The hot topic of the year in education reform is teacher effectiveness, and everyone seems to have their own ideas about what this means and how to get it.
The consensus among most experts is that the classroom teacher is the most important factor in a student’s education. Of course, many would argue that this means we should pay teachers more if we really value education, and I would agree with those people. Continue reading
No one responded to last week’s challenge, so I’m putting it here at the beginning.
The first 2 CNMT community members (teachers, parents, students, advisory board) to comment on this post will get a prize.
Good things: I have a few.
- We had our WASC visit this week. Our committee included the Executive Director of WASC, David Brown, and the Director of the WASC Southern California office, Ginger Hovenic. They both were very impressed by our teachers, students and parents, and said we are on the right track. Thanks to everyone who helped with this. It was a great experience.
- Mr. Lopez had some of his U.S. History students enter the Corrido of L.A. contest through LACMA and USC. This week he found out that 6 of his students’ songs were selected to be performed by the band Ozomatli at LACMA next Saturday at 2pm. In other words, 60% of the songs that Ozomatli performs will be by CNMT students. Great job, guys! Hopefully if you’re reading this, you will try to make it over to LACMA on Saturday, where you can stay to see the Olmec exhibit, which is excellent.
- Today I went to my first cheer and dance competition, at the invitation of Jackie Salgado, a CNMT student. It was fun to see the girls perform, and I can honestly say they were among the best of the groups there. Way to go, Ms. Grajales!
This week I would like to write briefly about teacher effectiveness, since it’s in the news and on people’s minds. Last week Mayor Villaraigosa gave a speech that was very critical of UTLA, stating that the teachers union is the main defender of the status quo and impediment to reform. Although I have seen cases of when the union does get in the way of changes I would like to see, I am not pleased that the mayor made this speech at this time. Continue reading
Once in a while, I hear about an idea that makes so much sense, I can’t understand how it was never done before. Now that I am principal, when I hear about such an idea, I want to put it into place at my school right away. Of course I realize that we are a community, and it’s important to get people behind a change before we try to put it into place. That is why I want to use this week’s update to share what I have learned about the Balanced Traditional Calendar.
Many of you may already be aware that Cortines is pushing to have a District-wide adoption of the early-start calendar for the 2011-12 school year. This calendar, which is being piloted in a few schools around LAUSD, starts in mid-August and finishes in early June. The main advantage is that the winter break coincides with the semester break. Also, students have more time to prepare for some tests, like the CELDT and the AP tests (although not the CST), before they actually take them.
The Balanced Traditional Calendar (BTC) has been piloted this year at three high schools in Local District 2, Polytechnic, Arleta and Sun Valley. The driving force behind this calendar is Gerardo Loera, principal of Poly, one of only three schools in the state to exit from Program Improvement 5 status. Continue reading