Tara S

Tara S has written 10 posts for Cooperative Catalyst

PISA Results continue to lean

This week, the results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) were released. The PISA is a triennial survey that tests the skills and knowledge of 15 year old students in 65 countries. This iteration focused on math, and the comparative results of the 510,000 students who participated helps evaluate the current state of the … Continue reading

Independent Learning

(Cross Posted from Life’s About the Journey) I saw this video on “The Independent Project” thanks to a shout out from my old principal Mr. Adams. Within minutes of checking out the premise of the project, their website and this video, I was fascinated and frankly, hooked. I think the idea behind a self motivated school … Continue reading

What Students Actually Want in Their School

Over the summer, when David Loitz sent out a request for Imagining Learning Listening Session planners, I said, “Why not?” and agreed to organize one. Months later, after numerous emails back and forth between David, Charles Kouns (the founder of Imagining Learning) and Mr. Bo Adams (my old teacher, who was helping me put it … Continue reading

My Stance on “Ed Reform”

(I was asked a few questions on my involvement with the Student Voice movement and my opinions on edreform for a documentary. Here’s what I said) I think education is extremely important, but that the definition of what education entails, is changing as we speak. To me, getting an education is still the means of … Continue reading


Students are banding together to enhance their voice in policy discussions nationwide. Students everywhere are eager to join the conversation, especially regarding the future of their education system. Now is the time for our voice – the Student Voice – to be heard. That’s the theory behind the new site and blog project A place … Continue reading

Bright Spots in China

I just spent five weeks in Beijing, China, learning mandarin. The particular summer program I was with is not through school but an elective immersion experience. I attended 4-5 Chinese classes a day but my day was so much more than just my classes. The program is structured such that we also gained a flavor … Continue reading

Bring on the Learning Revolution

(Cross-posted from Life’s about the Journey) In Sir Ken Robinson’s second most notable TED talk, Bring on the Learning Revolution, he talks of a 2nd climate crisis. One as severe as the one coupled with global warming, but not a crisis of environmental resources. Rather, a crisis of human resources. He says that we poorly use … Continue reading

Homework: Help or Hassle?

(cross-posted from Huffington Post Teen) Homework. It’s hard to find one student who hasn’t complained about it, and almost impossible to find one who’s never done it. Lately, many students I’ve talked with about education have been talking about homework, more than just your average complaint. A lot of this deeper conversation about homework was fueled … Continue reading

Tending Our Gardens

Ah, Spring. Now is the time where my family and I roll up our sleeves and dig into the dirt, preparing the soil for herbs, vegetables and flowers– up-rooting weeds, churning through the sun hardened soil and squishing our feet through the newly watered beds. We all have different approaches to accomplishing the same tasks. … Continue reading

Caution: Work in Progress

Perfection. It’s the unattainable. It’s what counselors tell children to shy away from. “Nobody’s perfect,” they say, “And who cares (about perfection)?” The answer is, apparently our society. In a world where children face a deluge of information from a variety of sources,  the quest to be perfect is omnipresent and never ending. Parents and … Continue reading

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