By Tom Chorneau
Monday, December 05, 2011
Nine California school districts are serving as the test grounds for a new approach to solving one of public education’s great dilemmas – the struggle between middle school students and algebra.
The project is one of 49 awarded grant money two years ago under the U. S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation program. The question being asked here is what strategies could be employed to rescue the many thousands of seventh and eighth graders – perhaps millions – that turn off and simply give up each year when first confronted with higher math.
By Kimberly Beltran
Monday, October 17, 2011
Students in the state’s far northern reaches are graduating better prepared for college, thanks to a federally-funded program designed to help them succeed there.
College Options, administered by University of California-Davis staff, got a huge boost this month when director Lianne Richelieu-Boren was notified that her program is one of nine California programs to receive another federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
College Options will receive $12.6 million over seven years to continue the work of helping students in Shasta and Siskiyou counties prepare for and succeed in college, whether it be a two-year community college or a four-year university.
By Stephen Sawchuk
September 20, 2011
Boston, Central Falls, R.I., and Sacramento, Calif. will join a handful of other of other school systems to receive funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to set up collaborative relationships with charter schools within their borders, the Seattle-based philanthropy announced today.
The basic idea behind the initiative is to better integrate charters and traditional public schools to create an exchange of best practices, and to ease tensions about such issues as facilities and supports. The districts still have to formally apply for the Gates funding, but they can win up to $100,000 once they do. (Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit that publishes Education Week, also receives Gates Foundation support.)
Studies show that the world’s best school systems depend on teacher collaboration, but the concept has not caught on in the U.S. We found public and charter schools where teamwork is making a difference.
By Melinda Burns
August 22, 2011
Five years ago, Sparks Middle School hit bottom. Its test scores were some of the worst in the district. A chain-link fence was locked after hours to prevent gangs from tagging the open-air hallways. Between classes, members of rival tagging crews would fight.
Word came down to the La Puente, Calif., school from the Los Angeles County Office of Education: We may shut you down if you don’t come up with a plan.
Sparks embarked on a makeover. Sherri Franson, the school’s new principal, took down the chain-link fence because she thought it made the school look like a jail. She lengthened the school day by 20 minutes, increased the number of periods from six to seven and hired two literacy coaches. Low-scoring students were required to take double periods of math or English. Every student received a “glory binder” and was taught how to take notes.
By Harry Saltzgaver
May 11, 2011
I sat through part of a presentation Tuesday about seamless education and the efforts both locally and statewide to continue to make that collaboration work.
It will come as no surprise that one of the primary themes was the continuing decrease in resources — for any sort of education, let alone collaborations between K-12, community colleges and universities. What impressed me, though, was the determination to maintain what has already been achieved and to forge ahead.