The New Teacher Center (NTC) is a nonprofit organization that aims to improve student learning via supports for beginning teachers. In 2012, NTC got a federal i3 grant to launch a teacher induction model that provides professional development, research-based resources, and online formative assessment tools for beginning teachers, mentors, and school leaders.
The NTC model has two goals: to develop first- and second-year teachers into effective instructors and to boost their retention, particularly in schools that are hard-to-staff or serve high-poverty student populations. Toward these ends, NTC deploys full-time mentors who are carefully selected and receive 100+ hours of intensive training. New teachers meet with their mentors weekly for at least 3 hours per month and work through an NTC-created suite of research-based tools that include classroom observation cycles. Mentor coaching lasts for two years.
SRI Education recently evaluated the NTC induction model by conducting randomized controlled trials in the Broward County and Chicago Public Schools. The evaluation used both quantitative and qualitative methods and considered two aspects in particular: program implementation fidelity and teacher and student outcomes. These effects were measured over a three-year period (2013-14 to 2015-16) for two cohorts of new teachers.
We start to today with a clutch of stories from Lorain. The “realness” of the arrival of a CEO in the district seems to have caught up with the elected school board. In the wake of the “meet the candidates” night earlier this week, they have determined they are “not satisfied” with the search process. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 7/20/17) I'm not sure if it's the process so much as the outcome of that process, but here is what the board members say they are upset about. If you think any of this sounds familiar from the saga of the ADC in Youngstown, you would not be incorrect. Wonder if there’s a hotline? (Elyria Chronicle, 7/20/17) As you may have noticed in those earlier pieces, an emergency board meeting was called for last night following the determination of “dissatisfaction”. With no detailed agenda put forward ahead of time, we all had to wait with bated breath as to what action the board would take. So here it is: The board was reorganized so the outspoken VP (“Dissatisfactor in Chief”?) would become president, and he then changed out the board’s teacher rep sitting on the ADC. Scary. And then
Ohio policy makers just dismantled the high school graduation requirements for the class of 2018. This retreat harks back to the days of social promotion and state-sanctioned low expectations and should prompt some soul-searching as to what exactly we think young people need to be prepared for life after high school.
I’m all for high standards that are taken seriously by all concerned and that have real-world consequences. The point, after all, is to boost achievement, cause more learning by more young people, cause diplomas to mean something, and ensure that many more of our future citizens will be up to the challenges ahead.
But it’s also possible to demand too much. Witness the Chicago Public Schools: in addition to meeting basic high school graduation requirements like earning 24 credit hours in core subject areas and completing additional obligations such as service learning and consumer education, a new proposal requires high school students in the Windy City to prove that they have a “post-graduation plan” that includes a job or acceptance into the military, college, or a trade program.
Ohio’s plan is akin to providing high school graduates with flotation devices. Who cares if they...
At the end of June, Governor John Kasich vetoed a provision in the state budget bill that would have changed school grading calculations for purposes of evaluating the performance of Ohio’s charter school sponsors. Keep in mind that sponsors—as they should be—are evaluated in part on the basis of how well the charter schools in their portfolios are doing on state report card metrics. At issue here was the weight that the Ohio Department of Education places on student growth—or value added—relative to other measures. The General Assembly, seemingly unhappy with the current, bureaucratically derived framework for sponsor evaluations, had wanted to increase the weight on student growth from 20 to 60 percent. That change would have applied to the “summative” (or “overall”) A-F grades of charter schools when applied to the evaluation of their sponsors.
Transitioning sponsors towards a growth-centered system was a positive move by the legislature, and it’s disappointing that the governor vetoed the provision. Growth measures consider individual students’ academic performance over time and gauge a school’s impact on student achievement. They differ from status measures, such as proficiency rates, which are “snapshots” of student performance at a point...
As also originally noted in Wednesday’s clips, here is more on the third grade reading test “controversy”, from a Cleveland perspective. Same “problem” here as in the other districts who begged (and I do mean “begged”) the state board of education to do something to help them out – expecting the alternative tests’ cut scores to be lower than they were and being horribly wrong. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/13/17)
As noted in the clips a few months ago, Lorain is attempting to build an Alumni Club of high school graduates in the area. Here is more on the status of recruitment efforts. Last time, we noted that district and Catholic high school grads were being sought, but this time we learned that alumni can be from “any Lorain school.” Interestingly, the district’s elected board seems a bit standoffish with regard to the club
The Ohio General Assembly recently passed and Governor Kasich approved legislation that allows students in the class of 2018 to graduate without demonstrating competency on state exams or meeting career and technical education-related requirements. This means that there won’t be any assurance that those getting diplomas have learned much of anything. At a time when Ohio is trying to get reasonably serious about ending social promotion into fourth grade—via the Third Grade Reading Guarantee—voters and taxpayers should be outraged that it’s again reared its ugly head in connection with the promotion that matters most: exiting from high school into real life.
Why worry about social promotion? Consider an interview with Doug Lemov, the well-known author of Teach Like a Champion and co-founder of the Uncommon Schools charter network. Richard Whitmire recounts Lemov’s experience as a tutor at Indiana University:
One of the football players he tutored was a redshirt freshman who had gone to a high school in the Bronx. “He was a real gentleman, a decent guy in every way, but he was struggling academically. So I said, ‘Why don’t you write a paragraph about yourself,’ which he did. I took one look...
WorkKeys is an ACT-designed system that includes assessments, curriculum, and “skill profiles” for schools to use in building and measuring students’ workplace skills. Superintendent DeMaria specifically recommends the elimination of the assessment, of which there are three sections:
Applied math: a 55-minute assessment with 34 items. This test measures mathematical critical thinking and problem-solving techniques that are commonly used in the workplace, including negative numbers, fractions, decimals, and money and time conversions.
Graphic literacy: a 55-minute assessment with 38 items. This test measures how well an individual can read and interpret common workplace graphics such as diagrams, maps and floor plans, order forms, and flow