Published Articles

All Articles by True Performance Learning Solutions

All Articles by True Performance Learning Solutions

When Going Online is the Only Option
The Learning Professional 8/2020

Reconciling Assessment Quality Standards and “Double Assessment” in Competency‐based Higher Education
The Journal of Competency-Based Education 6/2020

Determining a Student’s Least Restrictive Environment
n2y Blog 4/2020

Tips for Evaluating and Implementing Formative Assessments
n2y Blog 3/2020

Strengthen Student Self-Advocacy With a Growth Mindset
n2y Blog 2/2020

Competency-Based Education: What it is and How it’s Different
n2y Blog 2/2020

Equity in “Authentic” Assessments: A Closer Look at Defining and Assessing Learning Outcomes in Competency- Based Education 
Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education 10/2019

Building an Effective Parent-Teacher Team
n2y Blog  9/2019

Social and Emotional Learning: SEL for ALL Learners
n2y Blog  4/2019

Three Steps to Rekindling Online Communication Etiquette
Library of Professional Coaching 11/2018

Look to Special Educators on SEL
SmartBrief  10/2018

Boosting the Potential of Professional Development
Principal Leadership  10/2018

Ridding Mindlessness Through Mindfulness
ASCD Inservice  8/2018

Transition Planning for Students with IEPs
n2y Blog  8/2018

Planning for Post-School Outcomes
n2y Blog  8/2018

Applying Service Design in Competency‐Based Curriculum Development
The Journal of Competency-Based Education  8/2018

Helping Your Child Transition into a New School Year  8/2018

Getting Ready for a New School Year
n2y Blog  8/2018

Strategies for Differentiating Instruction
n2y Blog  7/2018

Getting School Grants for Special Education
n2y Blog  6/2018

Blaming versus Cultivating Learners
SmartBrief  5/2018

The Correlation between Poverty and Illiteracy
Medium Corporation  5/2018

Grant Seeking Advice for Proactive Educators
n2y Whitepaper 5/2018

How Educators Can Help Students With Disabilities Meet High Expectations
n2y Whitepaper 3/2018

A Three-Step Process to Improve School Culture
ASCD Inservice 2/2018

Multiple-Choice Assessment in Higher Education: Are We Moving Backward?
Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education  11/2017

How Teachers Can Make Competency-Based Education the New Normal
Education Week  11/2017

Leading the Learning: Tips to Providing an Effective In-Service to Peers
ASCD Inservice 10/2017

Changing the System from Within: Using Competency-Based Education to Transform Teaching
CompetencyWorks 9/2017

Success for Every Student: A Guide to Teaching and Learning
Rowman & Littlefield 9/2017

I’m Sorry I Failed You: Taking an Outcome-Based Approach to Student Learning in a Traditional Classroom
CompetencyWorks 8/2017

The Leaders Among Us:  Mining the Leaders in Your School
ASCD Inservice 8/2017 

Sustaining Change: Cheerleaders and Bulldozers
ASCD Inservice 8/2017

Facing The U.S. Teacher Shortage: Tips for Choosing an Effective School and Teacher for Your Child
Parent Co. 7/2017

Special Leaders for All Kids
ASCD Inservice 5/2017

Improving Outcomes for Students with Disabilities: Identifying Characteristics of Successful Districts
Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals 3/2017

Classroom Rules and Procedures

Classroom Rules and Procedures

Excerpt from Success for Every Student: A Guide to Teaching and Learning:

Consistent classroom procedures play a significant role in establishing a learning environment that fosters academic achievement and social growth.  The adage, “It is always easier to get nicer as the year goes on than to get tougher,” holds some truth, but a more appropriate saying is, “Your expectations and consequences need to be consistent from day one until the final bell rings on the last day of the school year.”  If a teacher lets a student do something on the first day of school, that teacher should expect him or her to continue doing it for the rest of the year.  Good classroom habits and manners are not a result of happenstance; they are intentionally taught and reinforced throughout the year.  It is important to give positive feedback for the actions one wants to see more often, and it is important to assign consequences and give feedback to correct the inappropriate actions that one wants to limit.

Do Teachers Still Matter in an Age of Technology? These Authors Think So.

Do Teachers Still Matter in an Age of Technology? These Authors Think So.

Originally posted at

Veteran educators team up for the release of their second book, Success for Every Student: A Guide to Teaching and Learning, which was released by Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group this month.

With all the multi-tiered interventions, assessment software, aligned textbooks, digital content, and scripted curriculum available to the field, some might question if the role of the teacher is significant in today’s schools.  Does it really matter who is leading the classroom?

“Take a minute and think back to your favorite class,” said Success for Every Student co-author Oran Tkatchov.  “Chances are you do not remember the name of the textbook, the name of computer software, or the order in which the curriculum was taught.  What you do remember is the person in charge of that class: the teacher.”

Success for Every Student: A Guide to Teaching and Learning, the new book from veteran educators Shelly Pollnow and Oran Tkatchov, contains research and evidence-based classroom practices that maximize learning for all students. Throughout the book the authors deliver a common-sense approach to proven teaching strategies that help learners reach their potential.

“In the ever-changing field of teaching, this book captures the most important snapshots of the teaching field. This is a must-have for every new teacher’s bookshelf,” stated veteran teacher Susan Breen.

Success for Every Student is packed full of tools and tips in everything from classroom management to formative assessment that give busy teachers what they need to become more efficient and effective professionals in their classrooms and schools.

At the end of each chapter are real-life scenarios for readers to reflect and think about what they would do in their own practice.

As a bonus, the book has a companion website that provides additional tools and covers current topics in education news.

For more information about this book or for a schedule of upcoming events, email: visit

Elusive Family Engagement

Elusive Family Engagement

My daughter just started preschool at a public elementary school, and less than a week into the school year we received an invitation to a family literacy night promising fun and excitement with literacy games and workshops for parents.  My first thought was, “Already?” Marking out an evening during the work week for this event seemed, initially, like an inconvenience, and I know how important family engagement in school is.  Now that I am parent as well as an educator, I am finally finding out why it is so difficult for schools to get busy families involved.

The average American worker puts in over 47 hours a week at his/her job, and almost half of two-parent families have both parents working full time jobs, an increase of nearly 20 percent since the 1970s (Fisher, 2015).  Add to this the time it takes to commute, go grocery shopping, run additional errands, and maybe (time permitting) exercise, no wonder family engagement in schools is sometimes as rare as a purple flying unicorn, with only 20% of parents saying they are fully engaged in their child’s school (Yu & Hodges, 2015).

As hard as it is for educators to get families to engage in their child’s education, it is worth the hard work.  As stated in chapter 5 of our book, Success for Every Student, family involvement makes a difference in increasing student achievement and grade point averages.   Behaviorally, students also benefit from increased class attendance, social skills, and improved behavior (Garcia & Thornton, 2014).

Family engagement doesn’t have to be limited to parents attending functions at the school, although family fun nights, community dinners, and other face-to-face activities are incredibly beneficial.  Family engagement can also include what happens within the home, and educators can encourage family members to ask their child about his/her day, make sure a quiet place and time are available for homework, schedule a healthy bed time, or remind the child about the benefits of getting an education.

To show my daughter and her teachers how committed we are to her education, we are blocking off that evening on our calendar for family literacy night.  I can’t wait, and I’ll be sure post afterward to share with you any great ideas and lessons learned from the event.

Originally published at: