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robertogreco : independentschools   37

- Thrilled to announce DSX tuition index!  Rooted in...
"Thrilled to announce DSX tuition index! 

Rooted in equity and inclusion, DSX aims to start as a low cost independent school for most and aiming for zero tuition by 2026. DSX will operate as an independent school in order to push deeply into innovative teaching/learning practices and create a truly equitable learning environment grappling with the difficult and necessary conversations about inequity in our schools.

Toward this end:
• Applying to DSX is free with no extra fees once accepted into DSX (except tuition)
• All students and staff delicious and healthy lunches are included.

Our tuition index might look like:
• 20% of our families pay $35,000/year
• 20% of our families pay $25,000/year
• 20% of our families pay $15,000/year
• 20% of our families pay $10,000/year
• 20% of our families pay $1,000/year"
dsx  tuition  davidclifford  independentschools  diversity  inequality  2016 
february 2016 by robertogreco
David Geffen's $100 million gift to UCLA is philanthropy at its absolute worst - Vox
"Music mogul David Geffen is very, very bad at being a philanthropist. His past donations have mostly taken the form of massive gifts to prominent universities and cultural institutions, rather than to poor people or important research or even less famous, more financially desperate universities and arts centers. And his charitable giving usually comes with a major branding component. This past March, he committed $100 million to renovate a concert hall at Lincoln Center — but only after the center paid $15 million to the family of Avery Fisher, the hall's former namesake, so that Geffen could have his name plastered on it. It's like renaming a sports stadium, except that Geffen gets a massive tax write-off for it.

But his latest gift really takes the cake. Geffen is giving $100 million to UCLA to set up a private middle and high school on its campus. You see, the UCLA Lab School only serves students — many of them faculty brats — up to the sixth grade, and poor old UCLA has "not been able to attract certain talent because of the costs of educating their children." In particular, Geffen worries that UCLA's medical school — excuse me, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA — isn't able to compete with Harvard and Johns Hopkins because of the lack of a nearby private high school.

The LA Times's Larry Gordon adds that Geffen "declined to discuss his views on public education in Los Angeles." You don't say.

Geffen might as well have just set $100 million on fire

It's hard to know where to start in explaining why this gift is such a grotesque waste. For one thing, it genuinely doesn't matter to anyone without a sentimental attachment to UCLA whether its medical school is competitive with Harvard and Johns Hopkins. The faculty members that Geffen is trying to recruit away are certainly doing important research that will save lives — but they're doing it wherever they teach. Why should anyone care whether that happens at UCLA or at Johns Hopkins? Unless one genuinely believes that the climate of southern California can effect a meaningful boost in the productivity of biomedical researchers, relative to Baltimore or Cambridge, improved recruitment for UCLA accomplishes precisely nothing for the world at large.

But at least the faculty brats will get a free education, right? Other than the existing free education they could get by enrolling their children in the LA public school system? Nope! The education won't be free. "Many details about the school remain to be decided, including tuition and admissions criteria," Gordon reports, but half of the school's 600 students will be children of UCLA employees, and about 40 percent of students will get financial aid. So even if nobody gets tuition assistance except UCLA faculty, a fifth of the faculty kids who get educated at the school will pay full freight. Their parents will benefit not in financial terms but through improved convenience. The problem being solved isn't that other private schools are too expensive; it's that they make it too hard to pick up and drop off kids.

It's worse than that, though. Gordon writes that UCLA employees already have a convenient, free option: "A special agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District allows children of UCLA professors and other employees to attend several well-regarded public schools in and near Westwood, no matter where they live." The city government has gone out of its way to give UCLA faculty access to good, conveniently located public schools. But that's not enough for David Geffen, for some reason.

The only rationale for the school that has even the patina of plausibility is the claim by UCLA chancellor Gene Block to Gordon that it will provide a place for UCLA's education school to test different learning and teaching methods. That indeed sounds admirable. But you know where else UCLA education researchers can do that? The UCLA Community School, a public school that, unlike the Lab School or the new Geffen Academy, is able to test learning methods on children of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. And while the Lab School can only test on students up to sixth grade, the Community School is K-12.

If David Geffen had a sincere interest in improving the quality of research on K-12 pedagogy, he would've given to the Community School, or perhaps paid for the establishment of a new school like that for UCLA or another school with top-tier education researchers. But Geffen does not, obviously, have any kind of sincere interest in improving research. He just wants to help a school with his name on it win a pissing match with Harvard and Johns Hopkins.

