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Rocky Mountain Turnaround
March 30, 2018
How a Colorado school district turned things around at 10,000 feet above sea level
While many of the improvement strategies used by this Colorado rural school district are familiar, they’ve been retrofitted to meet the district's needs.
March 9, 2018
It’s not enough just to stay open, say Memphis parents of their struggling elementary school
Parents are glad Shelby County Schools rejected a state recommendation to close Hawkins Mill Elementary, but still have questions.
March 1, 2018
McQueen: If Memphis school leaders won’t convert American Way to a charter, the state will
The commissioner's comments come two days after Memphis leaders voted to move American Way Middle School into its highly regarded Innovation Zone.
February 26, 2018
McQueen’s plan would interrupt Hopson’s for improving one Memphis school
The state's recommendation to close Hawkins Mill Elementary comes in the school's first year of a three-year improvement plan under Shelby County Schools.
February 20, 2018
State’s most drastic school intervention plans won’t work, say Memphis board members
School board members suggest Hawkins Mill Elementary and American Way Middle instead move into the district's turnaround model, the Innovation Zone.
February 16, 2018
McQueen outlines state intervention plans for 21 Memphis schools
McQueen's letter offers the first look at how the state is pursuing school turnaround plans under its new tiered model of school improvement.
Building Better Schools
September 29, 2017
Colorado wants to help these 230 schools improve learning. Here’s the state’s first step.
The state education department earlier this month notified school districts of their eligibility to apply for the money and other state services.
April 20, 2017
Tennessee reveals quicker exit plan for schools in the Achievement School District
A school will return to its local district if it improves and stays off of two consecutive “priority lists, or if it fails to improve.
May 2, 2016
iZone chief Sharon Griffin on fixing Memphis’ most challenging schools
A Q&A on school turnaround strategies that work, the challenges of urban education, the importance of coaching and supporting principals and teachers, and more.
February 29, 2016
Indianapolis school leaders visit Memphis iZone with eye on increased autonomy for principals
Four years into their school turnaround initiative known as the Innovation Zone, education leaders in Memphis are seeking to move schools from triage to sustainable…
February 2, 2016
Every Marion County school district except one will get a break from the state
The State Board of Education is also expected to address the performance of state takeover schools.
no holds barred
January 21, 2016
Aurora Central grad: ‘Stop feeling sorry’ for poor kids
Former Aurora Central student advocates for better student-teacher relationships and college prep courses.
January 20, 2016
Indiana’s new A-F grade system: It’s not just about pass or fail anymore
2016 will be the first year grades are calculated under the new model.
January 13, 2016
D.C. Public Schools officials tour Memphis iZone
The mounting success of Shelby County Schools' iZone attracts national attention from other districts exploring school improvement initiatives.
December 2, 2015
State board OK with IPS promises that Arlington High School is on the mend
Ferebee said challenges still exist, mainly in relationship-building between teachers and students, filling teaching positions and getting a handle on instruction.
November 30, 2015
Still-troubled Arlington High School at center of state board debate this week
Arlington is the first school taken over by the state to be returned to its home district. Although IPS controls day-to-day operations, the state board retains oversight.
In this together
November 12, 2015
Jeffco coalition to teachers: you teach, we’ll take care of poverty
A coalition in Jeffco wants to boost student achievement by focusing on family services, after school programs and parent enrichment.
the big picture
October 7, 2015
Will John King’s last effort to desegregate New York’s schools work?
For the first time, a grant program will allow the city to try to improve a handful of schools by convincing more affluent families to send their children there.
October 7, 2015
Coalition: Aurora could do more to improve chronically failing schools
“I hope this report helps the district,” an Aurora parent said. “I hope the district takes this seriously and does something. I really hope so.”
October 2, 2015
Changes embraced at Jeffco schools that serve low-income students
But it’s still too early to know whether an emphasis to improve students’ vocabularies will be enough to boost achievement for those who are chronically behind.
September 16, 2015
IPS will free up schools next year with the Mind Trust's help
Superintendent Lewis Ferebee want to give out money in Indianapolis Public Schools based on student needs and let each principal have wide freedom to make decisions.
September 9, 2015
Sheridan loses bid to upgrade state quality rating
After a months-long effort, the Sheridan school district has failed in its effort to have its state accreditation rating changed.
August 18, 2015
Testing spikes and nosedives: What does it all mean?
With dozens of Tennessee schools logging double-digit test score gains and losses this year, a Vanderbilt researcher warns against drawing quick conclusions.
August 12, 2015
At academically-challenged schools in Jeffco, a push for stronger vocabulary skills
The challenge of incorporating higher-level language skills is a new test for a historically middle class suburban school district adapting to a changing student body.
August 3, 2015
State officials recognize 170 schools for achievement, growth
The annual reward list comprises Tennessee's top 5 percent of schools for academic achievement and the top 5 percent for annual growth.
