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August 9, 2012
Voices: Is slow and steady enough for DPS?
The head of A+ Denver finds much to admire in Denver Public Schools' state test results but questions the pace of progress.
August 9, 2012
Ask an Expert: Get ready to meet the teacher
A former teacher, literacy consultant and mom of four offers some key questions to ask at those back-to-school nights.
August 8, 2012
Voices: For this teacher, TCAP spells ANGST
What does it feel like to be a teacher awaiting the annual state test results? A Denver teacher describes anxiety - and concern for her students.
August 7, 2012
Why Teachers Quit, And Why We Can’t Fire Our Way To Excellence
In the past few weeks, two major reports on teacher turnover and retention have been released. One was rolled out with extensive media coverage, and has been the subject of much discussion among policymakers and education commentators. The other was written by me, along with Teachers College doctoral student Clare Buckley. The first report, “The Irreplaceables: Understanding the Real Retention Crisis in America’s Urban Schools,” was prepared by TNTP, an organization formerly known as The New Teacher Project that prepares and provides support for teachers in urban districts, and that advocates for changes in teacher policy. The second, “Thoughts of Leaving: An Exploration of Why New York City Middle School Teachers Consider Leaving Their Classrooms,” was released by the Research Alliance for New York City Schools, a nonprofit research group based at New York University. (The research alliance published a report by Will Marinell in February 2011 that examined detailed patterns of teacher turnover in New York City middle schools apparent through the district’s human-resources office.) There are some important similarities between the two new reports. Both surveyed teachers in large urban districts about their plans to stay in their current schools or to depart either for other schools, other districts or other careers. Both also sought to understand the features of teachers’ work on the job that were influential in their plans to stay or leave. The study of New York City relied on a large, anonymous sample of middle-school teachers: roughly 80 percent of the full-time teachers in 125 middle schools across the city. In contrast, the TNTP study surveyed smaller numbers of teachers in four urban districts (one of which appears to be New York City), and the surveys were not anonymous, because TNTP wanted to link teachers’ survey responses to what the authors viewed as measures of teachers’ performance, such as value-added scores or summary teacher evaluations. The headlines from the two studies aren’t that different: In any given school, many teachers think about leaving, and it’s not easy to predict why some teachers are more poised to move than others.
August 7, 2012
Voices: We can prevent violence
Two experts say the key to violence prevention at school and beyond is quality intelligence and information. Find out how you can report suspicious behavior anonymously.
August 3, 2012
Ask an Expert: Prepping for back-to-school
An education expert offers some tips to get your family back on track for back-to-school. It'll be here sooner than you think.
August 1, 2012
Voices: Emails expose union voucher opposition
A policy analyst with the Independence Institute argues the Dougco teachers union has been working against vouchers all along.
July 31, 2012
Parent blog: Starting at a new school
Starting a new school year can be stressful for kids and parents, particularly when dealing with a new school. Here's what worked for one family.
July 31, 2012
Voices: Are Denver grads really college-ready?
The head of A+ Denver questions the wide disparity between city high schools when it comes to students attending top colleges and not needing remediation.
July 31, 2012
Making The Most Of My Summer, With Help
I was excited when I got the opportunity to spend two weeks at Marist Collegelast summer because I am never away from my home in the Bronx. At first I was nervous but then I thought about it and realized “Hey, I’m really going to be getting college credit for this and it would be good for college applications and my resume.” I applied for the sports management program in hopes to become a sports broadcaster. When I had been accepted they told me that the program was $2,000. Instantly I thought to myself there was no way I can afford it. But with the help of my school's College Preparation and Leadership Program, other donors, and fundraising efforts, we got enough for me and two other girls to go. I was so excited. When I first arrived at Marist College the campus was beautiful. The view from the Hudson River was astounding, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. At first it was kind of a culture shock for me because I saw very few Hispanics, but then I quickly adapted. I finally met my roommates and they were awesome. My roommates were from Long Island and Utica. They were very friendly and welcoming. After we got settled I quickly made many friends.
July 30, 2012
Voices: Remember the joy of learning?
An Aurora teacher has a joyful learning experience and it has nothing to do with filling in bubbles, getting graded or working quietly and alone.
July 26, 2012
Voices: Uncertain future for building funds
Colorado schools need $13.9 billion in upgrades and the special projects director for the Donnell-Kay Foundation wants to ensure they'll get it.
July 25, 2012
Parent blog: School supplies cost how much?
The cost of school supplies is going up. Get some tips on how to save money this year - and also how to help families in need.
July 21, 2012
Ask an Expert: Children and tragedy
How to help your children when tragedy strikes close to home. They often take their cues from you and other adults around them.
July 19, 2012
Voices: Integrating the arts in DPS
A+ Denver’s policy director argues for a renewed focus on arts education and outlines a task force to boost the arts in Denver schools.
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