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Very Important NY Times Article Today: “The Secret to Fixing Bad Schools”

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There’s a very important column in today’s New York Times titled The Secret To Fixing Bad Schools. It’s written by David L. Kirp from the University of California.

He focuses on the positive performance of schools in Union City, New Jersey. Here’s an excerpt:

What makes Union City remarkable is, paradoxically, the absence of pizazz. It hasn’t followed the herd by closing “underperforming” schools or giving the boot to hordes of teachers. No Teach for America recruits toil in its classrooms, and there are no charter schools.

A quarter-century ago, fear of a state takeover catalyzed a transformation. The district’s best educators were asked to design a curriculum based on evidence, not hunch. Learning by doing replaced learning by rote. Kids who came to school speaking only Spanish became truly bilingual, taught how to read and write in their native tongue before tackling English. Parents were enlisted in the cause. Teachers were urged to work together, the superstars mentoring the stragglers and coaches recruited to add expertise. Principals were expected to become educational leaders, not just disciplinarians and paper-shufflers.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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