Monday, September 12, 2016

The 20 schools that won 2016 Schools of Opportunity awards — and why they were selected - The Washington Post

The 20 schools that won 2016 Schools of Opportunity awards — and why they were selected - The Washington Post:

The 20 schools that won 2016 Schools of Opportunity awards — and why they were selected



Here’s a post by the creators of the Schools of Opportunity awards revealing the 2016 winners and explaining why they were selected. The post beneath this one is an accompanying piece about school ratings. This was written by Kevin Welner, Carol Burris and Michelle Renée Valladares.  Welner is director of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder and a professor specializing in educational policy and law. Burris, a former award-winning principal who is now executive director of the non-profit Network for Public Education. Valladares is associate director of the National Education Policy Center

By Kevin Welner, Carol Burris and Michelle Renée Valladares
What does it really look like to create opportunities for all students to learn? Today we are announcing 20 schools across the nation recognized as 2016 Schools of Opportunity — the first time the designation has been awarded nationwide.  Led by researchers and school leaders at the University of Colorado Boulder’s National Education Policy Center (NEPC), this recognition provides a research-based answer to the mismatch between existing awards that recognize schools as “the best” because of their high-test scores and the schools that are actually engaging in research-proven practices.
Closing the opportunity gap requires enormous thought and effort, reforming what schools do to address the unique needs of each community while always expecting and supporting engaging and challenging learning for every student. Compare, for example, two of our new Schools of Opportunity, both located in Northern California: Oakland International High School and Hillsdale High School.
Oakland International High School enrolls students who recently (within three years of enrollment) immigrated to the United States and who are learning English. Ninety-six percent of the 400 students are economically disadvantaged. Many of the youth enrolled at this school are refugees fleeing dangerous conditions in their home countries, and almost a quarter are unaccompanied minors. The school responds by providing each student with a full range of services to meet their unique needs—from learning a new language, to advancing academic knowledge, to supporting their physical and mental health.
Nearby in San Mateo, California is another recognized school. Hillsdale High is a comprehensive public high school enrolling 1,400 students, 16 percent of whom are economically disadvantaged. Over the past 15 years, Hillsdale has worked in partnership with Stanford University’s School of Education to re-envision what a public high school can be. Hillsdale used a teacher-led Smaller Learning Community model to dramatically reshape the culture of the school—connecting “house” cohorts of students with teams of teachers and advisors who work with students over two years, allowing them to give all students the same challenging curriculum in heterogeneous classes in many courses.
Oakland and Hillsdale are clearly very different high schools. What they share with each other and with the other 18 new Schools of Opportunity is a common passion to close gaps in The 20 schools that won 2016 Schools of Opportunity awards — and why they were selected - The Washington Post:

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