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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Exceptional Public Schools

The Learning First Alliance blog has an interesting post on successful public schools. You can see the full posting by clicking here.  Some of the information is below:

So in no particular order…
Viers Mill Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. The school serves a high-needs population, with many of its students speaking a language other than English at home and most receiving free or reduced-price lunch. Yet the school consistently performs well on standardized assessments. In fact, in 2010, 100% of 5th graders met state reading standards, and 100% of 4th and 5th graders met state math standards. Not only that, at Viers Mill teachers have a real voice and every child at the school feels valued.
Greenlawn Terrace Elementary School in Kenner, LA. This small school is achieving big things. Last year it was named a High-Performing High-Poverty School by the Louisiana Department of Education, one of the few neighborhood schools in the New Orleans area to recieve the honor. How does it do it? A caring environment and a focus on data.
Taylor Ray Elementary School in Rosenberg, TX. While 73% of Taylor Ray’s students are considered economically disadvantaged, and 28% are Limited English Proficient, this school thrives. In 2010, school proficiency rates exceeded 94% in all tested subjects for all tested grades. Key to its success are a number of factors, including an excellent and dedicated staff that constantly collaborate, a mentoring program and a dual language program.
Carstens Elementary School in Detroit, MI. While over 90% of students at Carstens receive free or reduced-price lunch, the school performs amazingly well. For example, in 2010 100% of 3rd and 4th graders met state proficiency standards in math. And the school is a beacon of light for its surrounding community, with staff working hard to meet all the needs of students and priding themselves on their shared leadership.
George Hall Elementary School in Mobile, AL. The mainly low-income students at George Hall benefit from frequent field trips--carefully constructed adventures that tie directly to the curriculum--designed to expose them to the larger world. They also become experts in technology, publishing their "photo stories" on the web. But all this time "away from basics" doesn't hurt their performance. In 2009, 100% of third and fourth grade George Hall students met or exceeded proficiency standards in reading. 100% of fourth and fifth grade students met or exceeded proficiency standards in math.
Laurel Hill Elementary School in Laurel Hill, NC. Despite serving an economically disadvantaged population, the school performs well above state averages on end-of-grade tests. And students with disabilities perform particularly well compared to their peers statewide, thanks in part to a well-established inclusion system. The school also has the highest attendance rate in its district, no mean feat in a rural area where kids historically missed school frequently to hunt and fish. And the school’s teacher turnover rate is below that of the state and district, indicative of a teaching and learning environment where people want to work.

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