Learning First Alliance

Strengthening public schools for every child

Top Five Success Stories of 2012

Tarsi Dunlop's picture

To close out the 2012 calendar year, the Learning First Alliance is pleased to bring you the five most viewed success stories from our collection of more than 160 stories housed on our site. Criteria for inclusion is relatively straight forward – the story must show that a school, district or state identified a challenge, addressed it and produced positive results through their efforts. These results are measured in a variety of ways, from increased graduation rates or decreased dropout rates, to improved standardized test scores or positive outcomes in student health and behavior. Other indicators may revolve around parent engagement or improved classroom performance.

These stories were selected based on our Google Analytics numbers that reflect our audience views from the past year. We wish you happy reading and a Happy New Year!

5. Iowa’s Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program for Four-Year Olds

In 2007, Iowa created a voluntary preschool program to help prepare 4-year-olds statewide for success in kindergarten; the program has increased the percentage of kindergarten children who are considered proficient on DIBELS.

4. Flipping the Classroom: Homework in Class, Lessons at Home

A Michigan high school addressed high student failure rates by “flipping their classrooms,” and they saw grades go up and discipline rates go down.

3. Zone Offense Helps District Fight the Challenges of Poverty

A Washington school district tackled a significant achievement gap by redirecting funds to a defined opportunity zone; students in zone schools are showing improved performance on state tests for math and reading.

2. Using Incentives to Motivate Students

A California elementary school created incentives to reward student performance as a method of engagement; student behavior has improved with increased homework completion rates and fewer disciplinary visits to the principal’s office.

1. Arts Integrated Curriculum Helps Students Overcome Challenges of Poverty

 Woodrow Wilson faced its challenges head on and developed a rich curriculum that uses the visual and performing arts to help students meet state standards, engage them academically and foster their higher-order thinking skills.

*These stories were not necessarily posted in 2012. They were the stories that were most viewed during the calendar year.