This is a one-stop center for doing web-based inquiry into the knotty problems of advancing a school in positive directions. It presumes that, as in evolution, breakdowns often lead to breakthroughs, and that the American school is still evolving. Credit-bearing professional development work can be negotiated through work from these links, as there are numerous hours of productive inquiry possible, along individual lines of choice and interest. Essential Questions and performance targets can give structure to this work for both individual teachers and school systems, as is done in:

Course #16 in the additional menu of on-line courses and workshops also available; Staff Development Courses; Workshops..

Raising Scores

  1. High School Standardized Test Preparation -- Flexible, well-constructed site from Chicago Public Schools with numerous tips ALL teachers should use in coaching and encouraging students.
  2. Testing 1...2...3... -- Resources particularly for elementary and middle grades
  3. Open Response Questioning Strategies
  4. Test Resources from About.com
  5. Regents Exam Prep Center -- A rich New York state site
  6. Constructed Response -- Students must use critical and creative (higher order) thinking in these test itms, a new "state of the art" aspect of current testing.
  7. Writing Constructed Response Items
  8. Writing To Learn -- A key site for links having to do with preparing students for writing samples required on current tests.
  9. Reading To Learn
  10. MegaSkills: Our Engines of Learning
  11. 'Sustained Silent Reading' Helps Develop Independent Readers (and Writers)
  12. Peer and Cross-Age Tutoring -- A cost-effective means for achieving positive results
  13. Reading Matters! -- All manner of reading concerns and disabilities.
  14. English Language Learners

Raising Expectations via Standards

  1. Expectations for Students
  2. Turning It Around for All Youth: From Risk to Resilience -- The power to transform is in all of us.
  3. Strategies that Enhance Setting High Expectations for All Students -- Excellent summary of effective schools report and recommendations; two pages of worthy wisdom.
  4. Aiming High Tool Kit -- A richly resourceful guide from California's Department of Education for improving High Schools, with standards-based reform
  5. The OSI Wave Series -- Florida's Office of School Improvement provides great advice and resources. Also see their pdf file articles, particularly #9 (Aligning Curriculum, Instruction and Standards).
  6. Raising Expectations to Improve Student Learning
  7. Teaching to Academic Standards
  8. Rhode Island Standards and State Frameworks -- Truly top quality
  9. Standards By Subject Matter and By State
  10. A Vision of Standards-Based Reform -- with news and resources

Best Practices

  1. Schools of Hope -- Key features of "Best Practice" in successful schools, particularly for "at-risk" students.
  2. Best Practices -- Many links and aspects to current views on best practices.
  3. School-To-Work Transition -- An often underemphasized but powerful aspect of meeting students' needs.
  4. Technology and Learning
  5. City Schools -- This first issue of CITYSCHOOLS focused on the strengths of city children and teenagers, asking schools to put aside deficit models for understanding urban children and replace them with resilience models.

The Larger Picture

  1. Is Your School Ready for Standards-Based Reform? -- Schools, teachers and students "will 'meet standards' only if all aspects of school cultures support better student work, caring relationships that nurture positive beliefs about effort, and a collegial professional climate that fosters teachers' capacity to effectively help students do better work."
  2. Schools Within Schools
  3. Working Hand in Hand to Educate Children: Tips for Parents, Families, Teachers -- Good "division of labor" suggestions!
  4. Assessment Matters! Toward Authentic Assessment -- Numerous links to broaden and deepen a school's and teacher's use of assessment.
  5. Inclusion -- Numerous links and insights; the label "learning disabled" is a largely self-fulfilling prophecy that has compounded problems for at-risk students.
  6. Depth vs. "Coverage" in Teaching and Standardized Test Prep
  7. Students Against Testing (SAT!)


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