This is worse than not giving at all

That said, it doesn't seem particularly likely that investing in pedagogical research is the most cost-effective donation Geffen could make. Instead, he could give $100 million to distribute bednets in sub-Saharan Africa, a highly cost-effective way to save lives. He could give $100 million directly to poor people in Kenya and Uganda through GiveDirectly. He could give $100 million to deworming efforts that spare children ailments that can cause immense pain and poverty. He could give $100 million to the Open Philanthropy Project or the Gates Foundation or another group doing careful, rigorous work to determine the best ways to use charitable resources to make the world a better place. He could, in fact, do all of the above, because he's crazy stupid rich.

Instead he decided that what LA really needed was a new private school. "Yes, charity is better than no charity," Gawker's Hamilton Nolan writes in an excellent post on the Geffen gift. "But no, all charitable giving is not created equal." I'd go further than Nolan. This gift is actually worse than no charity. No charity at least doesn't actively undermine the LA public school system by encouraging affluent parents to defect from it — in particular affluent parents who are already being specially induced to put their kids in public school. Geffen is actively making education in Los Angeles worse because he wants the medical school named after him to rise in the US News rankings. It's indefensible.

VIDEO: Helping poverty is a better use of $100 million"
philanthropy  nonprofits  charitableindustrialcomplex  2015  davidgeffen  dylanmatthews  losangeles  schools  education  gatesfoundation  charity  us  money  ucla  uclalabschool  larrygordon  provateschools  independentschools  inequality  uclacommunityschool  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  nonprofit  capitalism  power  control 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Why I Begged My Mother to Take Me Out of the Gifted Program | Tue Night
"I understand what they were trying to do. When my teacher nominated me to be sent to a different classroom for part of each day, a class with older and more advanced learners, it was her way of keeping me interested in the learning process. Our school system was 90 percent black and, according to standardized tests, most of us were performing below grade level.

Not me.

At nine years old, my reading aptitude test scores were at the college level. My mother was so happy that she took out an ad in the local paper congratulating me for my grade-school accomplishment. She was proud. I was bored.

For weeks after the test results came in, my teacher would create separate spelling tests and reading lists just for me to try to keep me engaged and challenged. I understand that was probably an extra burden on her. If I was a third grade teacher and one of my students was reading Romeo & Juliet during silent reading time, I might suggest she needed to join a class at a higher grade level for part of the day, too. Unfortunately, even a good idea can take a negative turn.

In the beginning, I was excited about leaving my classroom for an hour a day. I thought it made me special or, at the very least, proved that I was smart. (Truthfully, most of my classmates were as smart as I was—I was just really good at memorization and taking tests.) It also helped that adults I loved and trusted had always told me I was smart. We were a school full of black children, and it wasn’t uncommon to hear our white teachers refer to us as “they,” “them,” “those kids,” or whisper to one another about our many shortcomings. I remember a time in class when a teacher told a black boy he’d never learn to read well if he insisted on speaking like a “thug.” Then she smiled toward me and said, “Don’t you want to sound smart like Ashley?”

I was taken aback. Not only did I hate being compared to the other kids (it didn’t exactly make me popular with them), but I also hadn’t realized I spoke differently from my classmates. From that day forward, they never let me forget it. Who could blame them?

By the time I got to fourth grade, I was no longer being sent to a different classroom for part of the day. No, my teachers felt that I was so brilliant I needed to be bused to an entirely different school two full days every week. The new school could not have been more different. The facilities were nicer, the test scores were higher, and my little brown face was one of a handful—maybe less.

At my “home” school, 75 percent of students received a free or reduced-rate lunch. We would laugh about our poverty, calling it “Government Lunch” and swapping dishes. The lunch ladies swiftly checked off our names on their list without a second glance and kept the line moving. At the new school, I explained that I didn’t pay for lunch and the cafeteria worker had to talk to three different people to figure out what the procedure was for such a thing. When I finally got my tray and sat with the rest of the kids from my class, I joked, “I guess you guys never had a poor kid here before.” They stared at each other, then at me, then back at each other. The silence nearly swallowed me up.

