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Joan Talbert Co-Authors Book Profiling the Success Story of Sanger Unified School District

Joan Talbert
November 2013

A new book by Collaborative member Joan Talbert, senior research scholar emerita at Stanford University, and Jane David, director of the Bay Area Research Group, tells the dramatic improvement story of Sanger Unified School District. Turning Around a High-Poverty District: Learning from Sanger explores how a commitment to transparency, accountability, and the use of professional learning communities in Sanger led to impressive growth in student achievement under the direction of then Superintendent (and Collaborative member) Marc Johnson and Deputy Superintendent Rich Smith. The authors highlight and deepen many of the lessons that emerged during the California Collaborative’s November 2010 meeting in Sanger, Professional Learning Communities: Using Data to Collaboratively Improve Instruction for ELs, which addressed the power of collaboration and use of both formative and benchmark assessments (especially for English learners) in transforming chronic underperformance at the school level into sustained, high achievement. Talbert and David make the case that Sanger has a strong foundation for new Superintendent Matt Navo to continue the district’s ongoing success and to tackle opportunities and challenges that may arise from Common Core implementation. The book also features a forward by Collaborative member Ken Doane of the S.H. Cowell Foundation, which funded Talbert and David’s research.