AUSL Bringing In New High School Turnaround Czar

darius adamson.jpg

I’m told that Darius Adamson has been named the new director of HS turnaround for AUSL.  Adamson comes from Charlotte where he was ED of their Achievement Zone (where they place the lowest performing schools for turnaround).  See bio here.  Jarvis Sanford remains the director of ES turnaround.  Former HS turnaround director Brian Sims has been moved to be the director of training academies (the schools where the AUSL teachers are trained). For more on the Charlotte turnaround process, read here (PDF).  


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  • here's the slate of new schools opening under AUSL, including solario:

    Curtis School of Excellence, 32 E. 115th St.
    Bradwell School of Excellence, 7736 S. Burnham Ave.
    Phillips Academy High School, 244 E. Pershing Rd.
    Solorio Academy High School, 5400 S. St. Louis

  • I read Mr. Adamson's bio and noticed that he was currently enrolled in an Ed.D. program at Wingate University
    in North Carolina. I was a little surprised that there was no discertation requirement, or extended practical applied research project, nor any clear cut off score listed for the GRE related to admissions for that program. Instead of a formal discertation a Capstone project is required. This project is described by the University as "is the culminating experience that involves a problem-centered action research project, experiential experience; requires a review committee, requires a formal report in various forms such as, improvement plan, action plan or consultation analysis and recommendation plan." Vanderbuilt's Peabody College of Education, normally considered #1 Ed. D. also uses a Capstone project. But their project requires students to spend a full year independent research and analytic undertaking. The doctoral students then apply these capacities to a focused consulting project undertaken for a real world client usually a school district.

    UIC program for an Ed.D. in in Urban Education Leadership is also harder where a discertation is required. UIC's program takes about 3 years to complete, Wingate's only 2 years. UIC basically requires a minimum composite score of 1000 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE. Vanderbuilt's Peabody College has the same minimum GRE standard. That score is slightly below the 50th percentile which is 1050 according to ETS.

    Clearly Wingate's program is many steps above on line Ed.D. programs but it is also very typical of many similar Ed.D. programs designed to rapidly provide degrees for working teachers and current administrators.

    Things have gotten even worse in M.Ed. programs. When I got my M.Ed. at Saint Xavier I was required to complete a formal research based thesis. That requirement was dropped several years ago. When Saint Xavier dropped its thesis requirement I was told by faculty it was hurting their admissions because other area programs were no longer requiring it.

    I guess I am just old school.

    Rod Estvan

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    In reply to Rodestvan:

    Even with rigourous Ed.D requirements, there is zero guarantee all learned skills will transfer to a said leadership role. Many ed programs are focused so much on theoretical research, practice is rare. Experience is what matters.

  • I just saw on the AUSL website that Victor Ineterralde (sp?) the former principal of The Chicago Academy Elementary School will be the principal at Solorio.

  • good timing -- here's an email update from the UIC program for all you haters and admirers. i'll see if i can get a copy of the research comparing UIC and other principals.

    UIC Urban Education Principals Honored for

    Improving Outcomes at Chicago Schools Through Effective School Leadership

    UIC trained principals close the achievement gap at Chicago schools

    Chicago (September 2, 2010)

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