July 12, 2015
Coming this week: Your updated guide to education issues in Indiana
Starting Monday, come back to Chalkbeat each day next week for a new post on a topic that's important to education in Indiana.
July 8, 2015
One-time standout Warren Township school now needs an overhaul
Once a star school, Warren Township's Sunny Heights Elementary spiraled downhill over the past two years, but the district is hoping a grant can help turn it around.
July 2, 2015
When schools add teaching time, planning and coordination can suffer
It can a challenge to keep critical preparation time from disappearing.
a chance for renewal
June 24, 2015
A school community grows stronger
As the year winds down, Brooklyn Generation School — part of the city's "Renewal" program — has found new ways to help students deal with trauma. Part three of Chalkbeat's series.
June 22, 2015
At reconfigured Jefferson Junior-Senior High, students are told show up and have fun
During the three day orientation, new students at Jefferson Junior-Senior High School also got a tour of the school and set personal and academic goals.
June 17, 2015
City reshuffles education staff as Jason Kloth departs
With the departure of Deputy Mayor Jason Kloth, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s office overseeing education programs and charter schools is undergoing a transition.
June 3, 2015
School 93 a step closer to possible takeover despite new law's timeline changes
A change in state law that could see failing schools taken over by the state two years quicker won’t affect schools that have already earned…
May 29, 2015
New state board members talk Glenda Ritz, testing, state takeover
A shorter ISTEP and careful consideration of A-to-F school grades are popular ideas.
May 28, 2015
IPS approach to improving schools could go statewide
Gov. Mike Pence today signed House Bill 1009, allowing any school district in the state to pilot creative ideas the way IPS did.
By the numbers
May 28, 2015
City’s struggling schools face another annual test: enrollment
The city’s efforts to turn around nearly 100 long-struggling schools are likely to run up against enrollment roadblocks, according to an IBO analysis.
May 19, 2015
National dropout expert: 'Cultural change' needed to improve graduation rates
The state's graduation rate is at an all-time high at 89.8 percent, according to the Indiana Department of Education.
May 15, 2015
Survey: Marion County teachers not satisfied with training
Indianapolis schools spent more than $11 million last year on teacher training, but a new survey suggests that most teachers aren't satisfied with it.
May 7, 2015
Colorado high schools honored for providing opportunity
Seven Colorado high schools have been designated as “schools of opportunity” by a program that seeks to rate schools on how well they help students succeed.
May 7, 2015
A-to-F changes pass after more state board drama
The state board approved changes to Indiana's A-to-F accountability model that would use gains on tests as well as passing rates. The changes would result in fewer A's.
April 10, 2015
Eight Tennessee schools recognized nationally for high student achievement
The Tennessee Board of Education recognizes eight Tennessee schools for winning national awards.
April 9, 2015
What to expect as Colorado’s accountability timeline runs out for struggling schools, districts
The State Board will be making a lot of decisions in the next 16 months regarding the fate of 30 schools and eight school districts that are considered failing.
April 1, 2015
Senate committee guts state takeover bill
Sweeping amendments made to a bill that initially intended to overhaul the state's school intervention process have taken away much of its punch.
April 1, 2015
State board rules IPS can manage Arlington, share Donnan
Indianapolis Public Schools today gained back a measure of control over two of its former schools that have been run independently after state takeover in 2012.
March 31, 2015
State board will consider more ISTEP changes Wednesday
The Indiana State Board of Education will again talk about the possibility of more changes to ISTEP to try to alleviate even further the length and cost of the test.
March 19, 2015
Ferebee calls Cosby's concerns 'myths' as board approves plan for 2 high schools
The Indianapolis Public School Board approved a $2.1 million contract to create "transformation zones" to try to improve two struggling high schools.
March 19, 2015
Aurora Central High students: we’re not a failing school
Three junior girls say the state should look beyond Aurora Central's test scores to see the true value of the school.
It's a plan
March 5, 2015
Jeffco board approves changes, shuffle for Jefferson and Alameda schools
The board, in a series of rare unanimous votes, approved the plans to overhaul and shuffle schools in the Jefferson and Alameda neighborhoods.
March 5, 2015
The basics of everything: Your guide to education issues in Indiana
Few states can match the Hoosier state for the wide variety of efforts to change the way students learn, or for the level of drama and discord that has accompanied those efforts.
March 5, 2015
No hard feelings, says principal of Jeffco middle school set to close
Jennifer Kirksey, principal at O'Connell Middle School in Jefferson County, talks about breaking the news to her teachers and staff that their school might merge with Alameda High School.
March 5, 2015
Jeffco school board to vote on changes for struggling, crowded schools
The Jeffco Public Schools board of education will decide tonight whether the district should proceed with a series of changes to schools in the Jefferson and Alameda areas of the county.
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