|Principal Communities of Practice Inspire Learning in Texas District|
Dr. Pam Bruening
Dr. Ja'net Bishop
Jacqueline Whitt, Dr. John E. Holmes, Dr. Ed Lowther, Denise Riley, Richard Thompson, and Dr. Amy Schlessman
#NAEACHAT Monthly Twitter Chats - (30 Minute)
WHO : All Stakeholders in the field of Alternative / Non-Traditional Education
WHAT : A monthly Twitter Chat focused on NAEA's Exemplary Practices
WHERE : On Social Media - Twitter
Follow @NAEA_Hope on Twitter and join in using #NAEACHAT
WHEN : The last Tuesday of each month / 9:00 PM EST / 30 Minute Chat
WHY : To build capacity and awareness
HOW : Twitter
|Have an article you'd like us to include in the NAEA newsletter? Submit an article to Dr. John E. Holmes, Editor at email@example.com|
using “NAEA News” in the subject line.
Read a previous issue here!
“JOINING HANDS TOWARD ONE DESTINY
” Tell the story of your alternative program in a 2-5 minute video or rap. This contest is open to middle and high school students who attend alternative education programs. Your video should communicate the message and mission of your program and relate it to the annual national NAEA conference theme “Joining Hands Toward One Destiny.
” Entries may express this theme in any genre or shooting style, but must be submitted by link containing a YouTube URL.
Winners will receive the following cash awards:
Up to five Honorable Mentions—$100 each
ENTRIES MUST BE POSTMARKED by DECEMBER 18, 2017.
WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED January 26, 2018.
Entrants must be currently enrolled in and attending a middle or high school alternative education program at the time of the submission.
Entries will be judged on the following criteria:
- overall impact
- effectiveness of conveying theme
- artistic merit
- technical proficiency
A panel will make the final selection of winners. Judges’ decisions are final.
- Entrants must be enrolled in and attending alternative education classes.
- Entries must interpret some variation of the theme, “Joining Hands Toward One Destiny”. All forms must be signed and may be photocopied.
- Entries must be 2-5 minutes in length.
- Entrants who do not obtain and cannot provide written documentation of all necessary rights and permissions for music, images, video clips, and any and all other non-original aspects of their entries will be disqualified.
- Entries must be submitted by a link to a YouTube URL.
Full Rules and Information here >>>
- Each entry must be labeled with the entrant’s name, school mailing address, and telephone number, as well as the title and length of the entry.
- Parent permission must be signed for every student participating in the video who is under the age of 18.
- All entries must be postmarked by DECEMBER 18, 2017.
- All entries become the property of NAEA. Entries cannot be returned.
- Judges’ decisions are final. All prizes need not be awarded.
|The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies|
|Jennifer Gonzalez | October 2015 | Cult of Pedagogy|
When I worked with student teachers on developing effective lesson plans, one thing I always asked them to revise was the phrase “We will discuss.”
We will discuss the video.
We will discuss the story.
We will discuss our results.
Every time I saw it in a lesson plan, I would add a note: “What format will you use? What questions will you ask? How will you ensure that all students participate?” I was pretty sure that We will discuss actually meant the teacher would do most of the talking; He would throw out a couple of questions like “So what did you think about the video?” or “What was the theme of the story?” and a few students would respond, resulting in something that looked like a discussion, but was ultimately just a conversation between the teacher and a handful of extroverted students; a classic case of Fisheye Teaching.
The problem wasn’t them; in most of the classrooms where they’d sat as students, that’s exactly what a class discussion looked like. They didn’t know any other “formats.” I have only ever been familiar with a few myself. But when teachers began contacting me recently asking for a more comprehensive list, I knew it was time to do some serious research.
So here they are: 15 formats for structuring a class discussion to make it more engaging, more organized, more equitable, and more academically challenging. If you’ve struggled to find effective ways to develop students’ speaking and listening skills, this is your lucky day.
