First, I apologize for the long, long delay between posts here. For those of you who know me personally, thank you for your support and encouragement over the past few weeks. For my other readers, thanks for your patience and keeping me in your RSS reader.
At any rate, I received an email from Eric Kunh, a staff member at the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, and he suggested that some segments from this week’s “Eye on Education: What works?” might be of interest. I haven’t watched these yet, but agree that they sound engaging:
Tuesday, June 10
In Dallas, some students are now wearing GPS type devices to help keep them in school. It’s an unusual approach that has so far yielded great results. Students click on their GPS device when they get to school and it tracks their every movement throughout the day, also giving them a 9pm curfew to be home. The device also gives the student an “out” if his buddies want him to break the rules – he can say, “I can’t, I have this device on and I will get busted.” We profile a student who has turned his life around as a result.
Wednesday, June 11
The Esperanza Academy in Lawrence, Mass. is instilling a new sense of hope and future in 82 minority girls with the mission of making them tomorrow’s leaders. It has an 11 hour school day 11 months of the year, 3 meals are eaten there, all homework done there and a variety of extracurricular activities including equestrian classes, art, music, computer classes. Further, all parents have to volunteer 2 hours a week at the school. We meet the inspirational founder and head of the school, the teachers who have given up higher-paying jobs to invest in this mission and students whose lives have been dramatically changed since joining the school.
Thursday, June 12
Washington, D.C. Principal – one year into the job and the new Chancellor of the DC schools spent her first year throwing bombs and cleaning house. She’s fired a fourth of the system’s principals and central office staff, closed 23 schools, offered buyouts or fired an estimated 1000 teachers and is bringing outside management to take over 10 high schools. Principals who were retained have had to promise immediate increases in test scores. Her basic philosophy is that all children can succeed when teachers and the principal take personal responsibility for results. She’s implementing a “teach them or find another job” ethic. Further, she is a 38 year old Korean American running a school system that’s 95 per cent African American. CBS will look at these results in a school system where two thirds of all students did not have grade level reading and math skills, 74% of 8th graders lacked even basic math skills and of the 43% of students who did graduate a DC high school, only 9% had the skills to graduate college (all stats way below national averages).
That’s about it for tonight. My hope is to get back in the blogging habit really soon, as I have an NWP tech matters retreat coming up next week, and I need to get back in the swing of things.
Again, thanks for keeping me in your RSS feeds. Take care.
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