Archive for July 8, 2010
“Atlanta should be confident that its school system, while continuing to need improvement, has made real and sizable gains for its children of which the citizenry can be justifiably proud,” writes Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, in an op-ed piece published in the June 7 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Casserly, a noted expert on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test, pointed out that Atlanta Public Schools’ fourth- and eighth-graders showed the most gains on the reading portion of the NAEP test, also known as the “Nation’s Report Card.” A 14-point increase between 2002 to 2009 compares favorably with Georgia’s students as well as the national average.
Casserly recalled that a team of national reading, math and science experts visited APS to examine district’s gains:
The results of the examination — based on extensive interviews, data analysis and document review — attributed the improvements to a number of organizational and instructional factors: strong community support; an increasingly cohesive school board; a visionary and skilled superintendent; a clearly articulated strategy for reform that was sustained over a prolonged period; a strong mechanism for holding adults accountable for student results; good data with which to monitor progress and inform classroom practice; and other factors.
In conclusion, Casserly wrote, “while everyone is entitled to their own opinions, no one is entitled to their own facts.”
Read the entire column here.
Boyd Elementary parents, school staff go door-to-door to increase first day attendance at year-round school
Parents of students at Boyd Elementary School and school staff members will be going door-to-door Friday afternoon (July 9) reminding parents and students that the first day of classes for the district’s three year-round schools is Wednesday, July 14. Groups of parents and school staff will assemble at Boyd Elementary (1891 Johnson Road, NW, Atlanta 30318), at 1 p.m. Friday, July 9. From there, they will fan out in the surrounding neighborhoods, knocking on doors and handing out flyers reminding parents and students of the July 14 start of classes for APS year-round schools. The two other APS year-round schools are Centennial Place and Hutchinson elementary schools. The majority of APS schools officially open for the new school year on August 9. News media representatives are invited to cover this event, starting at 1 p.m. Friday, July 9 at Boyd Elementary School.
Five Turkish schools, three APS teachers, and one week culminated in a great learning experience and international relationship for the district. Bolton Academy teachers Ingrid Arriagada and Claudine Curry recently returned from visiting five Turkish schools for a week. These two teachers first developed their relationship with Turkey through a well-known global learning community called ePals. The largest online international community with half a million classrooms in more than 200 countries, ePals allowed Curry and Arriagada to connect with teachers overseas to expose their students to a new way of viewing the world by interacting with international teachers and students.
On returning to the U.S., Curry and Arriagada receive a welcomed surprise. ePals awarded the two teachers the “Teacher Teamwork-Collaboration Award.” The work that both these teachers have done to expose Bolton Academy to a whole new world is nothing short of amazing.
Through ePals’ international community, Curry and Arriagada have been able to engage in and complete standards-based projects that promote global citizenship with their students. “Through connecting with classes from across the globe, my students and I have celebrated our differences and similarities,” Curry said. Besides Turkey, Curry and Arriagada also have ePals in Hong Kong, Syria, Lithuania, Australia, Kenya, Chile, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Bolton Academy and two other schools in APS – Sutton Middle and North Atlanta High – also will be hosting Turkish students for the week of Sept. 6. Curry sums the ePal experience up saying, “Perhaps we will never travel to all these distant lands. Yet, through the power of technology, we share our humanity; our children learn and grow together.”