The days I spent at my “home” school varied greatly. Some days I was picked on mercilessly (usually because a teacher pointed me out as what everyone else should try to become). Other days, I felt so deeply understood by my peers, the thought of going back to the other school where they didn’t know anything about my culture was unbearable. And it wasn’t just about differences in the music we liked. I loved Matchbox 20 too! It was deeper than that. It was spending all night coloring a project with stubby crayons and nearly dry markers, just to have another kid bring in pages of pictures his dad printed out for him on a color printer. It was feigning sick the day of the Halloween party because I knew the other kids would show up in purchased costumes, something I’d never been able to do in my entire life. It was the mean lunch lady and the damn red binder she hauled out every time I said, “Free lunch.” At my “other” school , I was always the other. Always the black one. Always the poor one. The challenge in this new learning arena wasn’t academic but social. We could talk about Egypt all day long, but when I asked if Cleopatra was black, my new teacher pretended she didn’t hear me.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that I wanted out of my new school, but getting out was harder than I thought. All of my teachers were convinced that I was just intimidated by the work, not weary of the environment. So I played into their narrative and did something I’d never done before: I flunked. I bombed every test and failed to turn in every homework assignment until they sent me back to my home school full-time. Suddenly, my grades improved. Everything improved. I was happier, I was learning, and I was free to be where I wanted to be. I worked with my teachers to come up with a curriculum that challenged me, and I made it easy for them. My worst fear was that I would get bused again to a “better” school.

Right before I started middle school, an elite private school in town called my mother to see if I’d be interested in taking a test to see if I qualified for a full scholarship. I knew about this school. All grades, all facilities, and all white. After the call, my mother asked me what I thought. “It could be a great opportunity, Ash. Everybody graduates, and almost 100 percent of them go to college.”

I thought about the teachers at my original school who worked so hard to keep my brain challenged, my friends who were as smart (or smarter) than I was, and the lunch ladies who never made me feel like I was less worthy of food than anybody else. I thought about the time I’d spent at the other school, and how it felt like every moment there had been time stolen from me. In separating me from my classmates, I was being separated from my culture. And why? Because I could read big words? I could read big words anywhere, including right beside people who looked and lived just like me.

I looked at my mom, smiled and said, “I’m happy where I am.”"
ashleyford  education  schools  race  class  gifted  2015  freedom  belonging  identity  inclusion  inclusivity  comparison  howweteach  independentschools  privateschools  segregation  teaching  children  comfort  environment  inlcusivity 
july 2015 by robertogreco
iTunes - Books - Let's Challenge the Myth of Normal by The Pilot School & Bruce Mau Design
"We are The Pilot School, established in 1957. We are an individualized, therapeutic, multidisciplinary, independent day school for children with normal potential, ages five through fourteen, who are experiencing language-based learning problems. We are located in Wilmington, Delaware, and our enrollment is about 150 students. We exist to develop children who become catalysts of their own success."

[Via: http://www.brucemaudesign.com/#/work?project_id=17 ]

[See also: http://www.pilotschool.org/

"Established in 1957, Pilot is an individualized, therapeutic, independent day school for children with normal potential, ages five through fourteen, experiencing language based learning problems." ]

[Published: Dec 05, 2013 ]
thepilotschool  normal  schools  independentschools  education  wilmington  delaware  books 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Thoughts on Elite Private Independent Schools and Public Education Reforms | School Finance 101
[See also: http://sbschoolorg.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/gathering-research/
and http://redqueeninla.k12newsnetwork.com/2014/01/16/whats-in-a-choice/
"This whole duplicitous campaign of “school choice” is just a way of obscuring the reality of what all families need: a system of accessible, responsive — democratic — control of school education policy that truly maximizes educational opportunity and availability of educational best-practices – true excellence — for all." ]
independentschools  education  learning  classsize  poverty  2014  nais  choice  johnchubb  elitism  statistics  enrollment  policy  publicschools  schools  etaching  us  harknesstables  mattchingos  erichanushek  margueriteroza  robinlake  checkerfinn  brucebaker  research  harknessmethod  harkness 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Public to Private: Could "Conversion" Become a Trend in Vermont Schools? | Seven Days
"An estimated $34.6 million in public funds went to independent academic institutions last year. When North Bennington opted to close its school, it became one of 91 towns in Vermont that let families decide where to send their children to school — and financed their choices with taxpayer dollars. Roughly 11 percent of Vermont’s K-12 students attend independent schools; that number, provided by VISA, includes children whose parents elect to pay tuition as well as those whose tuition bills are covered by towns that don’t operate schools.

