Monthly Archives: May 2017

Help parents by making school climate surveys a part of every state’s accountability plan

Whenever parents would get into a discussion about “good schools” and “bad schools,” I would urge them to look beyond the simple rankings of test scores and try to actually get inside a school. Meet the principal. Watch the children interact. Observe a classroom. Get a feel for the place. If it sounds squishy and subjective, well that’s because it… Read more →

Scrap the Grades: How one Connecticut district moved off the low-performing list

In Windsor Locks, Connecticut, “24 credits and a D-minus average” aren’t good enough to earn a high school diploma, Superintendent Susan Bell tells Hechinger’s Tara Garcia Mathewson. The small, formerly low-performing district has shifted to a “mastery” model, sometimes called “competency-based learning.” Coursework is broken down into skills. Students must learn the skills to move on to something new. If… Read more →

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