School Turnaround Stories

Chicago isn't the only city that's trying, with only occasional success, to turn around some of its most troubled schools, and there have been a couple of school turnaround stories from other parts of the country over the last couple of weeks:

"On a recent morning at Morrell Park Elementary/Middle
School, a mother screaming and hitting her child in the lobby had to be
escorted out of the building," opens this story about a South Baltimore school (The Challenge is Being Met at Morrell Park).  "Fourth-graders worked in the hallway
because the heat in the old building was malfunctioning, raising the
temperature in their classroom to 98 degrees."  Faced with NCLB restructuring, the school selected charter-like autonomy available under state law and implemented a studen rewards system.

A Boston middle school is using motivational tactics, among other things, to try and turn things around:  "Sheehan's creative, calculated approach is taking aim at a stern
challenge -- turning around a school plagued by years of dismal test
scores, pinched finances, parental apathy, low teacher morale, and
minimal expectations for students," according to the story (A school's comeback formula: Expel cynicism, stress reform). "School officials have instituted reforms, rearranging the school day
to make room for extra English and math classes, cracking down on
truancy and misbehavior, and emphasizing more one-on-one and
small-group teaching.

Via The Gadfly.

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