For her leadership in the areas of teacher quality and educational equity and reform, the Learning First Alliance has named Stanford professor and accomplished author Linda Darling-Hammond as our 2013 Education Visionary Award winner.
Stories about what's working in public schools and districts keep rolling in to Public School Insights. Here's a list of five inspiring new stories we've posted in the past two weeks:
- Great Neck Public Schools, New York: Bending Bureaucracy to Meet Kids Needs, June 10
- George Middle School, Oregon: Promoting Academic Success through Community Partnerships, June 6
- Cameron Elementary School, California: Using Incentives to Motivate Students, June 2
- Interlake High School, Washington: Helping All Students Reach their Highest Potential in Math, May 30
- Clarke County School District, Georgia: Bringing Dropouts Back to School, May 28
A diverse coalition of more than 60 experts in education, health, civil rights, economics and other fields just released a joint statement calling for "a broader, bolder approach to education" that includes policies to reduce the economic and social disadvantages that exacerbate academic achievement gaps. While continuing to urge school improvement efforts, their approach promotes early childhood education, after-school and summer opportunities, physical health, character, social development, creativity, and effective citizenship.
According to the coalition's ads in the New York Times and Washington Post, "Some schools have demonstrated unusual effectiveness. But even they cannot, by themselves, close the entire gap between students from different backgrounds in a substantial, consistent and sustainable manner on the full range of academic and non-academic measures by which we judge student success." ...
In this third and final installment of our interview, Eggers announces his plans to create a new documentary depicting the professional lives of teachers. (You heard it here first.)
Eggers and Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Vanessa Roth are collaborating on a film they hope will do for teaching what An Inconvenient Truth did for the environment. Featuring footage taken by teachers themselves, the film aims to offer a first-hand view of the challenges educators face every day--and to inspire greater public support for teachers' work.
Dave Eggers found sudden and early fame when his 2000 Memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, quite nearly won the Pulitzer Prize. Since then, he has produced a prodigious body of work in both fiction and non-fiction, cementing his position as one of the nation's best young writers.
Eggers has also made a name for himself among public educators by founding and promoting 826 National, a network of 8 urban writing programs that offer tutoring to thousands of American students.
Recently, while fighting off a nasty infection, Eggers generously made time to tell me about the program, his strategy for motivating reluctant writers, and his plan to advocate for public school teachers.
Over the next week, Public School Insights will publish the interview in several installments. In today's installment, Eggers describes 826 National, its use of community resources, and its collaboration with public schools in the San Francisco Bay area. ...
Our friends at the Public Education Network have just announced the creation of a new "Civic Index for Quality Public Education," which, they argue, will "measure community support for public education in 10 scientifically-based categories; improve support in categories receiving 'low scores'; and tailor community engagement for maximum impact." This is exciting news--but you'll have to wait until June 25th to get the whole story.
June 25th is the date when The Public Education Network plans to release the Civic Index.
We'll give you an update when we learn more. In the meantime, you'll just have to content yourselves with PEN's tantalizing press release:
Learn How Well the Nation Supports its Public Schools, and How to Measure Your Community's Support for Education
The Civic Index for Quality Public Education, developed by Public Education Network, is a first-of-its-kind tool specifically designed to measure community support for public schools across 10 scientifically-based categories; improve support in categories receiving 'low scores'; and tailor community engagement for maximum impact. ...
Our friends at ASCD's Whole Child Initiative just fired off an email newsletter describing the astonishing success of Thomas Edison Elementary School in Port Chester, New York. (School success seems to be contagious in Port Chester, whose middle school has won national acclaim for similar strides in the past 10 years.)
Edison owes its achievements to an education approach that addresses the social, physical and academic needs of its largely poor student body. To quote ASCD's newsletter: ...
Rounding out Public School Insights' three-week celebration of Earth Day is our interview with Milken Award-winning educator Tamala Newsome, principal of the revolutionary Rosa Parks Elementary School in Portland, Oregon. The Rosa Parks School has garnered national attention for its eco-friendly building, its thoughtful incorporation of environmental science into the curriculum, and its integral place in the low-income Portland community it serves. ...
The National School Boards Association's Council of Urban Schools of Education (CUBE) has teamed up with the National PTA on a new survey examining parents' perceptions of urban school climate: What We Think. The survey's results are generally encouraging: Parents believe their children's schools are safe; They report that they are actively involved in their children's schools; They trust and feel respected by teachers and administrators; and they believe their children capable of high academic achievement. ...
Just last week, the Forum for Education and Democracy issued an important report on the federal role in K-12 education: Democracy at Risk: The Need for a New Federal Policy in Education. With its obvious nod to Nation at Risk, the publication joins a long line of reports that raise the alarm over American students' declining standing in international assessments. Unlike many of those reports, however, Democracy at Risk strongly criticizes recent reform efforts' almost exclusive focus on "mandates and sanctions." ...
Documentary filmmaker Robin Smith has produced an award-winning film, Come Walk in my Shoes, that "follows the Honorable John Lewis on an emotional pilgrimage to the churches, parks and bridges where young people played a pivotal role in the struggle for equality and voting rights."
In observance of the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination, I spoke with Smith about her film, its reception in middle and high schools around the country, and the importance of teaching American youth about the struggle for civil rights. At a time when we commonly describe American youth as disaffected and disengaged from their communities, Smith argues, the history of the civil rights movement offers a powerful reminder to young people that they can change the world. ...
A VISION FOR GREAT SCHOOLS
On this website, educators, parents and policymakers from coast to coast are sharing what's already working in public schools--and sparking a national conversation about how to make it work for children in every school. Join the conversation!