Tag Archives: high-quality instruction

Colorado Might Just Be Getting Even Smarter about Education Reform

I hope that I get smarter as I go through school some day. Likewise, despite its success with advancing school choice and accountability so far, Colorado also needs to Get Smart(er) about education reform. At least that’s the premise behind a new group called Get Smart Schools Colorado. As the Rocky Mountain News reports: The idea behind Get Smart Schools is similar to school initiatives in Chicago and New York – one group pooling expertise and funding to help promising new school models get off the ground. That’s because research shows it’s typically more effective to start good new schools than it is to transform existing schools that are failing. In Colorado, the focus will be on importing quality school models that have been successful elsewhere and on helping promising new schools find facilities, an obstacle for many. Believe it or not, this sort of group really is needed. We know the importance of smaller schools, autonomy (big word!), strong leadership, high-quality instruction, research-based curricula, parental involvement (i.e., choice), and focus on student improvement. But with an experienced and qualified staff of its own, a group like Get Smart Schools Colorado can show new schools how to get it done […]

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Challenge Grows for Michelle Rhee's Washington DC Teacher Innovations

Washington, DC, schools chancellor Michelle Rhee is fast approaching a critical crossroads that will put her bold leadership to the test, as her showdown with the teachers union reaches the moment of truth. The Washington Post reports that union leaders are giving in to cries from older tenured teachers insecure about their professional abilities: [Union president George] Parker said many older teachers believe that they have been targeted for dismissal by Rhee, who has proposed a two-tiered salary plan that would pay many instructors more than $100,000 annually in pay and performance bonuses. Those choosing the “green tier” would be required to spend a year on probation, risking termination. Teachers have the option of selecting a “red tier” that would allow them to keep tenure and accept lower raises. Union leaders can’t only be concerned about the promising young teachers in their midst. They have to fight for the interests of mediocre and overpaid teachers, too. It’s the nature of the beast. Michelle Rhee is going to need a lot of focus, resolve, and determination to bring major innovation to one of the nation’s poorest school districts: promoting high-quality instruction as a priority for the district’s neediest and most disadvantaged […]

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