I’ve separated the strategies into three groups. The first batch contains the higher-prep strategies, formats that require teachers to do some planning or gathering of materials ahead of time. Next come the low-prep strategies, which can be used on the fly when you have a few extra minutes or just want your students to get more active. Note that these are not strict categories; it’s certainly possible to simplify or add more meat to any of these structures and still make them work. The last group is the ongoing strategies. These are smaller techniques that can be integrated with other instructional strategies and don’t really stand alone. For each strategy, you’ll find a list of other names it sometimes goes by, a description of its basic structure, and an explanation of variations that exist, if any. To watch each strategy in action, click on its name and a new window will open with a video that demonstrates it.
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relies on steady leaders: Transformation
starts with a vision, and getting others to believe in its potential
|October 2017 | Tim Goral | District Administration|
Linda Cliatt-Wayman is the turnaround queen. As the principal who changed two low-performing and violent Philadelphia high schools into safe spaces focused on learning, Wayman developed a program of high expectations for students and staff, and intense professional development.
In 2013, after serving as an assistant superintendent for the School District of Philadelphia, she took on the turnaround challenge as principal at the notorious Strawberry Mansion High School, which she describes in her book Lead Fearlessly, Love Hard: Finding Your Purpose and Putting It to Work(Jossey-Bass, 2017).
As a result, test scores went up every year, and the school was removed from the federal Persistently Dangerous Schools list. Wayman left Strawberry Mansion in June to start a nonprofit for disadvantaged youth.
“I’m trying to make them understand they are important. They don’t see themselves as worthy,” she says. “They never saw themselves outside of poverty. They never see themselves going to college. They never thought about advocating for themselves. We’re going to change that.”
Why did you leave a district administrative role to become principal of Strawberry Mansion High School?
I was assistant superintendent for all the high schools in Philadelphia. I had previously been principal of both FitzSimons High School and Rhodes High School. In 2013, both those schools were going to be merged with Strawberry Mansion—a three-way merger of high schools, the first of its kind in Philadelphia.
It was my charge to find a principal for this new combined school. Not one person applied. I went to my boss and said, “Listen. I can’t find a principal. I’ve looked everywhere.” I said, “I think the reason I can’t find a principal is because I’m supposed to go.”
I’m a spiritual person, and one day I was walking into the school, and I really believe I heard the voice of God say, “You go.”
|Teachers report weaker relationships with students of color, children of immigrants|
|New York University | September 2017 | NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development | Via Science Daily|
Summary: The relationship between teachers and students is a critical factor for academic success. However, a new study finds that teachers report weaker relationships with children of immigrants and adolescents of color.
The relationship between teachers and students is a critical factor for academic success. However, a new study by NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development finds that teachers report weaker relationships with children of immigrants and adolescents of color.
"Teachers' relationships are hugely important for all students, but particularly so for groups that are marginalized. Yet, the students who could most benefit from relationships with their teachers are the ones that have the least access to strong teacher-student relationships," said Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, assistant professor of international education at NYU Steinhardt and author of the study, published online in the American Journal of Education.
Since 2014, public school classrooms have reflected a demographic shift in the United States, with the overall number of Latino, African-American, and Asian students surpassing the number of White students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Students of color now make up the majority of students, but inequities between students of different backgrounds have continued to plague the education system.
Existing research highlights the importance of teacher-student relationships on academic indicators such as test scores, classroom engagement, and interest in learning. Teachers not only play a pivotal role in developing students' knowledge and skills, but can also serve as role models.
But research also presents a mixed view of student-teacher relationships with students of color and immigrant youth. Though these groups of youth may be especially reliant upon their teachers, many also report discriminatory experiences or few interactions with staff.
In the current study, Cherng studied two aspects of teacher-student relationships: whether teachers form equally strong relationships with students from different backgrounds and whether these relationships shape students' academic expectations for themselves.
Using the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, a nationally representative sample of high school students and their teachers, Cherng analyzed teacher surveys for English and math high school teachers. Relationships were measured three ways: how familiar a teacher reported being with a student, whether the teacher perceived a student to be passive or withdrawn, and engagement in conversation with students outside the classroom. These surveys were linked with academic and demographic data for their students.
