It’s August 2009 at Paragon Mills Elementary in south Nashville. The clock in Greg O’Loughlin’s classroom reminds him that in the next few minutes, his 26 students will be filing in from music class.
Posts Tagged ‘School leadership’
If you haven’t noticed, the parameters of public education are changing. Gone is the day of hourlong lectures that cover basic academics. Gone are the expectations that teachers only teach academics. Gone are the standards that left Tennessee students among the lowest-performing in the nation.
The ongoing transformation of our public schools began with a couple of solid whacks over the head of the school board by the Tennessee Department of Education. Since then, the Metro Board of Education defined and has remained loyal to our vision of doing whatever it takes to prepare all students to excel in college, work and life.
We are about to begin a new school year. Once again, we all, students and grownups alike, get to put aside disappointments or mistakes from last year and start fresh! What a wonderful opportunity. Remember that the academic standards in Tennessee were made far more rigorous last year and the tests were significantly longer and more difficult. Students now are required to learn material that is at a higher level, and that is a good thing.
Nashville’s Cameron Middle School is undergoing a major overhaul. It was one of about a dozen struggling Tennessee schools that needed to come up with an improvement plan or risk being taken over by the state. The changes being made at Cameron could pop up in other districts.
Memphis City Schools teachers converged at Bellevue Baptist Church on Tuesday for their first pep talk of the year. Traditionally, teachers have received training for the new year in their own schools, what Cash calls the “lots of atoms” theory. “I want a big molecule,” he said. “I want us working together in one place, horizontally, vertically, same-grade teachers talking to each other, same-subject teachers having a chance to collaborate.”
Five days before Jackson-Madison County Schools students and teachers head back to the classroom, many employees are still working to settle into their new buildings.
More than a dozen Metro Nashville schools will open this year with new principals, and according to some, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Union leaders say the new appointments appear to be deliberate. And it seems Director of Schools Jesse Register and company are trying to match people to positions that complement their talent.
The Metro Board of Education has undertaken a dramatic and innovative effort with one goal: transforming Cameron Middle School into one of the best schools in the state. The true success of this transformation will be determined by the community’s willingness to roll up its sleeves and get involved. Our work begins now.
July 26 is the launch date for the new Master’s in Teaching and Learning in Urban Schools program, a partnership between Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of education and human development and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. The 16 members of the inaugural class will participate in orientation classes and a kick-off luncheon at 12:30 p.m., followed by remarks from Peabody Dean Camilla Benbow and Director of Schools Jesse Register.