Most funded students attending independent schools are in middle or high school; few towns “tuition out” elementary school kids. Around 2,500 students attend Vermont’s four town academies, which are private institutions that act like the de facto public schools in their communities. Some date back more than 100 years, and none turn away students who hail from the towns they serve. State officials are quick to say that their concerns about the North Bennington scenario don’t extend to these academic institutions."
education  schools  privatization  vermont  privateschools  publicschools  2014  independentschools  funding 
january 2014 by robertogreco
::: Meridian Academy :::
"Meridian Academy is an urban, independent, college preparatory school. Our school, located in the Coolidge Corner neighborhood of Brookline, serves students in grades six through twelve from throughout Boston and the surrounding communities. Meridian is for students who want to become experienced problem-solvers with leadership skills; who want to propose and carry out original projects; and who want to understand the connections between the different ideas that they study and the world in which they live. Please contact us to receive news updates by email."
via:steelemaley  education  schools  independentschools  progressive  progressiveschools  massetchussets  brookline  projectbasedlearning  pbl 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Riley School
"Riley's unique structure creates an active learning environment where children learn by doing,
by questioning and by discovery. Small, integrated classes provide opportunities for children to
express themselves and to build their self-esteem, thus helping them to develop the skills and
attitudes which will help them become lifelong learners and creative, independent thinkers.
As a Progressive Elementary School, we recognize the importance of educating the whole child.
The Head Teacher works with each child in preparing an individual schedule to fill the child's needs, intellectually, physically, emotionally, and socially. As the child grows and changes,so too, does his/her schedule.

Riley supports young children and adolescents in developing the skills which will empower them
to have control over their own lives and careers as adults. Riley supports young children and adolescents in developing the emotional, social and intellectual skills which will empower them to have control over their own lives and careers as adults. Riley has been nurturing these goals in young people since 1972.

RILEY PROVIDES:
• an environment which gives children the opportunity to be the creative, exciting, self motivated, individuals they really are.
• encouragement to make constructive choices in a structured environment.
• integrated experiences for intellectual, emotional and social growth.
• a loving and nurturing environment which enhances the whole child.
• individually biannual/written evaluations reflecting a true portrait of your child. (January and June) instead of “report cards.”"
maine  rockport  schools  progressive  progressiveeducation  midcoastmaine  via:steelemaley  independentschools  rileyschool 
january 2014 by robertogreco
When Minority Students Attend Elite Private Schools - Judith Ohikuare - The Atlantic
"Many parents of color send their children to exclusive, predominantly-white schools in an attempt to give their kids a "ticket to upward mobility." But these well-resourced institutions can fall short at nurturing minority students emotionally and intellectually."
judithohikuare  education  schools  independentschools  nais  dalton  packercollegiate  chapinschool  2013  film  documentary  americanpromise  idrisbrewster  seunsummers  michèlestephenson  joebrewster  diversity  race  parenting  privateschools 
december 2013 by robertogreco
American Promise
"A DOCUMENTARY 13 YEARS IN THE MAKING, AMERICAN PROMISE PROVIDES A RARE LOOK INTO THE LIVES OF TWO MIDDLE CLASS BLACK FAMILIES AS THEY NAVIGATE THE UPS AND DOWN OF PARENTING AND EDUCATING THEIR SONS."

[via: http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/12/when-minority-students-attend-elite-private-schools/282416/ ]
education  independentschools  race  diversity  2013  documentary  towatch  schools  parenting  dalton  nais  americanpromise  idrisbrewster  seunsummers  michèlestephenson  joebrewster 
december 2013 by robertogreco
AltSchool
"Although the world is changing dramatically, education has been slow to respond.

What if we could start over? What if we could build a school from the ground up that is 100% focused on students and able to adapt to individual needs and foster individual passions? A school that encourages self-discovery, but also collaboration and social and emotional development? A school that prepares students for the world as it will be, not as it once was? Welcome to AltSchool.

AltSchool is an interdisciplinary team of educators, technologists and entrepreneurs building a network of schools that prepare students for our changing world. Each individual school is able to adapt to the needs of students, families and the surrounding community; the larger network connects everyone together and enables a far greater impact in our efforts to improve education. Underlying it all is a platform and curriculum that is personalized to each individual child.

Our team has come together because we all believe that more is possible. AltSchool provides a rich and personally meaningful education that is built for our children’s future, rather than our past."



What is AltSchool?