For the analysis examining teacher-student personal relationships and later academic outcomes, a measure of student academic expectations was used, which gauged whether a student expected to go to and complete college.
|24th Annual Conference on Alternative Education|
March 5, 2018–March 7, 2018
Conference Registration: $325.00
Mr. Reginald B. Beaty
President/Co-Founder of Foundation For Educational Success (FFES)
Reggie was a difficult to reach youth growing up in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. Early on, Beaty found out the critical role that mentors play in a youth’s life. He was expelled from school at the age of 14, ran with gang-oriented crowds, carried weapons, and was ultimately incarcerated. Beaty found a mentor in Bobby Garrett, director of West End Academy, a nontraditional school in the Communities In Schools of Georgia system. As a result of Garrett’s intervention, Beaty graduated from West End Academy, earned a bachelor’s degree from Stillman College, and a Master’s in Aerospace Education from Middle Tennessee State University. Beaty built a stellar 20-year career in the United States Army, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He earned the Leo A. Codd national “Instructor of the Year” for colleges and universities, presented by President George W. Bush; and “Civic Man of the Year” for his work with youth in Oklahoma. For 10 years Beaty served as Chief Operating Officer with Communities In Schools of Georgia, where he helped to build the nontraditional school's Performance Learning Centers and Georgia’s “Graduation Coaches” initiative.
|Mr. Tony L. Owens
Director/Co-Founder of Foundation For Educational Success (FFES)
Tony has devoted more than 21 years of his life to working with difficult-to-reach youth. He is a proven educator and administrator, having successfully directed alternative schools and social programs that address students in at-risk situations. Owens earned his bachelor’s degree from Clark Atlanta University. He is recognized for his development and implementation of programs for difficult-to-reach youth, which emphasize improving attitudes, self-esteem, setting goals, expanding comfort zones, and preparing for reentry into mainstream settings. Owens spent a bulk of his career directing, coordinating, and overseeing schools/programs with Communities In Schools of Atlanta and the state of Georgia.
|Dr. Darryl S. Adams
Retired Superintendent for Coachella Valley USD, CA
Dr. Darryl S. Adams, retired Superintendent of Schools for the Coachella Valley Unified School District, began his career as a professional musician, singer/songwriter, and music publisher in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. After 10 years in the music business, he moved to Southern California where he was hired by the Los Angeles Unified School District as Music Teacher and Band Director. He has served as an educational leader as middle school assistant principal, high school assistant principal, high school principal, central office director, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Memphis; his Master's of Education Administration degree from California State University, Los Angeles; and his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Azusa Pacific University. In addition, he earned his Urban Superintendent's Academy Certification from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education and AASA (the American Association of School Administrators).
Dr. Adams is widely recognized as The Rock and Roll, Hip Hop, and Soul Superintendent and Thought Leader advocating that Every Child Be Connected and provided with a 21st Century College, Career and Citizenship education program! He now provides unique keynote concerts, a new concept in educating and edutaining audiences worldwide. He also provides excellent consulting services, professional business and organizational leadership development programs, and various training workshops and seminars!
|Analysis: More Mississippi students graduate without passing tests|
The Clarion-Ledger | October 2017 | Jeff Amy
Mississippi's improving high school graduation rate is one piece of good news in a state where the education picture has often been dismal.
But new numbers could indicate those improvements are not as substantial as they seem.
The key question revolves around changes that the state approved in 2014 to graduation requirements. Before then, every student had to pass standardized subject area tests in algebra I, English II, biology I and U.S. history. The idea was to make sure students were learning the basics no matter where they attend school.
"You do want to know when that student gets that diploma, that the student learned something," said Nancy Loome, executive director of the Parents Campaign. The lobbying group has historically supported graduation exams. The subject area tests began in 2003, replacing an older exit exam called the Functional Literacy Exam, which had been given since the 1980s.
But many students didn't graduate because of the tests, and superintendents pressured legislators to ditch them. To block lawmakers from killing the tests entirely, the state Board of Education voted in 2014 to allow students to graduate if they could show alternate measures of proficiency. They include scores of 17 better on parts of the ACT college test, grades of C or better in a college course the student took while in high school, or certain scores on military entrance or career technical exams, combined with a career certification.
