Saturday, November 1, 2014

Education Organizing – The Path to Real Reform?

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By Amy Buffenbarger Many current reform efforts focus on a system of rewards, sanctions and narrow test-based accountability, leaving little room for family and community input. A new guide, however, demonstrates how “community organizing offers an alternative vision for school reform.” In local communities across the country, NEA members and leaders are working closely with [...]

“There Are No Shortcuts to Improving Student Achievement”

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By John Rosales West Seattle Elementary School in Washington is changing. While the irksome perception persists that this school in a high-poverty neighborhood is too ill-equipped, mismanaged, or even incapable of high student achievement, the school’s students, staff, and parents work quietly and effectively to change its course. “We have a vision of becoming a [...]

Innovative Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners

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By Rebeca Logan When Maricela Rincón first started school she was sent to the back of the room because she didn’t speak English. Even though she was born in Chicago, Maricela felt isolated and rejected because she spoke only Spanish. “At that time language wasn’t valued… And so I was usually placed in the back [...]

How Effective Family Engagement Makes a Difference

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By Cindy Long If it hadn’t been for parental involvement at Glendale Middle School, a large group of girls would be failing gym class for one simple reason – they couldn’t wear the uniform. Nearly a quarter of the student population at Glendale is Muslim, and for religious reasons, Muslim girls are unable to wear short-sleeved [...]

Reforming Teacher Evaluation Through Collaboration

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By Brenda Alvarez Some critics of America’s public schools say teachers don’t want to be held accountable for the challenges of struggling schools. Not true. In fact, teachers demand to be held accountable and they’re the first to say, “The status quo must go,” in education. But they want it done, fairly, realistically, and with [...]

In Transforming School, Educators Draw Inspiration From Students

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By Cindy Long Greg Mohammed, also known as “Mr. Moe,” is the kind of teacher who always has students surrounding him or sitting outside his classroom just to say hello. He’s the kind of teacher serious enough to motivate kids in his science class, but playful enough to craft a giant, wooden hall pass the [...]

Disproving the “Failing” Label

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By Amy Buffenbarger Educators and staff at many priority schools have seen their school ranked, labeled and listed on a recurring basis that’s rarely positive. Kit Carson Elementary School is no stranger to that trend. The school is located in West Las Vegas, Nevada, the state with the highest home foreclosure rate in the country. With an unemployment [...]

NEA Priority Schools Conference Highlights Promising Practices

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By Amy Buffenbarger NEA’s Priority School’s Campaign has brought together more than 300 teachers, education support professionals, union leaders, district administrators, community members and parents, representing 36 Priority Schools from 17 states, in New Orleans for a three day forum to share lessons learned, challenges and strategies for success in school transformation efforts. Declaring “the [...]

Raising Student Aspirations in Rural Maine

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By Cindy Long Doug Woodsum was a substitute at Carrabec High School in North Anson, Maine, before he was hired as a full-time English teacher three years ago. He knew it wouldn’t be an easy assignment, and a few of the students even warned him not to take the job. “You don’t want to work [...]

Parent and Community Outreach in the Spotlight

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By Alain Jehlen and Sara Robertson NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and Michigan Education Association President Steve Cook joined forces to bring the National Education Association’s Standing Strong for Students Back-to-School Tour to the Detroit area on Tuesday. The day began with local radio interviews, outreach to education bloggers, and breakfast with some two-dozen local Association [...]

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