AltSchool is a company that is building a network of independent microschools serving K-8 students. We provide a personalized education that honors childhood, is flexible to the needs of students, families and teachers, and incorporates leading-edge technology and innovation.

What is a microschool?

AltSchool microschools have 20-80 students. Because of their small size, microschools are flexible in adapting to the needs of parents and students, foster a strong sense of community, and are closely integrated into local neighborhoods.

Each microschool is connected to other AltSchool microschools, allowing educators, students, and parents access to a wider community and allowing AltSchool to support specialist educators in art, music and technology."

[See also: https://www.facebook.com/AltSchool
https://vimeo.com/user20630393
https://twitter.com/altschoolsf
https://twitter.com/AltSchool_RDI
https://twitter.com/richardludlow
http://www.crunchbase.com/company/altschool

and
http://www.sfkfiles.com/2013/10/dadinthefog-altschool.html
http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/Learning-to-make-a-profit-and-a-difference-4948217.php ]
startups  education  schools  altschool  teaching  learning  forprofit  carolynwilson  maxventilla  independentschools  microschools  richardludlow 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Billings Middle School
"MISSION

Billings Middle School is a dynamic academic community intentionally focused on the unique complexities of early adolescents. Our students become public-minded, critical thinkers impelled to actively engage their world.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

These deeply held driving forces are qualities that determine our priorities and how we operate and communicate with each other. Our guiding principles help us measure the value and impact of our decisions.

1. We specialize in the unique complexities of early adolescents.
2. We provide a rigorous academic environment for a broad range of students that celebrates the acquisition and application of real world learning.
3. We foster a safe space for risk-taking, exploration, and the search for identity.
4. We inspire students into awareness, care, & advocacy of self and community.
5. We promote social justice and environmental sustainability.
6. We operate with transparent integrity.

SOCIAL JUSTICE AND GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY

'Goals for sustainability must be guided by inquiry into socio cultural, environmental and economic perspectives; connected with respect for human identities, rights, needs and aspirations; and implemented through just, transparent and inclusive processes for decision-making.'
- 2009 UNESCO Conference on Education for Sustainable Development

Billings has a unique opportunity to model a lifelong commitment to promoting global sustainability because our students are beginning to consciously reconcile their emerging self-image with a broader sense of the world and their purpose within it.

• We see that the foundations for this work are built from within ourselves, and recognize that we live and operate in a society created and characterized by historical inequities of power.

• We believe that the work of seeing, engaging and disentangling institutionalized privilege is an act of social justice, a critical human endeavor, and a society-building skill necessary to thrive in the 21st century.

• We therefore strive at Billings to be an educational community characterized by its emphasis on fostering self-understanding, critical thinking and global awareness so as to promote equitable and ethical habits of living in the world.

• We commit ourselves to the pursuit of social justice in the establishment and evaluation of school governance, curriculum, disciplinary practices, educational programs, admissions, faculty performance and hiring. "



"EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY

Billings offers a rich core curriculum designed to engage students in rigorous, multi-faceted ways. Classes align with the developmental growth of our students and are taught with an awareness of each individual's strengths and learning styles. Everything at Billings, from the design of the overall program to one-on-one interactions, is guided by the four key concepts outlined below.
FOUR CORE ELEMENTS OF A BILLINGS EDUCATION

I. DESIGNING A DEVELOPMENTALLY RESPONSIVE CURRICULUM

The dynamically complex development of early adolescence guides all we do at Billings. Curriculum design is based on key questions about the intellectual and emotional maturity of each individual and their peers. The structure of our school day, our calendar and our trips equally reflects our understanding of growth cycles. Finally, all of our interactions with students are anchored in a profound belief that middle school students are exceptionally capable. Our expectations of students is high, because we know that in our environment they grow self-aware and gain the confidence to risk truly complex thought.

II. TEACHING INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL THINKING IN A CULTURE OF PUBLIC MINDEDNESS

We believe that the development of one’s identity is intricately linked to an emerging sense of humanity and ethics. We always ask the question, "What is the application of what we are learning?" "What is our impact?" It is our goal to go beyond "service learning" to the point of integration – a place where students intuitively consider power, perspective, bias, access, and sustainability as they carry out the work of their lives.

III. CREATING POWERFUL STUDENT ADVOCATES

Advocacy is comprised of three elements; self-understanding, confidence and engagement. From the moment they arrive at Billings, we challenge students to reflect on their identity and approaches to learning. We build on strengths and openly identify and work on challenges. In all we do, we seek to reinforce students' efforts to engage – to ask questions, adapt their environment, negotiate and seek out the support of mentors. As they progress through Billings, students become more confident, advocating for their beliefs as well as their own needs.