Right now, students can also pass if they fail a subject-area test but had high class grades, or get high enough scores on the other three tests. Beginning next year, the subject area test will count for 25 percent of the student's grade in the applicable course it covered. That means students whose regular grades are average or better can bomb the test and still pass the course.
At the same time those changes were made, Mississippi's graduation began improving, rising from 74.5 percent of students in the Class of 2014 earning a diploma over four years to 82.3 percent of students whose four years of high school in spring 2016. That latter level is close to national averages.
In the 2016-2017 school year, about 5,400 students — close to 20 percent — earned diplomas based on the alternate options, while about 23,000 passed all four subject-area tests. Charlie Smith, editor of the Columbian-Progress newspaper in Columbia, first uncovered these numbers.
Department officials warn that the data might be incomplete, but it seems clear that a substantial fraction of students are graduating using those other pathways. If they still were required to pass the tests, some more likely would, because districts previously pushed hard to get students to retake any exams they had failed, sometimes multiple times.
Mississippi is far from alone in demoting the importance of graduation tests. But are those 20 percent not passing Mississippi's tests adequately prepared? It's hard to tell.
|Making Students Partners in Data-Driven Approaches to Learning|
|MindShift | KQED | Sep 2014|
The following excerpt is from “Leaders of Their Own Learning: Transforming Schools Through Student-Engaged Assessment,” by Ron Berger, Leah Rugen, and Libby Woodfin. This excerpt is from the chapter entitled “Using Data With Students.”
At Genesee Community Charter School in Rochester, New York, third-grade teacher Jean Hurst leans in and listens intently as her student, Jacelyn, reads aloud. Hurst is listening for greater fluency in Jacelyn’s oral reading, a skill they have been working on for several weeks. As she listens, she hears greater cadence and confidence in Jacelyn’s voice. Hurst is careful to note miscues and the length of time it takes Jacelyn to read the passage. They start their follow-up discussion by reviewing Jacelyn’s previous goals and successes and reviewing a chart that shows the growth in her reading level. They focus in on fluency and the word substitutions Hurst heard as Jacelyn read aloud. “Let’s take a look at this word,” says Hurst. “Read it back to me.” Jacelyn struggles at first, but calls out the word proclaims. Hurst shares that when she read it aloud, she read it as announces. “We call that a substitution. Do you think you know what happened as you were reading?” Hurst asks. Jacelyn thinks a little more and shares, “Well, I wasn’t sure what the word was but I knew it had to mean something like says or announces because of where it was in the sentence.”
Hurst and Jacelyn discuss how her substitution enabled her to make sense of what she was reading without slowing down her overall rate. Hurst shares with Jacelyn her Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) fluency score, and they compare it to older data. It is apparent that her fluency score is improving. Jacelyn is reflective about her growth as a struggling reader: “It’s kind of how there are all kinds of runners. Some are fast and some are slow, but we all need to cross the finish line. Well, I just need to move faster than everyone else to get where I need to be.” The use of data has helped her (with the guidance of her teacher) to set goals that have moved her from a late kindergarten level in September to an early third-grade level by the end of the year. As Hurst points out, “Although she’s still not at grade level, she’s made two years of progress and making that progress visible through the use of data has helped Jacelyn to become a more motivated and informed reader.”
Using data with students encompasses classroom practices that build students’ capacity to access, analyze, and use data effectively to reflect, set goals, and document growth. Using data with students encompasses the following activities:
- Students use their classwork as a source for data, analyzing strengths, weaknesses, and patterns to improve their work.
- Students regularly analyze evidence of their own progress. They track their progress on assessments and assignments, analyze their errors for patterns, and describe what they see in the data about their current level of performance.
- Students use data to set goals and reflect on their progress over time and incorporate data analysis into student-led conferences.
|The 2017 EdNext Poll on School Reform|
|There’s no denying political climate change. The past 18 months have seen an enormous swing in the Washington power balance, a shift that has heightened the polarization that has characterized our public life for more than a decade now. How has this divisive political climate influenced public opinion on education policy and reform? And how much, if at all, has the new president swayed the public’s views?|
The 2017 Education Next survey, conducted in May and June of this year, offers us an opportunity to explore these questions and many more. With this year’s survey, our 11th annual poll of a representative sample of the American public, we examine current attitudes toward major issues in K–12 education and compare the results with those of prior years. We also break down responses by political party and, for whites, by level of education. These analyses allow us to see whether changes have been concentrated in any specific political or demographic group.
