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September 19, 2011
In first policy speech, Walcott to focus on moving "the middle"
Since becoming chancellor in April, Dennis Walcott has made many public appearances but few policy pronouncements. That's set to change tomorrow morning, when Walcott is set to deliver the first policy address of his tenure, a speech at New York University titled "Why We Can't Rest: How To Move the Middle." The city is mum on what exactly the speech will be about, but it's clear that Walcott has spent some time talking about middle schools in the last week. On Thursday, he met with roughly a dozen principals of high-scoring middle schools — both district-run and charter — to ask them a question that has long bedeviled educators and policymakers: How to curb the performance drop-off that takes place after students leave elementary school. The 2011 state test scores released last month told a familiar story: Middle school students scored proficient at a far lower rate than students in the elementary grades. “We still need to increase our focus on those years,” Walcott said at the time. It wouldn't be the first time that the city has made improving middle schools a priority.
August 22, 2011
Study: In NYC, traditional K-5, 6-8 grade arrangements do worst
Graduating from one school to another for sixth grade is typical, but the arrangement is not ideal for student achievement. That's according to a new study the compared the varied pathways that city students took to eighth grade from 1995 to 2002. The report, "The Path Not Taken: How Does School Organization Affect Eighth-Grade Achievement?", was just released in the Summer 2011 issue of the journal Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. Led by Amy Ellen Schwartz and Leanna Stiefel at New York University, the researchers looked at "grade span paths," or the grade configurations of the schools that students attended on their way to eighth grade. With more than 900 elementary and middle schools, New York City boasted 28 different grade span paths during the period studied, the report notes, making it an ideal laboratory to study effects of school organization on student achievement. Looking at eighth-grade state and city test scores and controlling for a host of other factors, the researchers found that students who moved from K-4 schools to 5-8 schools and students who remained enrolled in a single K-8 school outperformed students who moved to middle school in sixth grade. But they couldn't conclude why those arrangements were more successful. "Our results suggest that changing school less frequently, changing schools at an earlier grade, a smaller size of the within-school cohort, and the stability of students’ peer cohorts are the most likely explanations for these positive performance differences," the researchers write.
August 3, 2011
Find your school's 2011 CSAP results
With school starting right around the corner, check out the latest CSAP results in reading, writing, math and science for grades 3-10 to find out how your child's school fared. Overall, scores didn't change a whole lot.
June 20, 2011
Ask an Expert: Curbing summer brain drain.
Worried about how much knowledge will drain from your child's brain this summer? Fret no more. This expert offers some excellent - and free - ways to keep your child engaged in learning every day.
June 8, 2011
Ask an Expert: Middle school and mean girls.
A mom worries about the social dynamics flaring up for her middle school-aged daughter, with "mean girls" taking center stage. An expert provides tips for parents on what to do.
May 26, 2011
13-year-old promoting a fast-food free world
Local 13-year-old home-schooled boy makes an international splash with his efforts to purge the world of fast food.
May 20, 2011
This week's safe schools snippets
Colorado Legacy Foundation releases blueprint to end bullying - Fewer Denver students suspended from school - Not everyone likes DPS discipline system - Internet safety tips for elementary students.
May 12, 2011
Hip hop and teen brains
Check Your Head, a locally-created class for adolescents, links good mental health practices with art forms that resonate with teens.
April 28, 2011
New Colo. charter schools still accepting apps
Are you still trying to find the right school for your child next year? Here's a list of metro area charter schools opening in the fall, and they're still accepting applications.
April 27, 2011
Ask an Expert: A son struggling with dad's deployment.
Military mom worries about her 11-year-old son's separation anxiety and the impact it is having on his budding social life. Here are some expert suggestions.
April 26, 2011
Ask an Expert: Middle school girls and math.
A Boulder mom worries about her seventh grade daughter's lack of confidence in math. She's mixed with eighth-graders and able to do the work, but she's uncomfortable without her grade-level peers. Find out what this expert suggests.
April 22, 2011
This week's safe schools snippets
School bullying linked to family violence - Local teachers arrested - Safe teen driving workshops held - Middle school fight caught on tape - Teen suicide pact linked to bullying?
April 19, 2011
Ask an Expert: Motivating a middle-schooler.
It can be discouraging to watch your middle-schooler disengage from school. But all is not lost. Read what this expert has to say about helping your child regain his passion for learning and life.
April 13, 2011
School lunch, served fresh out of the pan
Watch this video of a well-known Boulder chef showing Boulder Valley students how fresh food can land in the school lunch line.
April 8, 2011
This week's teaching & learning tidbits
Teacher on leave over CSAP improprieties - Students move into renovated North HS - Parent involvement bill passes Senate - Overland HS paper to publish - ABCs of IEPs - Get ready for College Friday
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