10/22/2004

The Power of One Percent (Urban Districts)

A good friend wrote me about last week’s New Yorker article on Pacific Rim charter school in Boston to say that he thought Kate Boo, the author, was particularly good at putting a human face on complex social issues. And it’s true. But that’s precisely my objection. Other than a scant mention of the backlash against charters that is raging in Massachusetts and elswehere, and an equally cursory reference to No Child Left Behind, there is remarkably little here that could help a reader come to any deeper understanding of the policy issues surrounding charter schools in particular or urban education in general. And that may be all it’s supposed to do.

To be sure, The Factory (New Yorker) puts a human face on the teachers and students at this school, and humanizes what might otherwise be an overwhelmingly complex or depressing situation. And, as Checker Finn puts it in this week’s Gadfly, “What makes this profile especially memorable, though, is the honest portrayal of the students who buy into the school's promise of success, but somehow fall short of their goals.”

Still, as with charter schools themselves, that is not enough for me.

The Best of the Rest:
San Diego Review American Enterprise Institute
More scrutiny and staff boost safety at New York's worst schools New York Times
Charters score below public schools Dallas Morning News
Schools Lay Tender Trap for Truants - Christian Science Monitor
Denver focuses on raising Hispanic achievement Denver Rocky Mountain News
St. Louis opts to buy Open Court reading program St. Louis Post-Dispatch
LAUSD Selects Magnolia Science Academy as Case Study Charter School
Pioneering charter school remains model for success San Jose Mercury News
In state takeover, student scores lag Detroit Free Press
Detroit districts abandon single letter grades on elementary report cards Detroit News
Philadelphia teachers overwhelmingly accept new contract Philadelphia Inquirer
Trial begins in ‘ghost teachers’ case philly.com
Legislators seek ways to cut dropouts Houston Chronicle
Number of Single-Sex Schools Growing Education Week
Edwatch by Julia Steiny: Progress in Oakland Beach Providence Journal
School's Out Too Early for 420 Kids on 2 Charter Campuses LA Times
The Lesson In Those Scores New York Post

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hundreds of free Open Court Reading resources used to help close the achievement gap and supplement the OCR program.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Mathew said...

Open Court Resources.com celebrates its three year anniversary this month by becoming the largest collection of free K-6 Open Court Resources available on the internet. Created by Mathew Needleman, LAUSD teacher and Antioch University instructor, the site features literally hundreds of resources including powerpoints, unit opener ideas, chants, lesson plans, independent work time activities, links, sight word teaching systems, picture files, movies, the Open Court Discussion Board, and more. All resources are free and aligned to specific grade levels and Open Court units and the site is compatible with both the 2000 and 2002 editions of the program.

The site is already being used to close the achievement gap and integrate technology into the curriculum of school districts across the country. The site receives more than nine hundred visits a day from teachers, parents, and students from Hawaii to the Bronx. It has been recognized on the web site of the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE), SBC's Blue Web'n blue ribbon sites, and it and consistently ranks in the top 20 educational sites on the internet.

Please spread the word about the site to your teachers and parents. The site is updated almost daily and continues to grow thanks to word of mouth and the contributions of teachers. http://www.opencourtresources.com

10:04 AM  

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