Evaluating Public Schools
Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools
The newest and most expensive of the Taj Mahal schools sits on the site where Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, where the Ambassador Hotel was once located. While much of the original structure has been considerably altered to accommodate a school of more than 4,000 students, certain features of the original site remain. A marble memorial has been erected to remind students of the historic significance of the location, and some of the school areas boast the original names of hotel rooms. For example, the auditorium that is built where the Cocoanut Grove Nightclub once stood, and it boasts the same name and a tropical feel reminiscent of the original structure.
Rigorous Curriculum Produces College and Career Readiness
According to the National School Board Association, a “rigorous curriculum” is required to produce “college and career-ready graduates,” but beyond that statement, the processes involved in reaching that goal become somewhat murky. How do schools know if the curriculum presented to students is “rigorous” enough to ensure success? The report does take the time to define “rigorous curriculum” accurately to make it easier to assess high schools and their ability to prepare students for the future.
Quality Counts is the name given to the most comprehensive assessment of the nation’s schools conducted by Education Week every year. According to Education Week’s website, the rigorous evaluation process provides an in-depth look at the state of public schools across the United States today. In light of the recent recession that resulted in big cuts in education spending for many states, as well as efforts by states to put the education pieces back in order during the slow economic recovery, this assessment becomes even more relevant in providing a snapshot of where the quality of education is heading.
An Overview of New School Policy
The Fairfax County School Board’s vote allows schools to install surveillance cameras, but it does not require them. Each school within the county will be able to engage in public discussion between faculty, students and parents about whether cameras would be a help or hindrance for discipline issues. Principals would be responsible for making the final decisions in their own schools, ensuring that each administrator would make a determination of the need for surveillance cameras based on their own unique situations.
The Unveiling of the New CompStat Safety Program
Last week, Mayor Emanuel unveiled the new safety program, which is modeled after the CompStat program first used in New York in 1994. According to a report at the Chicago Sun-Times, the program is designed to hold law enforcement officers accountable and accurately analyze crime statistics in surrounding neighborhoods at weekly meetings. While this program was originally developed to enhance law enforcement throughout New York City, the model can be easily customized to the school and community environment as well.