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School Reform in Public Education

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Tara Ross

on 16 April 2013

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Transcript of School Reform in Public Education

Developing School Effectiveness School Reform in Public Education Why reform school? So, what makes an
effective school? Improve a country's economic competitiveness Classroom management effectiveness by establishing expectations, empowering students, smooth transitions between activities, checks for understanding, empathy, cultural awareness, and inclusion What makes a school effective? Schools must be ADAPTIVE in their problem solving in order to implement new curriculum, new materials and tools, and provide teacher training to implement reform
INNOVATION is at the school level with support from the district level.
Implementation is COMPATIBLE in the context of the school, accessible to all involved in carrying out the reform (even if they have not been involved in discussions regarding reform), and DOABLE in terms of teachers' time and resources.
SHARED VISION among administrators and faculty members for reform coupled with staff training
Professional community is cultivated by COLLABORATION among teachers. Characteristics of Successful Reform The Boston Compact created a business-school partnership that became a model for the nation. It linked corporations with Boston public school graduates. The corporations hired graduates, guided other students toward higher education, and improved job placement. Schools developed competency requirements for graduation. Other philanthropies and schools districts are now following this model. Related Efforts in School Reform clear mission Improve Access for a nation's economically disadvantaged citizens Make educational outcomes more equitable Create a stronger middle class that can overcome economic adversity Develop higher order skills among population Time on Task engaged in learning experiences Ask questions of students that focus on their mastery of the subject Use of direct instruction, monitoring, and feedback Avoiding passive or rote learning Effectiveness in
Elementary Schools A safe environment that is well-organized where there is a climate of high expectations The school has a clear mission Leadership by principal experienced in instruction and who
understands teaching effectiveness Instruction characterized by time on
task and ongoing monitoring of student comprehension Positive communication between home and school, with supportive and engaged parents Curriculum alignment of planning, methods,
instruction, materials, and assessment Pluralistic and multi-cultural focus, aid in empowering children to problem solve, providing interventions for low-performing students, and collaborative problem solving among faculty Effectiveness in High School Have strong outcomes among a broad range of students with diverse backgrounds, abilities, and goals Provide substantive help to low achievers Instruction is personalized, engaging, while not separating by tracks
into low, middle, or high achieving students Career focus allows for students of varying abilities to engage in subjects of career interest Smaller high school units that create a more personal and
engaging environment. Models of Reform Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) Program - technology based problem solving, verbalization, use of Socratic method, and metacognitive strategies implemented (learning to learn) Success for All - reading achievement for disadvantaged students, uses cooperative learning and supported by full time staff who are trained and incorporate technology. Significant commitment toward restructuring elementary schools. Degrees of Reading Power Comprehension Development Approach - used in some urban schools, it assesses a student's ability to comprehend writing in and out of school. Teacher instruction is aligned to student performance on DRP test. Material for homework is designed to challenge but not to frustrate students. Comer School Development Program - providing social and psychological services to inner city students to enhance school performance. Involves parents, faculty members, psychologists, social workers and others. Individualized learning is designed and facilitated. Curriculum is coordinated across subjects to touch on specific needs of child. The Algebra Project - curriculum interventions with disadvantaged students using their experiences to shift thinking from basic to algebraic thinking. Shows gains in student performance and ability in algebra and higher level math courses. Models of Reform - part 2 Knowledge is Power (KIPP) - an intensive program utilized in some select inner city schools involving longer school days, some Saturdays, and 3 weeks in the summer, this program utilizes a college-prep curriculum with field experiences and extra-curricular activities. Gains noted, but drop outs from KIPP are high (both student and faculty) and no resources are available for students with learning disabilities or English Language Learners (ELLs). Harlem's Children Zone (HCZ) and Purpose Built Communities (PBC) - unlike KIPP, these programs seek to work within existing schools to improve performance. Includes various components such as early childhood education, family involvement, health services, best practices for teachers of disadvantaged students, hiring talented teachers, and collaboration with community organizations. Models of Reform - part 3 Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) -- aids disadvantaged students in learning study skills, in developing learning stragegies, and provides personal and career counseling. Help with enrolling and succeeding in advanced courses. Response to Intervention (RtI) with Tiered Instruction - identify the 20%-25% of students who are not progressing at pace of class. Incorporate interventions (tutoring, materials at their level, etc). If these interventions do not succeed, then student is referred to special education. Used at all grade levels and subject levels. Also being used to address behavioral problems. Hard to implement. To be successful, RtI program must monitor student progress, use proven interventions that address individual student problems, follow explicit rules for students not making sufficent progress in intervention, consistent