IV. MODELING LIFELONG LEARNING AND MENTORSHIP

Teachers at Billings first and foremost understand and appreciate early adolescents. They are characterized by their patience and sense of humor and, most of all, by an exceptional commitment to individual students. Teachers at Billings are renaissance people. They openly seek learning, through research, discussion or travel with a unique level of support from the school. As one recent graduate said, "Hardly anyone leaves Billings without a mentor, or without knowing how to get one!""
schools  independentschools  seattle  washingtonstate  progressive  via:steelemaley 
november 2013 by robertogreco
School One - Providence, RI - Home
"What is School One?
School One is a small, progressive, independent high school on the East Side of Providence that serves students with diverse backgrounds, learning styles and educational goals within a vibrant, safe and inclusive community. Our graduates successfully navigate the academic demands of competitive colleges and choose meaningful and creative careers.

What Makes us Different?
• our arts-based curriculum spurs creativity in both novice and serious artists
• our advising system and graduation requirements were developed over four decades and are now standard at top-performing high schools throughout the state
• our tuition is affordable relative to area private schools and we offer generous financial aid

How do students benefit from our program?
• our approach enables students to take an active role in their learning and become responsible for their choices
• our focus on writing and critical thinking promotes self-advocacy and solid communication skills
• our graduates can relate information across disciplines and work well in groups, essential to their future employment"
rhodeisland  providence  schools  art  independentschools  openstudioproject  lcproject  education  highschool  smallschools 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Dump the Annual Fund?
"In Part II, he makes the case for the importance — and possibility — of operating independent schools without an annual fund. His school, by way of example, offers highly competitive faculty and administrator compensation; this academic year, the beginning teacher salary is $70,000 with full benefits. Using a lean administration and streamlined structure for efficient and effective operation, the school avoids layers of bureaucracy and is able to compensate the administration well. Soghoian accomplishes this without an “annual fund,” operating on tuition income alone, without incurring any operating deficit. On the other hand, all capital improvements in his school — facility renovation and new building construction — have been realized through fund-raising targeted to specific projects."
richardsohgoian  independentschools  annualfunds  fundraising  hierarchy  administration  leadership  administrativebloat  budgeting  money  2013  toldyaso  cv  tuition  finance  management 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Not Your Father's School: Be True to Your School
"So, a challenge to all schools: What does it mean to be true to your school, to its essence (and not just its mission, although you may be in a wise and fortunate place where the two are the same) and its highest aspirations? Are you making this your highest priority, or are there areas in which your programs or your messages are in danger of regressing to the mean? Has fear of change stifled not just innovation but even staying the current course?

Creating the perfect school isn't about appearances. Just as our highest ideals for our students should be to support and inspire them toward becoming the best possible versions of themselves, we need to make our institutional work about epitomizing not the type "independent school" but realizing the finest possibilities of the school itself."
tcsnmy  lcproject  schools  independentschools  cv  petergow  meaning  purpose  armsrace  mediocrity  difference  differentiation  whatisaid  2011 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Once Upon a Time, Not Too Long Ago, Teaching Was Considered a Profession, But Then Came Standardization, Tests, and Value-Added Merit Pay Schemes That Ate All Humanity for Breakfast...
"Even in the some of the most selective independent schools that once prided the immense Creative and intellectual power of their teaching force, teachers are being asked by administrators to devote their planning efforts to standardizing the curriculum. These are schools where a majority of the teachers (like the ones I wrote about at the start) have doctorate degrees or previous careers related to subject areas of special interest that they so freely and passionately incorporated into individualized teaching approaches. These are schools where students used to benefit from the creative and intellectual contributions that highly professional individual teachers made in a myriad of ways. Scarce resources (both time and money) are also squandered on stifling new technology such as so-called curricular mapping software in efforts to further regiment a formerly creative and free-flowing process.

In other words, in the name of standardization and equity (of homework assigned, books read, topics covered, and so on), the teachers are being asked to make themselves interchangeable. As a result, the once passionate, personalized, and professional process of curriculum development and teaching is now characterized by assembly-line malaise in a growing number of schools. And students may lose the opportunity to explore the kind of idiosyncratic topics that demonstrate the richness of inquiry itself.

