Thursday, January 20, 2011

Recipe for Sucessful School

Karin Chenoweth from EdTrust has a great blog on learning from success.

New Mexico Griegos Elementary School is 50% free and reduced lunch, 75% Latino in a 'working-class' neighborhood of Albuquerque.

2010 Results:
  • 91% of fifth-graders met or exceeded state reading standards compared to only 59% for the rest of the state
  • 89% of fifth-graders met state math standards compared to 45% for the rest of the state
  • 95% of fifth-graders met science standards vs 52% for the rest of the state
How does a school do that well?  Do they get more money?  Nope - it is a fairly simple formula - but never easy to implement:
  • Former Marine jet-fighter pilot as a principal who has been there for 9 years
  • Mission: Do the right thing at the right time
  • Strong, professional and unusually stable faculty
  • Pride
  • Teach to the standards
  • Identify state standards students need to meet and provide them the instruction to get them there
  • Find out who needs extra help - think deeply on how to provide it
  • Work hard, work the hours needed, work together to get kids ready
Parents who used to send their kids to private school are sending them to Griegos.  The ideas are not rocket science - implementing and staying the course is.