The test scores aren't in yet, but by almost every other measure that matters-school climate, instructional
strategies, staff satisfactionthe former Shawnee High School isn't the same place it was just a year ago.
More than half the teachers are new to the persistently low-performing school. Those who remain say they no longer
feel that their own classes are the only ones that push students. The school has stepped up its focus on using data to
pinpoint students' weak points and to adjust instruction. It even has a new name: the Academy @ Shawnee.
The three turnaround specialists sent in by the Kentucky Department of Education to oversee Shawnee's
transformationpart of a nationwide, federally financed school turnaround effortare confident the school will
meet the goal set by the state: raise test scores by 10 percentage points this school year.
This month's issue highlights a number of new tools that have been developed by ETA, other federal agencies
and state and local providers that are intended to help One-Stop Career Center staff better serve customers.
Some of these tools are self-service resources, while others are aimed at building the capacity of workforce system
staff to respond to the multiple needs of its customers. There is also provide information about a funding opportunity for the
Green Jobs Innovation Grant.
If you have an innovative program or practice, please submit it to Workforce3 One. To do this, click
Response to intervention started out as a way to identify and teach struggling readers and special education
students, but it's fast becoming a way to change schooling for all students.
Response to intervention burst onto the national scene thanks to two major efforts by the federal government.
The $1 billion Reading First program ushered in with No Child Left
Behind in 2002 gave a boost to the educational framework by encouraging schools to use it for their literacy programs.
Two years later, the 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act said that states must permit
districts to use RTI as one tool for determining if a child has a specific learning disability.
The process has been growing exponentially ever since, morphing along the way into new forms and educational uses.
In 2010, a survey of district administrators
found that 61 percent had implemented an RTI educational framework or were in the process of spreading RTI throughout their
districts. In 2007, that proportion was only about a quarter.
How Teacher Development Could Revolutionize Our Schools
As the nation's governors gather in Washington for their annual meeting, they are grappling with more than state
budget deficits. They're confronting deep education deficits as well.
Over the past four decades, the per-student cost of running our K-12 schools has more than doubled, while our
student achievement has remained virtually flat. Meanwhile, other countries have raced ahead. The same pattern holds for
higher education. Spending has climbed, but our percentage of college graduates has dropped compared with other countries.
To build a dynamic 21st-century economy and offer every American a high-quality education, we need to flip the curve.
For more than 30 years, spending has risen
while performance stayed relatively flat. Now we need to raise performance without spending a lot more.
Any teacher who has tried to get an 8th-grader to admit an interest in algebra when his friends find it boring knows
how difficult it can be to get students to swim against the tide of social influence. A study set to be published in the
April issue of
Psychological Science may point to why peer pressure is so hard to fight: It changes the brain itself.
"I think for a long time conforming has been viewed as a bad thing...predicated on the idea that conformity is a form
of lying; it's that you know what your private preferences are and the only reason you would conform is to suck up to a
group or a person," said Jamil Zaki, a psychology postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., "but
maybe it's not really like that at all; maybe it's something a lot more profound, that it changes the way you
Board of Education Approves Model Gang Activity Policy
State Board of Education approved a statewide model policy Tuesday afternoon in Baltimore to help prevent and deal with gang
activity in schools.
The policy states that local school systems must set standard consequences and remedial actions for gang involvement, put
in place procedures for reporting and investigating gang activity, provide information for those involved about how to get
help, and develop prevention programs.
The state's 24 school systems are responsible for developing policies of their own and submitting them to the board
for approval by Sept. 1. If approved, the local policies would go into effect this fall.
African-Centered Charters on Sidelines in Turnaround Effort
By many indicators, Imhotep Institute Charter High School is one of Philadelphia's most successful high schools.
The school sends more of its graduates66 percentto college than any other charter school in the city. And last
year, its 525 students, 99 percent of them African American and 87 percent low income, had proficiency rates above 70 percent
in reading and math.
Just as importantly, says 10th grader Khaliah Arrington, Imhotep's African-centered approach creates a nurturing
atmosphere that more traditional schools can't match.
"They teach you like your family teaches you," says Arrington. "At other schools, you might get good academics,
but when you go to Imhotep, you learn about yourself."
It's been nearly two years since Christopher Jones was killed, the victim of an assault by two boys with connections
to a gang.
But the death of the 14-year-old from Crofton remained on the minds of community leaders Friday morning, as they
met at Bob Evans restaurant on Gambrills to discuss efforts to identify and reduce the number of gangs involving young people
in West Anne Arundel County.
Teacher Layoffs Raise Class-Size Tensions
Research suggests bigger classes are impediment to learning, but some aren't persuaded.
For Angela Goines, who has two children in the Detroit Public Schools, news that the system could make historically
drastic budget cuts has left her with "agony in my heart."
Detroit school officials say they have no choice after Michigan education officials last week ordered them to implement
a contingency plan intended to eliminate the system's $327 million deficit by 2014.
Robert Bobb, the system's emergency financial director, said that to comply, Detroit will have to close 70 of its
142 schools, shut down most bus service and eliminate individual school principals in favor of principals in charge of
school "regions." An announcement is expected in April on how many hundreds of teachers would be laid off.
DeLand Program Helps At-Risk Young Adults Succeed
Teresa Giorgianni worked hard but could not make the grades needed to stay in high school.
Now, raising her two small children -- a 20-month-old son and a 5-month-old daughter --
the 20-year-old Mainland High School dropout realizes she needs an education to have a better life. So she joined
TechBridge, a program that offers GED classes, helps out-of-school students from low-income families go to
college and trains at-risk youths for long-term employment.
Generations of Gangs
The Bakersfield Police Department's gang unit focuses on supressing gang violence throughout the city. It's a tough
job considering gang life is part of a long tradition in some families.
"When we ask them why they went into the gang, they will tell us they grew up in the gang, they have family members
in the gang, and it comes natural to them," Officer Pete Beagley, Bakersfield Police Department Gang Unit, said.
Words of Wisdom
"There's a place in the sun, where there's hope for everyone."