While I’m not a big fan of modeling schools after business’ ASCD Express 7.15 – Teachers as Project Managers raises some interesting ideas of how certain skills used in business can help educators improve some of their practice. Ultimately, providing teachers new way to collaborate and reflect on their practice will help them in finding the most effective ways of improving student achievement. Keeping a closed door indicates to a closed mind.
While working for Beyond the Bell addressing summer reading loss has become a bit of a passion for me. I know kids love summer vacation; I love summer vacation! However, the amount of reading loss that takes place during the summer is something that many of our students can not afford. Launching Summer Reading – The Book Whisperer – Education Week Teacher has some great ideas on how to make reading more entertaining, especially for those students who may be turned off by the ideas books during the summer. What are some of your ideas?
One of my follies is that I like to join groups. I’m in Toasmasters, PDK, AERA, I really could go on for a while. I’ve also run for school board, task forces, and volunteer for other community events. There’s something in me that says, “Hey! I want to know more about that” or “Hey! I can help with that”. I always seems to think that I have more time than I do and my wife has started to roll her eyes and mutter as she walks away about me being to busy. One of the things I’m currently working on is the ACSA Region 16 Annual Administrator Awards Banquet 2012. I’m currently the President-Elect for the Association of California School Administrators Region 16 and I am responsible for putting together our annual awards banquet.
So why am I blogging about this? How is this useful to you? In doing this event I learned how to create a Paypal account for my organization, used Eventbrite to create a page for it and MailChimp to send out invitations. If you ever want to have an event for your school or organization where you collect money, these three websites seem to be the trifecta. With Paypal you can take credit cards and people can purchase online. With Eventbrite you can provide all the information people need about your event. With MailChimp you can send out a mass email (our server will only let me send out to 50 emails at a time). Hope this helps and if it does let me know (and maybe even invite me…)
A Preliminary Progress Report on Turning Around the Lowest-Performing Schools.
In line with much of my own research, the Department of Education found the following about improving schools :
First, they have a dynamic leader who is deeply committed to the students and the surrounding community.
Second, successful turnaround schools also have teachers and other school professionals who share a relentless focus on improving instruction, both through expanded collaboration and the use of data.
At the heart of successful turnarounds are teachers and school leaders who are excited about the prospect for change. These leaders recognize how demanding the work is but they also see the potential for fundamentally transforming the life chances of their students. They believe they are part of “something big.”
Expanded Learning Time Not Always a Cure-All, Report Says – Beyond School – Education Week.
As it should be readily apparent, there is not single magic bullet or easy remedy for addressing schools that are struggling. As this report makes clear, expanded learning time needs to be connected to the school wide reforms. This is what Collins would call adding to the “fly wheel”. Extended learning time can only add momentum to change; in and of itself it can not be the change that will turn schools around. Quality, first instruction can be enhanced with the effective use of extended learning time; it can not be a replacement for quality instruction.