and accurate intervention, convince parents that RtI is better than special education. Different types of educational approaches are involved in reform. Year-round school is one option, programs for gifted/talented students offer accelerated/enriched curriculum, and online programs for rural students. Technology usage that is based in research -- much is ineffective. Volunteers into schools from community and businesses. Donations provided by organizations augment scarce school supplies. Awards funded by community groups expand educational opportunities of students. Technology in Education In order to be effective, technology needs to be used in meaningful ways. Problem solving is better than "drill and kill". Computers need to be concentrated in the classrooms -- one computer will not make a difference. Teachers need intensive training of more than 10 hours to really consider effective ways to use the computers in their classrooms. Teachers also need ongoing training and technical support. Scheduling of computer use needs to be coordinated for class size, length of class period, and type of instruction. Teachers should not replace motivational or other effective teaching methods with computerized lessons. While results for online education are inconclusive at the K-12 level, blended learning has shown to result in some academic gains for students over online or traditional education on their own. Flipped learning allows guided practice in the classroom and video lectures at home. Techno reform vs. Academic Gains Using technology to keep children occupied is not an educational improvement. Technology quickly becomes obsolete. Children are developing decreased attention spans and gaining a distorted sense of reality via fantasy worlds online. Technology training for teachers must accompany technological conversions in the classroom. How is technology used in your district? In your community's schools? What factors do you think go into reforming education via technology? YEAR ROUND SCHOOL? REALLY?
WHAT ABOUT THE SUMMER HARVEST?? For reflection: Schools were established on a farming calendar, when children were needed at home during parts of the year for the harvest. What are the advantages and disadvantages to seasonal schooling? If you were a school administrator at the district or ministry level, what would you need to do to gain support from your students, parents, and community for year-round schooling? What would be the consequences (intentional and unintentional of year-round schooling? Reflect on your own secondary education experience. Of the ideas mentioned, what factors were needed to make your high school a better environment for learning? Which elements from your high school experience worked and why? Which of these elements do you think are most important? Why? Is it possible to have many of these present in one school even if there are limited budgets? School Choice Reform intended to provide students and their families with educational options -- may exist within public education or outside of it Magnet schools, private schools, charter schools, parochial schools, etc, are all types of alternative schooling . Yet, there is concern
that some magnet schools pull funding away from public schools. Charter schools can be established by school districts or entities licensed to charter schools. These can include for-profit institutions, which have greater leeway in how public dollars are spent in the classroom. 75% of students in charter schools come from low-income homes, compared to 20% in traditional public schools. Open enrollment options allow students to decide
which school within their district they would like to attend, or make a case through a formal procedure to change their assigned school. School vouchers allow students to attend a private school using money from the public school system or from funds provided by philanthropists. Tax credits are also awarded in some states as incentives by state governments to individuals and organizations who fund tuition for students attending private schools. Systemic Reform Statewide Reform from the school house to the state house. Includes instruction and curriculum, teacher training, assessment, supplies, finances, course requirements, and governance of schools. Kentucky Public Schools implemented significant state-wide reform
beginning in 1990 after the State Supreme Court declared the public
education system to be unconstitutional in 1989 based on poor
achievement by students. All elements of the system needed reformed.

Curriculum, instruction, parent involvement, teacher support, teacher training, student choice in schools, preschool programs for low-income families, youth and family support in low-income communities, and increased taxes to pay for reform were all implemented.

Results of these reforms since 1990 show significant improvement in student academic gains. http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/news/coverStories/kentuckys_school_reform.php
District Reform In addition to reform at the state level, individual districts can initial reform. Studies of successful reform efforts in districts in the United States reveal the following similarities in approaches:

District leaders share belief in need for establishing high expectations of learners. District engages in the hard work of aligning curriculum to state-wide standardized testing Assessment of students aids in efforts to identify students who need tutoring so they do not fall behind. Standards-based teaching in core content areas Additional learning experiences include early childhood, after school, and summer learning High expectations for students strong connections between home and school significant time on task monitoring and assessment of student achievement organized environment and positive culture emphasizes higher order thinking skills ongoing professional
development and support
for teachers By Tara Ross, PhD References:

Ornstein, A. C., Levine, D. U., Gutek, G. L., & Vocke, D. E. (2014) Foundations of Education, (12th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Wisconsin Center for Education Research. (2007). Kentucky's School Reform Bears Fruit. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved from http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/news/coverStories/kentuckys
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