How did this happen?
There is an old parable about a man searching on his hands and knees under a streetlight. A passerby sees him and asks, “What are you looking for?” Hunched over, eyes not leaving the ground, the man replies, “I’ve lost my car keys.” The kind passerby immediately joins him in his search. After a few minutes searching without success, she asks the man whether he is sure he lost the keys there on the street corner. “No,” he replies, pointing down the block, “I lost them over there.” Indignant, the woman asks, “Then why are you looking for them here?” The man replies, “Because there’s light here.”

Behind the onslaught of testing and so-called “accountability” measures of the last decade lurks the same perverse logic of the man looking for his keys. We know what matters to most teachers, parents, school administrators, board members, and policy-makers. But we are far less sure how to find out whether teachers and schools are successful in teaching what matters. Since we have relatively primitive ways of assessing students’ abilities to think, create, question, analyze, form healthy relationships, and work in concert with others to improve their communities and the world, we turn instead to where the light is: standardized measures of students’ abilities to decode sentences and solve mathematical problems. In other words, since we can’t measure what we care about, we start to care about what we can measure."

[Ironically via: http://twitter.com/PatBassett/status/99921868097720321 ]
nais  cv  beenthere  teaching  standardization  curriculum  curriculummapping  time  learning  tcsnmy  independentschools  education  schools  policy  testing  standardizedtesting  meritpay  standards  2011  joelwestheimer 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Not Your Father's School: A school is... (Verse 4)
"What independent schools are obligated to be is the very best, and the very most true to their missions and values, that they can be. This is not about some puffed-up version of “excellence” but rather about serving their immediate community of students and families superbly—teaching well and living up to their own highest stated ideals. Affordability, and casting the widest net possible to attract and retain the most appropriate students and teachers, ought to be ambitions of equal importance. 

A great school services its larger community not by finding ways to do service or make payments but by authentically and transparently existing and participating in all its communities…

The public purpose of independent schools is to vigorously exercise their freedom to be themselves and, in our time, to explore and innovate as perhaps only they—permitted and even encouraged as they are to pursue and grow around their own ideals—are able to."
tcsnmy  independentschools  service  noblesseoblige  schools  society  education  transparency  innovation  regulation 
january 2011 by robertogreco
“It takes a lot to render me speechless, but . . .” « Re-educate Seattle
"When I finally finished speaking, I looked into the audience and saw a well-dressed boy of about 16 signaling me from the balcony. “You’re telling us not to just get in a race for the traditional rewards,” he said. “But what else is there?”

It takes a lot to render me speechless, but I stood on that stage clutching my microphone for a few moments and just stared. This was probably the most depressing question I have ever been asked. This young man was, I guessed, enviably successful by conventional standards, headed for even greater glories, and there was a large hole where his soul should have been. It was not a question to be answered (although I fumbled my way through a response) so much as an indictment of college prep and the resulting attenuation of values that was far more scathing than any argument I could have offered."
independentschools  education  learning  ratrace  csnmy  unschooling  stevemiranda  alfiekohn  fulfillment  rewards  life  deschooling 
november 2010 by robertogreco
In Defense of the Progressive School
"Schooling, including in most independent schools, is still by and large a process of teacher-directed instruction; it is not about students making meaning. It's still not about students helping each other understand controversial ideas and moving off in unpredictable directions. It's still not based on the questions that students have, or their need to make sense of the world. It's still about a bunch of facts being transmitted to students who are viewed as empty vessels. … There are independent schools that have a tradition of progressive pedagogy but have lately been back-pedaling in a way that many of us find terribly discouraging … Thuermer: Does this entail a hands-off, laissez-faire approach to teaching? Kohn: Hell, no. That's a caricature of progressivism kept alive by traditionalists who want to make their own stultifying methods look better…"
alfiekohn  independentschools  education  progressive  tcsnmy  lcproject  cv  inmyexperience  back-pedaling  teaching  learning  student-centered  inquiry-basedlearning 
october 2010 by robertogreco
If money doesn’t matter… « School Finance 101
"A) Then why do private independent schools, like those attended by our President’s children (Sidwell Friends in DC), or by Davis Guggenheim’s children (?), spend so much more than nearby traditional public schools?"

B) Then why do venture philanthropists continue to throw money at charter schools while throwing stones at traditional public schools?

