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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Harvard Education Letter

Just look at this interesting line-up in this current issue May/June 2007 of the Harvard Education Letter.

The Road to School Improvement
It's hard, it's bumpy, and it takes as long as it takes
by Richard F. Elmore and Elizabeth City

In our work on instructional improvement with low-performing schools, we are often asked, “How long does it take?” The next most frequently asked question is, “We’re stuck. What should we do next?” In our roles as facilitators of communities of practice focused on instructional improvement, in our work on internal accountability (Richard) and using data (Liz), and in our research, we have noticed some distinct patterns in the way schools develop as they become more successful at improving student learning and measured performance. Here are a few of our observations.

Better Teaching with Web Tools
How blogs, wikis, and podcasts are changing the classroom
by Colleen Gillard

  • Eric Langhorst’s eighth-grade American History students in Liberty, Mo., listen to his podcasts about the Boston Tea Party while walking their dogs, doing chores, or getting ready for bed.
  • Ben Sanoff’s World History students in Berkeley, Calif., discuss their essays via instant messages before posting their final drafts to the class blog by midnight deadlines. Later they return to the blog to read and discuss one another’s work.
  • Fifth graders in College Park, Ga., create a wiki so compelling it receives over 1,000 hits from as far away as Indonesia, Turkey, and Latin America in the first few days after it’s posted. The site, centered on a historical novel, includes a slide show, maps, historical background, and interviews.
An Interview with Karin Chenoweth
Finding High-Achieving Schools in Unexpected Places
In 2004, Karin Chenoweth, a longtime education writer and former Washington Post columnist, took on a challenging assignment: find and write about neighborhood public schools that “demonstrate that all children can learn.” Working with the Achievement Alliance and using a strict set of criteria, Chenoweth identified 15 schools and spent two years writing about them for a book,
“It’s Being Done”: Academic Success in Unexpected Schools, published this month by Harvard Education Press. She spoke with the Harvard Education Letter about what she found in these schools, what they have in common, and why they are succeeding.

About The Harvard Education Letter

The Harvard Education Letter (ISSN 8755 3716) is an award-winning newsletter for preK-12 teachers and administrators. It brings together the latest research and analysis on issues that affect school performance. The Harvard Education Letter is published bimonthly at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Individual subscriptions must have an individual name in the given address for shipment. Individual copies are not for multiple readers or libraries. Individual accounts come with a personal user name and password for access to online archives.
Institutional rates apply to libraries and organizations with multiple readers.