Posted on Monday, October 3 2005 by Heather Brandon
On Wednesday, October 5, at 9:00 pm, WGBY is airing “Making Schools Work,” an examination of success stories from inner-city schools, hosted by correspondent and executive producer Hedrick Smith. From pbs.org:
Among the highlights of MAKING SCHOOLS WORK:
* In 1,300 schools across the country, the engine of achievement is an intense, highly scripted elementary school reading program called Success for All.
* Laser-like focus on dramatically raising the quality of teaching turned around the performance in New York City’s District 2.
* At a network of 38 middle schools called KIPP, Knowledge IS Power Program, the key ingredients are a long school day, Saturday classes, summer school and a culture of tough love and teamwork that lures inner city kids away from street gangs.
* In Charlotte, broad improvement came from relentless pursuit of equity, to give students in high poverty neighborhoods a curriculum, resources and teaching on a par with top suburban schools.
* A vigorous campaign to combat dropouts in ninth grade and an emphasis on real-life hands-on learning are generating dramatic improvement in more than 1,000 high schools from Oklahoma to Florida to Kentucky through the High Schools That Work program.
On Wednesday, October 19, at 7:30 pm, the Springfield Public Forum welcomes Jonathan Kozol to the podium. The talk is free of charge and is likely to include ideas laid forth in Kozol’s recently-published book, The Shame of the Nation. From randomhouse.com:
Over the past several years, Jonathan Kozol has visited nearly 60 public schools. Virtually everywhere, he finds that conditions have grown worse for inner-city children in the 15 years since federal courts began dismantling the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. First, a state of nearly absolute apartheid now prevails in thousands of our schools. The segregation of black children has reverted to a level that the nation has not seen since 1968. Few of the students in these schools know white children any longer. Second, a protomilitary form of discipline has now emerged, modeled on stick-and-carrot methods of behavioral control traditionally used in prisons but targeted exclusively at black and Hispanic children. And third, as high-stakes testing takes on pathological and punitive dimensions, liberal education in our inner-city schools has been increasingly replaced by culturally barren and robotic methods of instruction that would be rejected out of hand by schools that serve the mainstream of society.
Teachers and parents, are you watching? City administrators, are you listening?
Originally published at MassLive.com