School Success Criteria Vol 1: Parents

In the news lately there has been a lot of talk of underperforming “Renaissance” schools who will forced to dismiss many of their teachers.  On the one hand, I applaud the attempt to shock our worst schools into improvement.  On the other hand, I am dismayed that the teachers are being disproportionately punished for the failures of their schools.  It occurred to me that so many factors contribute to the success of schools beyond the teachers.  I am going to try to go about hypothesizing what those factors are so that can be an angle for my research and school visits moving forward.

My first hypothesis–schools that have involved parents perform better.  Groundbreaking idea, I know.

On a recent tour of Meredith, I was struck by how many Read the rest of this entry »

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Judge a Book By Its Cover?

I am perusing different school websites to start my research.  I probably shouldn’t pre-judge a school by its site, but the Meredith School website is pretty lame and it bugs me.  Jenks is a little better.  Penn Alexander blows them both away–better design, more information for parents, better secondary resources.  Of course I want a school to pay attention to education first, website second (or third), so I won’t let this influence my decision by much, but it does make me think.  Lower Merion sets the bar even higher, but that is a district site, not an individual school.  For a fair comparison, the Philadelphia school district site is pretty darn good.