PATHWAYS TO EXCELLENCE

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MEASURING SUCCESS OF DIVERSITY DIRECTORS

By: Patricia Romney, Karlene Ferron, Jennifer Hill

Most independent schools have made a serious commitment to diversity — to developing an inclusive community at all levels, and supporting it with clear policies and a multicultural curriculum. In order to facilitate the necessary changes, many schools have also embraced the role of the diversity director (or a similarly named position). Indeed, a diversity director knowledgeable in diversity issues, with a proven ability to work with students and adults, and with a commitment to diversity and multiculturalism can be invaluable to a school seeking to grow in the 21st century. These schools have what Dennis Bisgaard, head of the Kingswood-Oxford School (Connecticut), has called 2020 vision — an ability to keep the school community focused on where it wants to be in the near future. Read more.

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TEACHER LED SCHOOLS

BY LESLIE McCRACKEN

TPPs help to professionalize teaching. All the ideas for “school improvement” and “education reform” assume that teachers must remain employees and that an administrator, such as a principal, must be in charge. But it is clearly conceivable for teachers like doctors, lawyers, and other professionals to work with partners in groups they collectively own; serving a client in an arrangement that gives them both the autonomy we associate with professionalism and the accountability we expect from professionals. When a TPP accepts responsibility to manage, or arrange for the management of, one or more schools, the teachers are directly responsible and accountable for what happens at the learning communities they serve. Read more.

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CREATING CLASSROOM COMMUNITIES

BY DR. JELANI JABARI

What structures found in highly successful classrooms are often ignored by most teachers?  Perhaps you might think a time saving planning tool, an innovative teaching strategy that helps struggling learners, or effective techniques that address inappropriate behavior in the classroom.  One of the most underused and most often ignored elements commonly found in successfully run classrooms is the creation and sustentation of true classroom communities. Read more.

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ATTENTION! ALL SCHOOLS NEED HIGHLY QUALIFIED AND HIGHLY EFFECTIVE TEACHERS

By: Noran L. Moffett, Ed.D and Melanie M. Frizzell

How can the nation produce the educators that are highly effective to fill the classrooms that host the future aspirations of the children with the least opportunity, the most diversity and the greatest potential to join the children with greatest opportunity, the most educational experiences and access?

Will all of our children have the opportunity to engage in the building of the transformational role of the United States of America to lead the global economy in the 21stCentury? Read more.

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TEACHING OUTSIDE THE URBAN SCHOOL DISTRICT

By: Dr. Rich Milner

Much is written and discussed about White teachers and their experiences in urban and highly diverse P-12 schools.  We know very little about Black teachers’ experiences in predominantly White schools.  In 2008, Black teachers represented about 7.1% in elementary schools and 6.9% in secondary schools. What are the experiences of Black teachers teaching in mostly White schools? What supports are necessary to foster positive experiences for these Black teachers so that they feel empowered to teach their students effectively and to develop positive professional identities?  Below, I share three common themes that have emerged from Black teachers at two different mostly White settings from two different states. Read more.

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TRANSFORMING LOW PERFORMING SCHOOLS THROUGH IMPROVING STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS

By Darrell “Coach D” Andrews

With the copious challenges faced by today’s school systems, many schools, school districts and policymakers are re-focusing their efforts on the importance of student connectedness and     personalization as a tool for school transformation.  Student relations is well on it’s way to being more important than high stakes testing.  This article provides real world, grass roots strategies for teachers and schools to improve school connectedness.

As a child growing up in Syracuse, NY, I was not highly motivated to do well in school. As with many kids growing up in poverty, there were little to no examples of academic excellence in my circle of friends and family.  Read more.