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May 31, 2005

New Search Feature

We have changed our blogs so that you can now search by a topic.
Searchlight.jpgFor example, you can find earlier blogs on a subject, say, virtual schools by either typing in "virtual" in the "Search this site" box or by clicking on the term "virtual schools" under "Blog Categories."
Immediately, the computer will find all previous blogs with their links to websites.
Try it! You will love this feature. It gives you access to much formerly published material that you would have otherwise had to search month by month for--a daunting task over the past 26 months and 150 items.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 03:06 PM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2005

A Spectrum of Alternatives Conference

The Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) will hold its conference, A Spectrum of Alternatives, June 22-26, 2005 at Russell Sage College in Troy, NY. The five day schedule includes workshop sessions and keynoters including Jerry Mintz, Ann Cook, John Taylor Gatto, Alfie Kohn, Matt Hern and Tim Seldin. Registration is $200 for the 5 days. Food is $112.50. One can register by the day for partial attendance.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

May 03, 2005

Measuring Student Autonomy and Motivation

Many educators support educational alternatives as a way of increasing such vital outcomes as self-efficacy, autonomy, responsibility, motivation, engagement and initiative. Sophisticated measures of these dispositions have been developed. One is at EdVisions, a teacher Edvisions.jpg
cooperative, with the Synder's Dispositional Hope Scale or Hope Scale for short. The instrument is used in a number of schools to show growth in these "soft" outcomes. Ron Newell (ron@edvisions.coop) at EdVisions and other researchers will help schools use and interpret the Hope instrument which is amazingly brief and quick to administer (less than 5 minutes). Ron has a wealth of experience and information for helping schools achieve higher engagement and achievement. Contact him!

Another source of 100s of instruments to measure a huge variety of outcomes is the Compendium of Assessment and Research Tools (CART), a valuable compository.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 09:54 AM

May 01, 2005

21st Century Schools Project

The 21st Century Schools Project of the Progessive Policy Institute develops public policies to address systemic educational inequities and modernize the industrial-era, factory model of American public education and redefine it through a system premised on universal access, public sector choice and customization, common academic standards, and accountability for results. The project sponsors research and conferences; publishes papers, articles, and a free bimonthly newsletter; and advises national, state, and local policymakers. Recently, the project's work has specifically focused on improving teacher quality, public charter schools and public school choice, special education, and reforming the federal role in education.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 02:16 PM

Charter Schools in England

England is establishing "academies" to replace failing secondary schools. Academies are the equivalent of charter schools in the U.S. because they are publically funded but operate autonomously with little federal or local regulation. About 17 have been established with the backing of Tony Blair's blessing with a goal of 200 by the end of the decade. This action has created controversy. Teacher unions oppose this movement partly because for-profit business groups have established some of the schools.


Posted by Wayne Jennings at 12:31 PM