June 6, 2010 2 Comments
In Turnaround News…
D.C. Teachers’ Contract addresses School Turnaround
An article in the Washington Post addresses the contents of the new D.C. teachers’ contract, which was ratified on Wednesday. The contract indicates that there will be performance pay, new school turnaround models, greater collaboration, and improved teacher mentoring. As they wait for Council approval, the union and D.C. Public Schools acknowledge that the challenge in moving forward will be to actually implement these changes.
In Other News…
Race to the Top – Part II
As states rushed to submit their applications for the second installment of Race to the Top funding, NY Times columnist David Brooks offers his commentary. He begins by questioning the role and effectiveness of government intervention and points to several examples, some successful and others less so. He draws from a speech President Obama gave, in which he stated, “Our government shouldn’t try to guarantee results, but it should guarantee a shot at opportunity for every American who’s willing to work hard.” Brooks goes on to describe how the Obama administration “has used federal power to incite reform, without dictating it from the top.” He describes the administration’s approach to education policy as “catalytic” and suggests that a similar process is needed for health, energy, and environmental policy.
Data as a Critical Ingredient to Ed Reform
It seems that every reform initiative has its advocates and detractors who point to “sound” data that “validates” their arguments. Richard Hess offers an interesting piece about the importance of data. He explains that data is essential to (1) tracking student progress, (2) identifying effective and ineffective strategies, and (3) empowering leaders to address poorly-performing schools. He goes on to point out that, “Like a trip to the gym, these steps can feel like drudgery and they don’t deliver much immediate gratification—but they can make a big difference in the long term.” These are practices we believe in at the School Turnaround Group, as we base all of our initiatives on research. Please stay tuned for an upcoming publication on how to evaluate school turnaround.