Boston News

Massachusetts

Op-Eds:
"Examining Teacher Preparation...A View from the Classroom". Recent Teaching Policy Fellow alum, Erin Lane, discusses her thoughts on teacher prep. 

"No Need to fear Common Core". Recent Teaching Policy Fellow alum, Colleen Considine, shares how teaching Common Core has changed her classroom. 

Briefs:
"Measuring School Quality: A Perspective from Boston Teachers"
. Teaching Policy Fellows share their recommendations for Boston Public Schools' measures of school quality.  



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Boston T3


Superintendent Discusses Benefits of T3 In Fall River

March 14, 2011
Superintendent of Fall River Public Schools Meg Mayo-Brown talks with WSAR’s Barry Richards about the district’s partnership with Teach Plus, and how T3’s focus on teacher leadership aligns with the district’s goals for rapid acceleration of student achievement. The T3 conversation is the second interview in the show. Start the podcast at 34:10. Listen here.

Kicking off Tatelman's reading challenge

By Patrick D. Rosso, The Boston Globe, November 30, 2011
Governor Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, and other city and state officials were at the Roger Clap Innovation School Tuesday morning to lend their support to Barry Tatelman’s “We’re Booking it Challenge.” read more»

Orchard Gardens showing growth

By Jessica Heslam, The Boston Herald, November 30, 2011
Orchard Gardens — a bright and beautiful multi-million dollar Roxbury school — opened with much hoopla and hope in 2003. It failed to make the grade from the start. In six years, the school went through five principals. Teacher turnover was about 50 percent a year. MCAS test scores were pitiful. read more»

Rejuvenated school helps kids reach new heights

By Jessica Heslam, The Boston Herald, November 29, 2011
School cop Victor Ortiz was the only familiar face from the former Gavin Middle School who was still in the building when it reopened as UP Academy this school year. Ortiz, who has been at the South Boston school for seven years, says he already sees a difference.” read more»

Teacher sees ‘sense of pride’ in students

By Jessica Heslam, The Boston Herald, November 30, 2011
Inspired by the “turnaround” school movement, Lynni Nordheim rolled the dice, moving across the country from Las Vegas in 2010 to teach at Roxbury’s Orchard Gardens. Her gamble — more a matter of hard work — has paid off.” read more»

Breaking News from the Teach Plus T3 Program

By Celine Coggins, Education Week, October 31, 2011
Thanks to Rick and his crew for tapping me as a guest-blogger. I promise to live up to the provocative blogging Rick's known for later in the week. I want to start, though, by discussing one of the programs we run at Teach Plus as an example of what we're all about. The results are in from the first year of our T3: Turnaround Teacher Teams initiative in the Boston Public Schools. I'm breaking the news here first!” read more»

Underperforming schools show MCAS improvement

By James Vaznis, Boston Globe, September 21, 2011
Massachusetts’ 18-month effort to overhaul nearly three dozen of the worst-performing schools appears to be showing a glimmer of success, state education officials said yesterday as they released MCAS scores for schools and districts across the state.” read more»

A Teacher Reflects on First Day Jitters...And Inspiring Students

By Andrew Vega, Impatient Optimist, September 21, 2011
Growing up, I always dreaded the first day of school. Insecure, short, and stout, all I wanted was to feel safe and have a teacher who believed in me. In retrospect, this was a tall order for any teacher on the first day of school – but it is one I tried to fill as I entered my sixth first day of school as Mr. Vega, English/Language Arts teacher.” read more»

Hopes high as Blackstone throws back-to-school party

By Patrick D. Rosso, The Boston Globe, September 2, 2011
The Blackstone School in the South End opened its doors Thursday night to let their students get a head start on the school year.” read more»

Teachers Eye Coaches, Collaboration to Improve Their Teaching

By Martha Bebinger, WBUR-NPR, May 26, 2011
Can you teach great teaching? The answer, shaped by best-selling books and popular movies, is no. Many of us believe great teachers are born with exceptional skills, not molded and shaped by years of hard work.” read more»

Boston Schools Tap Teacher Talent

By Learning Forward, Education Week, April 19, 2011
Congratulations to Boston Public Schools for its internally driven improvement efforts. Its Turnaround Teacher Teams (T3) initiative models of one of Learning Forward's core principles: expertise. The principle--Communities can solve even their most complex problems by tapping internal expertise--recognizes that within every school are solutions to intractable challenges. ” read more»

