Monday, October 12, 2009

An Inspiring Story From Education

Despite all the doom and gloom the media usually puts out, some schools do well.

George Bickert, who as a first-year principal had to get a special waiver to take the job at Tohatchi Elementary School, has turned around test scores there. Tohatchi boosted its math scores from 15 percent of the students being proficient in 2006 to nearly 78 percent this year. Reading scores rose from nearly 28 percent of the students being proficient to almost 71 percent this year, according to state data.

He did it by giving the students smiles, hugs and high fives. He led early morning basketball games and turned academics into challenges. The eye-drooping "curriculum based measures" — weekly tests to measure students' progress — became "Math Monsters" and "Cougar Readers."

Classroom scores were posted. Students who got perfect scores on the weekly 10-question tests heard their names read during Monday morning announcements and classes that scored 100 percent got pizza parties.

And notice that funding was not increased to do it. All it took was an involved principal, staff and parents. Quite a different conclusion that is coming out of most politicians and the National Education Association union.

You can find the original story here.

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