Tagged “High School”

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Escaping the Closed Circle of High School Reform

Post written by Robert Halpern, director of the doctoral program and chair of the research council at the Erikson Institute in Chicago.

A recent documentary,180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School, perfectly captures the lack of imagination of current high school reform efforts in the United States. In this documentary the beleaguered principal and staff of Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan High School scramble to prepare students for the D.C. CAS, a standardized test on which their individual and collective fates rest. (I will withhold the ending, for those of you who have not yet seen the documentary, directed by Jacquie Jones of the National Black Programming Consortium.)

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Giveaway: Classroom Instruction That Works DVD Series

Edutopia - ASCD Giveaway

Want to fine-tune some of your teaching techniques in 2013? ASCD has partnered with Edutopia and, this week, one lucky winner will receive ASCD's Classroom Instruction That Works, a DVD series that brings to life nine research-based instructional strategies for elementary, middle, and high school classrooms (a $349 value!). With concrete examples and lessons, you'll have plenty of ideas to bring to your classroom in the new year.

Go to www.edutopia.org/giveaway by midnight pacific time on Sunday, December 16, to enter for a chance to win. In addition, once you've entered to win, you'll receive a discount code for other ASCD products.

Klea Scharberg

High Schools at Work: Creating Student-Centered Learning

With a good education comes the responsibility of teachers to show students how to become responsible and active citizens. Through various activities, such as mock trials and lessons on democracy, students can learn valuable lessons that help shape who they become in life.

In this video, see how one high school collaborates with different organizations in its community. Edcouch-Elsa High School uses a variety of approaches to encourage students’ civic involvement and help with postsecondary education needs. Learn more with ASCD Express.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Strong Readers All: What Would It Take ... ?

Post written by Naomi Thiers, associate editor, Educational Leadership

EL Summer 2012

What would it take to make all the children we serve strong readers?

It's a bold question to ponder as you prepare for the coming school year. Sadly, according to the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, U.S. students are not all strong readers. But authors in ASCD's Educational Leadership (EL) summer issue, "Strong Readers All," share stories of how they successfully helped all learners improve their reading skills—by using nontraditional approaches at every grade level.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Report Highlights Shifts in the High School Experience

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has released its annual analysis of the significant developments and trends in U.S. education. As always, The Condition of Education report addresses all aspects and all levels of education, but this year's version includes a special focus on the changes in the nation's high schools over the past 20 years.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Byrne Creek Secondary: A Collaborative Community Opportunity

Post submitted by Mike Greenway and Lynn Archer

Byrne Creek Secondary School opened its doors to students for the first time in September 2005. The school was planned and built to solve an overcrowding problem in the south part of Burnaby. Planning and opening any new school has challenges; Byrne Creek was faced with additional problems. The community had the highest number of refugee students in the metro area of Vancouver, with the majority of refugees from Afghanistan and Africa. Many were functionally illiterate in their own language and had faced hardships such as famine, war, and other atrocities in their own countries. Two inner city elementary schools in the Byrne Creek neighborhood had been trying to support these families and were very helpful in making recommendations. In addition, the neighborhood is a low income and working class income socioeconomic community. The issues being faced by the elementary schools foreshadowed the challenges that the new Byrne Creek Secondary would face.

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Klea Scharberg

Linking Family Engagement Activities to Learning

"Successful Schools: Families Matter," from the Center for the Improvement of Student Learning, highlights promising family and community partnership practices from one district (featuring Whole Child Podcast guest Trise Moore) and two schools from Washington State.

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Melissa Mellor

History in High School Is Long-Forgotten

The 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) U.S. history results were released earlier this week.

The nation's 8th graders posted gains in U.S. history achievement compared with results from four years ago. Advances by black and Hispanic students, as well as by male students in the 8th grade, largely contributed to the increase. But at the 4th and 12th grade levels, there were no statistically significant changes in performance since 2001. Only 12 percent of 12th graders scored at proficient or advanced levels.

The general lack of advancement in U.S. students' history knowledge comes at a time when the Teaching American History (TAH) program—the largest single source of federal funding for history education—was cut by $73 million (or 61 percent) in the FY11 budget. Additionally, the Obama administration's FY12 budget request and ESEA blueprint propose to consolidate the grant programs supporting history, civics, and geography along with other important subjects into a single, competitive grant—the Effective Teaching and Learning for a Well-Rounded Education program.

ASCD and more than three dozen partner organizations support the idea of a well-rounded education but are concerned that the administration's consolidation proposal would pit the various subjects against one another for resources and threaten schools' and districts' ability to provide their students with a comprehensive education.

The administration and Congress should retain a minimum level of resources for each of the subject areas based on their most recent individual funding levels. In addition, meaningful public reporting and accountability requirements regarding student achievement in each of these disciplines should be established—by and for schools, districts, and states—to promote a well-rounded education's importance. Until such resources and accountability are focused on subjects other than mathematics and English language arts, disappointing achievement scores in history could be a recurring trend.

Laura Varlas

Getting Everyone to Graduation (Parents, Too)

If you hand a high school transcript to a parent who's never had it explained to them, you're making a big leap that they're going to know why their kid's not on track to graduate, principal Ben Shuldiner said in his Saturday session "How to Get All Students to Graduate."

He and guidance counselor Sarah Kornhauser discussed the High School for Public Service's extensive outreach plan to the families of its 400 students. Founded in 2003, the school, where 90 percent of students ar on free and reduced lunch, was recently named the number-one Titl I school in New York State.

The school organizes several informative and fun parent outreach sessions throughout the four years of high school—from 8th grade orientation to 12th grade sessions on navigating FAFSA and other financial aid forms.

It's important to bring parents in early, give them the tools to navigate and decipher school—speak and processes, and make sure that parents and teachers are on the same page. Show respect for parents by bringing them in to the graduation goal as partners. We can't be successful without spelling out each and every part of the process to parents, Kornhauser said.

But what happens when, despite an entrenched college-going culture at the school, parents don't show up to 12th grade college-planning night or 10th and 11th grade on-track-to-graduate night?

"We love parents, we want them to be there, but don't wait for them," said Shuldiner. Parents shouldn't be an excuse for giving up on a kid. If parents can't be there, the kids should still be there.

 

Klea Scharberg

National Civil War Student Challenge

National Civil War Student Challenge

In April 2011, award-winning cable network HISTORY and global education company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) are commemorating the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War by inviting all U.S. high school students to participate in a national trivia contest—the National Civil War Student Challenge. This academic competition gives students a chance to showcase their knowledge of one of the most pivotal events in American history and qualify to win up to $15,000 in college scholarships.

In addition, any teacher whose student qualifies for the final round of competition and who proctors the final exam will have a chance to receive up to $400 in classroom supplies, courtesy of HISTORY and HMH.

Students can register today to take the challenge online and download the official study guide. Teachers and parents can set up class study groups and encourage study sessions and download and hang challenge posters and fliers.

Although all U.S. high school students who are in grades 9–12 and between the ages of 13–19 are eligible to participate, the content is geared toward 11th grade curriculum. The 30 top-scoring students will be invited to take a 90-minute, proctored, in-school final exam to determine the top 10 scholarship winners. (A teacher volunteer at each student’s school will proctor the exam.) HISTORY and HMH will be awarding over $30,000 in total college scholarships to the finalists.

Visit the HISTORY Classroom and HMH Education for additional resources and lesson guides.

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