The Turnaround Starts with Attendance

By James Vaznis, Boston Globe, May 13, 2011
It was the kind of a morning that school leaders worry about: cold and gusty, with a rain that pelted students on their way to school and gave them an excuse to stay home.” read more»

Boston Public School Teacher From West Roxbury Testifies Before U.S. Senate Committee

By David Ertischek, Roxbury Patch, April 23, 2011
West Roxbury's Lillian Pinet, a bilingual kindergarten teacher at the Orchard Gardens School, testified this week before a U.S. Senate Committee on how to empower, support and keep highly effective urban public school teachers.” read more»

Teacher-Leader Corps Helps Turn Around Schools

By Stephen Sawchuk, Education Week, April 20, 2011
It’s hard to imagine two schools superficially more different from each other than Blackstone Elementary, with its labyrinthine 1970s layout, and Orchard Gardens K-8 School, which opened in 2003, with its modern skylights and cheery primary-color accents. But they were similar in the way that matters most in young lives: Both Boston schools were among the poorest-performing in Massachusetts. read more»

First-grader on the right path with strong instruction

By Lisa Larson, Boston Herald, December 19, 2010
Her teacher calls her the “perfect student,’’ and that sure swells Michelle Jacks with pride, especially since the vibrant 7-year-old had never stepped into a class before entering Doris Venditti’s first-grade room in September. read more»

Turnarounds Provide a Lesson in Education Reform

By Lisa Larson, Boston Herald, December 19, 2010
There was nothing funny about the cacophony of laughter and jeers that shocked assistant principal Camille Young after she told an assembly of eighth-graders how excited she was to work at Orchard Gardens K-8 School. read more»

School on the mend

By James Vaznis, The Boston Globe, September 9, 2010
The wiry third-grader thrust his arm into the air, eager to ask a question of Blackstone Elementary School’s new principal on the first day of classes yesterday. “What is metamorphosis?” asked the boy, who proudly called himself a budding scientist. read more»

In The South End, A ‘Last-Ditch Effort’ To Save A School

By Bianca Vazquez Toness, WBUR, September 7, 2010
BOSTON — An important experiment is underway this school year at some of the state’s lowest performing schools. The state has given the city unprecedented authority to essentially push the “restart button:” the students will largely be the same, but new teachers and principals are meant to bring new energy and ideas into the classroom. A lot is at stake as these public schools try to prove they can educate poor students. read more»

Lesson Plan in Boston Schools: Don’t Go It Alone

By Mike Winerip, New York Times, August 9, 2010
Earlier this year Massachusetts enacted a law that allowed districts to remove at least half the teachers and the principal at their lowest-performing schools. The school turnaround legislation aligned the state with the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program incentives and a chance to collect a piece of the $3.4 billion in federal grant money. read more»

New Teacher Distribution Methods Hold Promise

By Stephen Sawchuk, Education Week, June 10, 2010
With effective teaching a top policy priority, certain school districts, the federal government, and nonprofit groups are renewing efforts to pilot and study strategies for pairing effective teachers with students in low-performing, high-poverty schools. read more»

Mass. hunting for star teachers

By James Vaznis, The Boston Globe, May 10, 2010
State education officials plan to announce today an aggressive campaign to recruit hundreds of successful teachers to work in underperforming schools in Boston and eight other troubled school districts, in hopes those teachers can spark a turnaround. read more»

Supporting America’s Educators: The Importance of Quality Teachers and Leaders

U.S. House Education and Labor Committee, 2:00 PM, May 4, 2010
Teach Plus invited to testify before the U.S. Congress on T3. Read and watch the testimony of Teach Plus President, Monique Burns Thompson. read» watch»

Meet the new boss: Stephen Zrike

Brandon Simes, South End News, Apr 28, 2010
Because of serially low MCAS scores, the South End’s William Blackstone Elementary was named as one of 14 "turnaround" schools in the Boston Public Schools (BPS) system last winter. read more»

Ready for the Next Challenge

Read the report by teachers that sparked the creation of T3. read more»

Teacher Test

Michael Jonas, CommonWealth Magazine, October 2009
Identifying effective teachers is vital to improving schools. So why do we act as if all teachers are interchangeable? read more»

Turnaround Schools

About Department of Elementary and Secondary Education "Level 4" Schools
On March 4, 2010, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released its list of “Level 4” Schools, which are schools that have been designated by the state as significantly underperforming over several years. Twelve Boston Public Schools are among the 35 schools statewide designated as "Level 4." read more»