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“Another Path is Possible” by Greg Michie. National Teaching Academy (NTA) in Chicago opened in 2002 serving students from 2 housing projects. $47 facility The school plus a community center, pool, and gymnasium.

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“Another Path is Possible” by Greg Michie


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    1. “Another Path is Possible” by Greg Michie • National Teaching Academy (NTA) in Chicago opened in 2002 serving students from 2 housing projects. • $47 facility The school plus a community center, pool, and gymnasium. • The Chicago Public School’s central plan was that NTA would create a model school of professional development, master teachers to guide student interns prepared to work in urban schools.

    2. “Another Path is Possible” by Greg MichieIn first 4 years, NTA conditions were: • Tardiness and poor attendance • Instituted a scripted reading program • Limited extra-curricular activities • Limited parental involvement • Very low test scores (failed to meet AYP) • 4 Principals in five years • Low teacher morale

    3. In 2006 Amy Rome appointed principal Over a 3 year period Rome instituted these changes with input from teachers. • Connecting with parents, building relationships • Responding to needs of the community by new uses for the community center facilities • Creating a positive learning climate in school for students and teachers. • Establishing a more rigorous curriculum and focus on critical thinking skills.

    4. Under Rome’s leadership, in what ways did the school connect with parents and build more collaborative, participatory relationships? • What caused tardiness and absences? • Practical intervention—alarm clocks • Pairing older children with younger children to help them get to school safely • 15% tardiness shrank to 3% • Make parents feel welcome at school • Reinvigorate parent room at school • Equip with computers, phone, copy machine, information on job training, and GED classes • Meet with parents weekly to get their input • Have parents visit classrooms • Create a health clinic in the community center with help of UIC medical school • Take collaborative problem solving approach with the parents

    5. Under Rome’s leadership, in what ways did she change the role of teachers and build more collaborative, participatory relationships? NTA Academic goals (By 2009, test scores have improved but not enough to meet AYP): • Enlist teachers to build a real climate of learning. • Establish a more rigorous curriculum and focus on critical thinking skills. • Find creative approaches to teaching reading, not through a scripted reading program. • Curriculum includes creative opportunities like the music program and more extra-curricular activities.

    6. How should we assess schools?“Another Path is Possible” by Greg Michie • “Using a single test score as the basis for assessing our kids is unfair, it puts them at a disadvantage” • Amy Rome, Principal of National Teachers Academy in Chicago • “It [TESTING] is the reality of how our students are being evaluated right now, so we have to be responsive to it.” • But NTA does not teach to the tests.

    7. “Another Path is Possible” by Greg MichieTelcochcalli in Chicago (opened in 1996)Small public school serving mostly Mexican immigrants. • Build a strong professional learning community among teachers • Shared leadership and consensus building regarding school goals, expenditure, and curriculum • Work in genuine partnership with the community • Community uses school for classes and recreation • Educate students to be bilinguial and biliterate. • Infuse Mexican art and culture into all subject areas. Does not pass AYP in reading. Meets math and graduation goal.

    8. Tozer, “Essential Supports for School Improvement” (439-442). In order to improve low performing schools—need all 5 in place Research on Chicago schools in the 1990s after a decade of school-based reform. School-based reform was abandoned in late 1990s. But the research revealed the need for coordinated and sustained reform. Narrow interventions will have limited effect. 1. Strong leadership by the school’s principal 2. Parent-community ties 3. Professional capacity of the teachers 4. Student centered learning climate 5. Ambitious instruction

    9. How should we assess schools?Why are multiple data points viewed as a sound way to achieve a successful school? • Attendance Rates • Graduation Rates • College Attendance Rates • AP participation • Special Education Rates • Grades • Test scores • Teacher Mobility • Parent satisfaction • Student satisfaction • Quality of the learning community -climate • Discipline Rates