After reading Roland Fryer's publications and seeing his interviews and speeches on urban education I wanted to hear his thoughts on two matters: Our local failing school which has recently been taken over by the state and to receive some guidance for my aspirations to get involved in school leadership.
In my pursuit of contacting him I was referred to speak with the Executive Director of the Harvard Education Innovation Labs June Daniel. In our hour and a half conversation filled with passion and insight she referenced a study that they conducted (see below) that found 5 fundamentals that each of the highly performing schools had:
1. A Focus on Human Capital - making sure teachers are getting immediate useful feedback from instructional coaches and administration.
2. Student Data that was used to drive instruction - Conducting regular in-depth assessments to track progress and, if needed, adjust tutoring or student goals.
3. Provided High Dosage Tutoring - whether a student is failing or excelling whether in clusters or individual sessions these schools had mandatory tutoring for all students.
4. Extended Time on Task - to make time for changes, such as tutoring, these schools had more schools days or longer schools days.
5. A culture of high expectations - students enter a school with college banners and goals of high expectations posted on the walls and they know everyone there is their to help and expects them to succeed
Yes these changes may require a little more work and resources but schools like HCZ Promise Academy, KIPP, Democracy Prep and others show it is possible.
So what's the hold up?
Read the Report Here:
Learning from Successes and Failures of Charter Schools by Roland Fryer