C) Then why do affluent – and/or low poverty – suburban school districts continue in many parts of the country to dramatically outspend their poorer urban neighbors?"
via:cervus  education  policy  funding  money  waitingforsuperman  schools  us  politics  independentschools  publicschools  reform  2010  wealth  poverty  privilege  elite  elitism  charterschools 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Bassett Blog 2010/05: Disruptive Realities (Part I)
"Exacerbating that reality is that while the boomers’ priorities of an intellectually stimulating environment, the opportunity to give back to the world, and autonomy regarding work tasks were a slam dunk for independent schools, those values don’t appear on the “top ten” list of Millennials. Rather our young protégés expect quick and early prospects for advancement and a steady rate of promotion. This in the context of their expecting to change jobs frequently and in a work environment that has had only one advancement option: leave the classroom to become an administrator. Thus, demography of the workplace will require from school leaders a more complex and flexible environment to keep the natives happy and productive.
patbassett  nais  generations  leadership  tcsnmy  education  independentschools  schools  future  predictions  enrollment  demographics  management  administration  flexibility  work 
may 2010 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: Crossing America: An Education
"Educational "reformers" and administrators rarely consider environment as a prime issue in learning, consigning the idea to "primitive thought," "pre-rational thought," and "pre-scientific thought." After all, Mike Bloomberg and Michelle Rhee will tell you, there's only one right way to add 2+2 or spell "tomorrow."
policy  standardization  nature  nuture  environment  geography  schools  onesizefitsall  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  learning  tcsnmy  independentschools  publicschools  education  us  irasocol 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Relevant History: Quotes of the day
"Expectations are resentments in advance." AND "School heads face three roads to failure. Sex is the most dangerous. Alcohol is the most painful. But strategic planning is the most certain."
schools  humor  strategicplanning  independentschools  education  expectations  resentment 
september 2008 by robertogreco
NAIS - Resources and Statistics - Hot Topics: Global Issues and Sustainable Schools [from 2005]
"This PowerPoint presentation focuses on independent school issues that are universal and global. It also presents the NAIS vision for school sustainability in five areas: financial, global, environmental, demographic, and programmatic. If the purpose of leadership is ultimately to develop and execute a vision that creates a school "built to last," then school leaders and their boards must address how to plan for sustainability across these several continua. What are the right questions to ask? What are early adopter schools doing?"
nais  independentschools  trends  2005  sustainability  leadership  demographics  management  administration  finance  us  global  technology  millennials  generations  parenting  teaching  schools  education 
september 2008 by robertogreco
NAIS - Sustainable Schools - Sustainable Schools for the 21st Century [from 2005]
"NAIS believes that in order to survive and thrive in the 21st Century, schools should address sustainability on five dimensions. Below you'll find links to additional research and resources related to each of these areas of sustainability.
nais  sustainability  independentschools  schools  2005  education  planning  21stcentury  environment  finance  global  curriculum  leadership  management  administration  demographics  trends 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Trends in Private Education [from 2001]
"teacher shortage in private schools this year: · declining interest in teaching as a profession (especially among women and people of color as other professional opportunities open for them offering much higher salaries and status).
2001  teaching  education  administration  management  leadership  independentschools  trends  population  nais  sustainability  workforce  careers 
september 2008 by robertogreco
NAIS - Publications - Independent School Magazine - Tomorrow Is Today [from 1999: http://www.nais.org/products/magazine.cfm?ItemNumber=146411]
"Allowing a few fleeting seconds of glory, let's remind ourselves of our current moment: an all-time high number of school-age children in the United States; the longest sustained economic expansion in history; a growing interest in educational choice and attendant enhancement of independent school profiles and reputations. Enough mirth: it is too tempting to drink ourselves silly on the nectar of today's market factors." ... "over 4 mil 10-year-olds in U.S...# of school-age children has been increasing since '96...will continue...until '05. After that...will increase very slightly/not at all...until 2010...then decline until 2020, to about '96 level." ... "keep operating overhead low, even if increased enrollment possibilities offer the chance to cover the costs -- downsizing will be painful when the drought comes" "differentiate...mission from...other schools"
1999  nais  demographics  trends  poplulation  independentschools  sustainability  education  schools  children  families  administration  management  leadership  marketing 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Thousands join exodus from state education - Times Online
"Nearly 40,000 more children are now being educated privately than when Tony Blair came to power, new figures reveal today."
demographics  education  schools  trends  uk  learning  private  privateschools  independentschools 
june 2007 by robertogreco

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