The Bottom Line | Page 33

The Louisiana state flag waving along with the national flag of the United States of America
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A Look at Louisiana’s School Transformation

“Local Control.” Often we presume comprehensive systemic alignment at a state level in our K12 system will remain a suggestion in practice. There is truth to this. States determine the standards all students should meet in order to graduate. It is up to the local districts to decide methods and with what courses and materials students employ to attain these standards. Certainly there are a few checkpoints along the way through standardized testing. However in most states these test have no bearing on the individual student. Rather the results inform how the school district is doing in educating to the state standards. In the end, the secondary Principal approves course credits, and the Superintendent of the district signs off on Read More ›

In the warm ambiance of the classroom, the kind female teacher engages in a lively discussion with her elementary school students, encouraging active participation and fostering a love for learning.
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“You Could Always Teach”

The National Center for Educational Statistics ranks the United States 25th in academic achievement internationally. If teachers are the greatest influence on academic growth, perhaps a look at the teaching force in Country #1 would shed some light on how we can move our students up in international comparisons. Singapore has the top overall student achievement in math, science, and language arts. Unless Singapore’s children are born much smarter than American children (which they are not) then they must be doing something very different in preparing their teachers. Read More ›
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When Producing the Same Results Isn’t Enough: One School’s Story of Transformation

What if money wasn’t the answer? What if student success was actually more impacted by staff perception of what school should be, and the willingness to team up for change? Phew, on one hand, there will always be a struggle for revenue. Ugh, on the other, because this means adults must be willing to take risks, work really really hard in a way they haven’t been stretched before, and deeply trust each other. Control is a concept that brings a sense of autonomy. The example we will explore here is the exact opposite. It is relinquishing classroom control to the entire staff body. It is being transparent to colleagues about data and areas of growth. It is fully sharing student Read More ›

Depositing money in a piggy bank on top of books
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Robert Aguirre: Lessons from the Horizon Edgewood Tuition Voucher Program

Robert Aguirre has spent nearly fifty years in business, and devoted nearly forty of those years to being an education reform activist. He was an education reform adviser on both Reagan campaigns, both GHW Bush campaigns, and on numerous gubernatorial campaigns in multiple states. He has worked in over twenty states on reform/choice legislation, and is among the top ten people in the country in terms of designing choice legislation. From 1989 through 2009, he worked with Nobel Laureate Dr. Milton Friedman, Ted Fortsmann, John Walton, Dr. Jim Lieninger, Pete Peters, William Simon, Betsy DeVos, Steve Schuck, Patrick Rooney and many others in the crusade to reform public education. They had all come from many years of investing time and Read More ›

Young teacher helps to read her student. Elementary school kids sitting on desks and reading books in classroom
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How to Get Good Teachers: An Interview with Dr. Robert Pianta

We are pleased to launch Discovery Institute’s American Center for Transforming Education (ACTE) blog and newsletter. Here you will find The Bottom Line, with monthly stories of transformation in our public education system, including steps necessary to build a system which delivers personalized learning and results for every student. These brave teachers and leaders from around the country are creating cultures of success within the public education system. The ACTE Game Plan for transformation of our education system is lead by Senior Fellow Donald Nielsen, author of Every School.  After a successful business career, culminating with being CEO of a NYSE company, Don has concentrated his time and effort in the field of Public Education.  In 1993, he was elected to the Read More ›