DEN in St. Louis, how would you improve performance?

From CNN.com (via Betsy):

A newly appointed state board started running the St. Louis school
district Friday and asked for the community’s help in trying to improve
its schools’ performance.

The state had voted in March to strip
the district’s accreditation because of unmet academic and financial
standards, and a judge ruled Thursday the takeover was constitutional.

All
three members of the appointed board pledged to seek input from
students, teachers, residents and members of the elected school board
that still remains, though it now has no power.

If you’re in the St. Louis area, or even if you aren’t, what are your thoughts on these events?  How would you change things to improve the district’s performance?

Comments

  1. Christine West

    Continue to offer high level professional development to the teachers, and compensate them for their time spent learning. The book Understanding by Design by McTighe and Wiggins is an excellent means for teachers to be held accountable for ALL learners as well as accountable to the grade level expectations from the state. They need to feel they are valued and appreciated!

  2. Sibyl Banks

    I am from a district in the St. Louis area with similar types of students. I agree with Christine about Professional Development. But in my district’s case the bulk of the problem is not because the teachers are not prepared and doing their job, but because the children need more exposure to broaden their world to experiences not available in just their neighborhood. I had one student in 4th grade that was riding with me toward the airport and saw a plane getting ready to land. The student asked if the plane was going to land in the back yard of a house. He’d never been to the airport to see the runways. So of course I took him. These are the type of experiences, that when questions are presented on the MAP test they can not hypothesize the correct answer, even though stories in the reading books have touched on planes, airports and their workings. The students are very visual and hands on learners. There is one magnet school in St Louis that was founded just on that principle, taking field trips every week. I think the effort for these students as well as ours is to broaden the student’s world by giving them life-learning experiences. I would like to see studies/intervention in these areas.

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