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April 26, 2018
After two years at helm, CEO of Memphis Education Fund is leaving
Marcus Robinson is resigning from Memphis’ most prominent education philanthropic fund for a new job in his hometown of St. Louis.
April 6, 2018
Here’s who’s running for Memphis school board in August
Fifteen people are vying for four seats on the Memphis school board. The election is Aug. 2.
March 28, 2018
Can top charters truly ‘replicate’? In Boston, yes — elsewhere, it’s not so clear
A new study finds that Boston charters maintained their high performance as they rapidly grew — perhaps because they closely emulated their original schools’ practices.
March 9, 2018
Big education funders were in Memphis this week. Here’s what they talked about.
Here are three big takeaways from this week's Bluff City forum sponsored by the national Philanthropy Roundtable.
January 18, 2018
Hopson weighs charters as school turnaround tool for Shelby County Schools
The Memphis superintendent's comments hint at a potentially significant shift for a district that has battled openly with the charter sector over students.
December 19, 2017
A former superintendent wonders: What’s missing from the discussion about the portfolio model?
I know from experience that we need to focus on the substance of what goes on in schools, not just the formal structures in which those schools operate.
December 8, 2017
Advocates of the portfolio model for improving schools say it works. Are they right?
As with many education policies, the portfolio model is gaining adherents even while an research base is still being built.
December 7, 2017
In Kansas City, national push for portfolio model gives way to local group with similar message, different methods
In 2013 a plan to reshape Kansas City’s schools was run out of town. Four years later a group with a similar policy agenda and two of same key funders is making inroads.
inside the playbook
December 6, 2017
A ‘portfolio’ of schools? How a nationwide effort to disrupt urban school districts is gaining traction
From Atlanta to Cincinnati to Oakland, a loosely connected network of nonprofit groups is working to reshape the way their school districts function.
July 22, 2016
Tennessee first-grade teachers now can be evaluated beyond test scores
The State Board of Education votes to update its evaluation policy, adding a new option for first-grade teachers.
January 21, 2014
School without Regents exams says mayor should spread its model
Students at City-As-School High School hosted a conference Friday to showcase their school's model, which substitutes student projects for tests. But the school's experience may also suggest some of the challenges of moving away from traditional tests.
October 2, 2013
The Bloomberg administration’s theory of school improvement, in a nutshell
In Chancellor Dennis Walcott’s complete testimony, as prepared for today’s City Council hearing, one can read a concise restatement of the Bloomberg administration’s theory of school improvement: TESTIMONY OF NYC SCHOOLS CHANCELLOR DENNIS M. WALCOTT ON SIGNIFICANT SCHOOL CHANGES: CLOSURES, RECONFIGURATIONS & COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION As Prepared for Delivery Before the NYC Council Committee on Education Wednesday, October 2, 2013
July 6, 2012
Truman's principal starts year by checking middle schools' work
Experience has taught Sana Nasser not to take her incoming ninth-graders' test scores at face value. Nasser is the principal of Harry S. Truman High School, one of the Bronx's few remaining comprehensive high schools. Each fall, she requires new freshmen to take diagnostic exams that test their math and writing skills. The students' results rarely correlate with their scores on the state's eighth-grade reading and math tests, Nasser said. The tests are just one component of Nasser's strategy for helping Truman's teachers to understand their students' needs by the end of the first week of ninth-grade. She also collects reams of data from the city about each student's performance and attendance records and compares them to the diagnostics' results. Nasser said the early efforts have been key to keeping Truman above water even as other large Bronx high schools have struggled to stay afloat with many students entering below grade level. Truman regularly pulls B's on its city progress reports and has a four-year graduation rate that's right around the city average. The school-wide diagnostic exams, which Truman's math and English teachers create, accomplish on a vast scale what many teachers do at the beginning of the year: assess their students' skills, so they don't waste time teaching material that students already know or can't handle. By making the assessments consistent for every incoming student, Nasser said she can get a clearer picture of the class as a whole — how students stack up against each other, and how skill gaps vary by middle school. Some schools, she said, routinely send students whose scores seem to be inflated.
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