Our sample of more than 4,200 respondents, including oversamples of parents and teachers, also gives us the chance to experiment with some of the survey questions in order to tease out nuances in public opinion. For a variety of questions, we divided our respondents randomly into two (or more) groups and asked each group a slightly different version of the same question. For example, we told one group about President Donald J. Trump’s position on an issue while the other group was not given this information. By comparing the responses of the two groups, we are able to estimate the “Trump effect” on public thinking. Since we performed this same experiment during the first two years of the Obama administration, we are able to compare the Trump impact with the Obama one.
This report covers 10 main topics. Some of the key findings are:
1. School Choice. Public support for charter schools has fallen by 12 percentage points, with similar drops evident among both self-described Republicans and self-described Democrats. Meanwhile, opposition to school vouchers and tax credits to fund private-school scholarships has declined.
2. Common Core. Support for using the same academic standards across the states has risen since 2016—as long as the “brand name” of Common Core is not mentioned. When the Common Core name is stated, the level of support remains essentially the same as it was one year ago, but when the question simply asks about standards “that are the same across the states,” public support rises by 5 percentage points over what was observed last year.
3. Federalism. Compared with 2015, the public prefers a smaller role in education for the federal government and a larger role for local governments in three policy areas: setting standards, identifying failing schools, and fixing failing school. However, a clear plurality continue to prefer that state governments play the predominant role in these areas.
4. Teacher policies. The public is showing an increased resistance to change when it comes to policies affecting teachers. The percentages favoring merit pay, an end to teacher tenure, and increases in teacher salaries are all down about 5 percentage points. In each case, however, a plurality continue to support reform.
5. Trump effect. Half of the respondents were told of Trump’s position on four issues—Common Core, charter schools, tax credits, and merit pay. The other half were asked the same question without mention of the president. In general, the effect of being told the president’s position was to boost support among Republicans and reduce it among Democrats. The overall impact, however, was roughly nil.
6. Immigration and English-only instruction. Two thirds of the public prefer that students whose native tongue is not English be immersed in English-only classrooms. That percentage remains the same when the students are identified specifically as immigrants. Among whites, 75% of those without a university degree prefer English-only classrooms, compared to 60% of those holding a degree. The public is equally divided as to whether school districts should receive extra federal assistance if they have a sizable percentage of immigrant students.
7. Technology. Forty-four percent of the respondents think the effects would be positive if students spent more time on computers at school, while 35% think the effect would be negative.
8. Religious afterschool student clubs. The general public is more favorable toward allowing Muslim students to form afterschool clubs than it was in 2008. At that time, 27% supported such clubs, 23% opposed them, and 50% took a neutral position. In 2017, those percentages are 45% support, 27% oppose, and 28% neutral.
9. Parents’ aspirations for their children’s higher education. Two thirds of the public would have their child pursue a four-year university degree, while only 22% would choose a two-year associate’s degree at a community college, and 11% would choose neither. These percentages do not change significantly when respondents receive information about both the costs and the earnings associated with each degree. However, the cost-and-earnings information shifts the share of Hispanic respondents preferring the four-year degree upward to levels comparable to those among whites. Meanwhile, 75% of Democrats not provided information would prefer their child to pursue a four-year degree, as compared to 57% of Republicans. This partisan difference disappears when respondents receive information about the costs and benefits of the bachelor’s and associate’s degrees. When informed, the percentage preferring the four-year degree is 66% for Democrats and Republicans alike.
10. Varying views by level of education. Among white respondents, 64% of those with a university degree say their local schools deserve a “grade” of A or B, while only 51% of those without that degree rate their local schools that highly. Respondents’ views also varied with their level of education on other issues, including school spending, teacher salaries, merit pay, and school vouchers.
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