity Myth Report (TNTP, 2018). The lack of access to grade-level content, strong instruction, deep engagement, and high expectations produces the opportunity myth.
The Denver Fellows program is committed to ensuring all students succeed! We present students with rigorous grade-level content, that is scaffolded by connecting to relevant and previously unfinished learning. Students receive instruction to provide students practice with the major work of each grade. This combination has shown to boost student confidence, engagement, and understanding of mathematical concepts. Students are exposed to released PARCC, or Smarter Balanced Assessment items from the beginning of the year to guide our instruction and to recognize the level of rigor students are expected to attain by the end of the school year.
Our fellows mentor students to accelerate their academic growth. Through goal-setting conversations, consistent feedback, and high expectations, we ensure each student makes academic gains. Our relentless pursuit of our mission, to close the opportunity gap in order to accelerate students’ academic growth in preparation for college and career, is our method of destroying the opportunity myth for students’ in Denver.