NEWS, EVENTS, and OPPORTUNITIES at CCE
The Essential Guide to Pilot Schools
CCE has published the first two in a series of guides called The Essential Guide to Pilot Schools. The first guide in the series is the Overview, an attractive, 100-page book, full of practical and informative details about how Pilots function, how they are unique, what is involved in creating a Pilot school, advice, case histories, data, tools, and much more. The second guide, Leadership and Governance, discusses the roles and operations in the shared leadership that comprises a Pilot school. These attractive, spiral-bound books are available at CCE. You can download the order form here. The full guides in .pdf format (large downloads) are available at Overview Guide and Leadership and Governance. Back to home
Young Boston man gets a village of support, by Linda Matchan, in the Boston Globe, August 19 , 2007.
An extraordinary 19-year-old, Andre Woodberry, homeless at times and with a deck stacked heavily against him, “deciding that Jermiah E. Burke School wasn’t a good fit, he transferred to the evening school of Boston Day and Evening Academy in Roxbury and began to turn his grades around.” He is headed with a full scholarship to Hampshire College.
Hub high schoolers head home after African adventure, by Banner Staff, in the Boston-Bay State Banner, August 16, 2007.
Students from Another Course to College, a Pilot high school, headed overseas to Ghana where ACC teacher Bethany Wood, on a Fulbright Exchange, was teaching at the Achimota Secondary School. “The students had spent the school year preparing, and studying Ghana, but the experience of living there really brought this learning to life,” says Wood.
An Unlikely Spot at the Head of the Class:Top honors for the once maligned Boston schools, by Elizabeth Weiss Green, in U.S. News & World Report, October 2, 2006.
In a feature story on Bostons winning the Broad Prize for having the most improved urban school in the nation, the focus is on Boston Community Leadership Academy and Pilot Schools, including interviews with principal Nicole Bahnam and CCE Executive Director Dan French. Back to home
Turning Points named in grant to help middle grades math. The following story appeared in the September 14, 2006, issue of Education Daily:
Middle school students to get help in math
The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform has received a three-year, $3 million grant from the Education Department to develop the Mathematics Improvement Toolkit, a program that will help the teaching of math to middle school students. The toolkit will include curriculum, professional development materials and subject guidelines for use by school leaders, coaches, math coordinators, teachers and parents.
Deborah Kasak, the Forum’s executive director, said focusing on math skills in the middle grades will help improve high schools, which typically receive more attention for school reform.
According to 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress statistics, one-third of the country’s middle school students failed to perform at basic levels in math.
The forum will work with organizations Middle Start, Aim at Middle-Grades Results, Talent Development Middle School Model and Turning Points to create the program. Back to home
The Los Angeles
Unified School District (LAUSD) announced the creation of the Belmont
Pilot Schools Network, the first replication of the Boston Pilot
Schools concept outside of Massachusetts.
According to the Los Angeles Times,
the plan calls for the creation of five to 10 fully autonomous
high schools launched over the next five years, with a maximum of 400
students each. Principals and teachers at those schools would work under
a separate contract that would free them to determine school calendars,
curricula, budgets and administrative structures. (Read
the full LA Times article.)
The LA schools have been in notoriously
rough shape, with students and teachers leaving for charter and private
schools, the mayor threatening to take over the school system from the
elected school board, and Superintendent Roy Romer looking for some
proven way to turn things around. A couple of years ago district, union,
and community activists heard about the Pilot school movement in Boston
and sent observers to take a look and to talk with some of the Pilot
coordinators in Boston, particularly Dan French, head of the Center
for Collaborative Education, which houses the Pilot School Network.
Eventually, a powerful group of activists
in the Belmont neighborhood (one of the poorest in LA), calling themselves
the Belmont Education Collaborative, started pushing for the creation
of Pilots in their neighborhood, on the model of Boston Pilots, with
their highly autonomous operations at each school.
Because both the teachers union and school
district must give up control in creating Pilot Schools, Superintendent
Romer and United Teachers of Los Angeles President AJ Duffy visited
the Pilots in Boston, and Dan French made multiple visits to LA, as
discussions continued about creating a Pilot Zone in the Belmont neighborhood.
In late July, all sides came together, with the blessing of the school
board, and approved the creation of up to 10 Pilot schools, on the Boston
model, in what is now called the Belmont Zone of Choice. Back to home
Pilot Schools: Progress and Promise in Urban School Reform,
by Dan French, Commentary in Education Week,
April 19, 2006.
CCEs Executive Director looks at how school districts, teachers
unions, and the community have worked together using the Pilot school
model to create successful urban schools unified around a common
commitment to excellence and equity, with clear strategies to get there. Back to home
Mayor Seek Answers on Youth Violence
Students at the Boston Community Leadership Academy wrote letters to
Mayor Menino about teen violence and ways to curb it. Then, on March
2, the Mayor came to BCLA to listen and respond to the writers. Read
the article. Back to home
Tom Menino: I have my Pilots. Thats what I need.
was the mayors joyful reaction on February 15, 2006, when his
city and the teachers union reached agreement on the expansion of Pilot
Schools, from the present 19 to 26 schools by 2009. The agreement resolved
an impasse over the number of uncompensated hours beyond the union contract
that a Pilot teacher may be required to work. Details of the announcement
and the agreement are in an article from the February
16, 2006, Boston Globe: City
pact allows new pilot schools, one run by union,
by Tracy Jan and Maria Sacchetti. Back to home
Pilot Schools: How DO They Stack Up? was
the title of a forum in the Understanding Boston series, held
at The Boston Foundation January 18, 2006. The forum marked the release
of a new study by CCE researchers: Progress
and Promise: Results from the Boston Pilot Schools. A standing-room-only
audience listened to CCE Executive Director Dan French and Director
of Research Rosann Tung present evidence showing Pilot School students
performing better than the district averages across every indicator
of student engagement and performance. Following the presentation, Paul
Reville, President of the Rennie Center for Education Research and
Development, moderated a panel discussion of distinguished guests: Paul
Grogan (President and CEO, The Boston Foundation), Peggy Kemp (Director,
Fenway High School), Thomas Payzant (Superintendent, BPS), Richard Stutman
(President, Boston Teachers Union), Adam Urbanski (national teachers
union leader), and Arthur Williams (Pilot School parent and teacher). Back to home
The new, revised CCE small schools planning guide is now available from Corwin Press as Creating Small Schools: A Handbook for Raising Equity and Achievement.
Revised for 2005-2006, this beautiful, practical, hands-on manual has
been developed to assist faculty, administrators, community representatives,
parents, and others involved in small school planning and implementation.
The intent of the manual is to provide a helpful context along with
ideas, tools, and organizers to assist schools as they begin their work
toward becoming small schools.
Click here for full information or to order. Back to home