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As the 9th largest school district in the state of Ohio, the Hilliard City School District serves more than 15,500 students in grades K-12, through three high schools, three middle schools, two sixth-grade schools and 14 elementary schools.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February 27, 2012

Education Equality and Choice: Creating A Positive Future

Keeping up with best practice and the latest intervention techniques is enough of a challenge, but we can’t lose sight of the conversations and campaigns taking place outside the walls of our buildings. The push for school choice continues to pick up steam and is a topic we need to keep on our radar.

The Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy has created a campaign connected to Black History Month, calling school choice “the most important civil rights issue of our time.”

Here are a few lines from a recent op-ed released by the Bernard group:

“Perhaps most important, we must emphasize accountability, choice and competition in education. There is no bureaucratic one-size-fits-all technique to teach kids. We must offer parents more options, and then hold institutions accountable for their performance.

We know what works. Choice in all its forms — vouchers, tax credits, scholarships, charter schools and public school choice — improves educational performance. We must create new and better private alternatives. We also must force public schools to do better.”

To read the entire piece, click on the link below.

This group also produced an interesting video/PSA about the topic. The video can be found in the upper right side of the page

The message for us is clear. We must continue our efforts to create meaningful, authentic experiences for all students. We must create choice for our students within our buildings and district. We can’t risk losing sight of the importance of innovation and creativity in our structures, courses, and educational programs.

Education Equality and Choice: Creating a Positive Future

Steve Jobs and the Seven Rules of Success

Much has been written about the late Steve Jobs since his passing…some good…some bad. As I came across this article, I couldn’t help but see the connections to our world as educators. Specifically, in our mission to not only provide our students with a great education, but also a great “experience.”

Passion, vision, making connections, creativity, messaging, and dreaming are the foundations to Jobs’ success. Likewise, these are the very same words we deliver to our students in preparing them for their futures.

Steve Jobs and the Seven Rules of Success

Rethinking Testing in the Age of the iPad

The article title “Rethinking Testing in the Age of the iPad” caught my eye for a few reasons: Hilliard administrators are beginning to use an electronic Instructional Round/Walkthrough template to record classroom observations and Ohio’s new state assessments will be administered with a mobile device in a few quick years (2014-2015). Educators need to incorporate technology tools into our daily practice to consolidate and expedite our workload.

This week’s article gives examples of how educators embrace the use of the iPad for assessment and data purposes. Teachers use the technology tool to record assessment observations of students which are quickly uploaded to a centralized database. Traditional methods consume great amounts of precious teacher time: hand-jotting notes about the students on paper then recording the scores electronically at a later time. Another innovative use of the iPad is, “screencasting, which records what students are doing on the display screens of their devices, which allows teachers to see students work through problems without having to stand over their shoulders the whole time.” The use of the iPad allows for quicker feedback about students for teachers.

Rethinking Testing in the Age of the iPad

What Makes a Great Teacher?

The teacher is the most powerful influence on how much a student learns. More than schools, curriculum, or any other variable, teachers count the most. Many parents worry about where to send their children to school, but ironically, the school matters much less than the teacher who works with their child each day. Teacher effectiveness has been at the core of reform efforts associated with Race to the Top grant funding. The "charge" has been to identify great teachers, find out how they got that way, and then develop more teachers into great ones.

This article discusses what high performing teachers do differently. Using data from Teach for America, the non-profit that recruits college graduates to teach in low-income schools, factors that separate the good from the great were identified. It is no surprise that among the patterns are: Great teachers set big goals for their students. A focus is always maintained, ensuring that everything contributes to student learning. They plan exhaustively and purosefully. They frequently check for understanding. Sound familiar? Just to reinforce that the strategies that these teachers employ are research based, they also use the "gradual release model" when introducing new content. "I do, you do, we do" will ensure success for students of all ability levels. Among other factors are a commitment to reflect on practice and participate in life-long learning.

What Makes a Great Teacher?

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