Some kids dream of being a cowboy one day. Growing up in a competitive family with five brothers, Esperanza Zendejas actually became one. In a culture dominated by men, she learned to stand on her own and up for herself. "There was no such thing as something that was only appropriate for my brothers," she says.
A proposed law in Ohio giving teachers and school staff immunity from lawsuits arising from discipline issues has sparked renewed controversy over how to protect students' rights and still keep teachers in control of their classrooms.
Paul Ruiz, a principal partner at The Education Trust, has his own sad but inspiring story. He comes from a family of 15 whose parents emigrated from Mexico. His teachers in San Antonio, Texas, about 40 years ago did not believe he could learn.
With only two employees trying to keep 100 buildings and 700 acres of property looking spiffy, no one sniped when Portland (Ore.) Public Schools' groundskeeping crew fell behind. The question was more what to do about it.
Lifelong learning. I decided to try it. So, I packed up the car and drove to Palo Alto to participate in the annual Stanford Jazz Residency. This immersive institute welcomes adults and talented teens to spend a week playing, studying and listening to jazz.
Unless the central office staff starts communicating better with school building principals and teachers, major reform initiatives may never come to fruition, reports a new study released by the Cross City Campaign for Urban School Reform.
The pursuit of learning can be derailed in schools plagued by discipline problems. This is certainly not news to principals and teachers. Research confirms their intuitions about the connection between discipline and achievement. One recent study found that classroom behavior, rather than class size, was a primary factor associated with improved achievement. On the whole, research suggests that improvements in school discipline will create an environment more conducive to academic achievement.
Change the timeline for proficiency of students from 14 years to 25 years.
Substitute grade-level descriptors, like below grade level, at grade level, and above grade level, for basic, proficient and advanced labels.
Satisfactory Annual Improvement, or SAI, not AYP. Focus on yearly increments in students' scores so teachers are constantly striving to improve instruction.
--W. James Popham, professor emeritus, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies