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AdministrA P A L M E T T O

Vol. 27

South Carolina Association of School Administrators

or Winter 2012


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SCASA STAFF Molly Spearman Executive Director Hannah Hopkins Director of Professional Development Jay Welch Director of Finance and Technology Beth Phibbs Director of Governmental Affairs Sandy Burton Administrative Assistant/ Membership Coordinator

Administra P A L M E T T O

FEATURES

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April Griffin Administrative Assistant/ Assistant Meeting Planner

Instructional Leaders Amidst the Storm: How to Throw a Lifeline to Young Teachers Without Tangling Them in Bureaucracy • By Linda Blackwell, Ph.D.; Zach Kelehear, Ph.D.; and Beth L. Taylor, Ph.D.

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The Impact of School-Based Enterprises on the Achievement and Behavior of Special Education Students • By Dr. G. Cleve Pilot and Dr. Nacati Engec

SCASA BOARD

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Providing Focus: Expectations, Differentiation and Environment • By Dereck H. Rhoads, Ed.D.

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Good vs. Best: Increase Learning for Every Student through Profiling • By Douglas Smith, Ph.D.

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The Quest: No Walls, No Limits! • By Derek McQuiston

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Can Online Learning Transform the Teaching Profession? • By Dr. Joe Flora and Allison Reaves

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Assessment versus Evaluation of Student Data • By Mary Lou Yeatts and Marie Milam

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Interventions that Work: eLearning and At-Risk Kids • By Marsheila Natachee Ksor

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Support for School Leaders • By Mary Chandler

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The Reality of Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day • By Dr. Rose Wilder

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Reading Comprehension and the Learning-Focused Schools Model • By Tim Henson

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Can You Hear Me Now? The Cell Phone Challenge for School Administrators • By Thomas McDaniel, Ph.D.

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Helping Children to Succeed Before It Is Too Late: Using Formative Assessment and Feedback to Improve Learning • By Emily Harris McQuay, Ed.D.

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A New Point of View: Don’t Expect Yesterday’s Benefits Enrollment Strategies to Work For the New Generation • By Mike Linebaugh

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Public School Reporting: Reassessing Personal and Legal Responsibility in the Wake of the Penn State Scandal • By: Shawn D. Eubanks, Esq.

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What to Look for in a Quality Teacher • By David W. Holzendorf, Ed.D.

Mr. Lou Lavely President Dr. Connie Long President-Elect Mrs. Nancy Gregory Past President Dr. Phinnize Fisher Mrs. Betty Bagley Mr. Marion D. Waters Dr. Lynn Cary Mr. James A. Blake, II Mrs. Margaret H. Spivey Mr. Mike Waiksnis Dr. Christina Melton Mrs. Camilla D. Groome Mr. Roger Richburg Ms. Sandy Andrews Mrs. Nancy O. Verburg Mr. Mike Mahaffey Mr. Randall Vaughn Mrs. Liana Calloway Ms. Audrey Ratchford Ms. Renee Mathews Dr. Mildren Huey-Rowland Dr. David W. Blackmon Mrs. Molly M. Spearman The Palmetto Administrator is published annually by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, 121 Westpark Blvd., Columbia, SC 29210, (803) 798-8380 http://www.scasa.org. Send address changes to Sandy@scasa.org. Advertising information and contributors’ information are available online. Publication Policy: Articles should be written in an informal, conversational style, where treatment of the topic is interesting, insightful and based on the writer’s experience. The editor encourages the use of charts, photos and other artwork. To be considered for publication, articles should be submitted electronically, preferably in MSWord, using one-inch margins. The cover page should show the author’s name, position and complete contact information. The article’s working title and a one or two sentence summary should appear on the title page. Submit article proposals or completed articles for consideration to the Managing Editor, Hannah Hopkins, hannah@scasa.org. Articles submitted to Palmetto Administrator may be edited for style, content, and space before publication. Articles may not be reproduced without consent of the publisher.

DEPARTMENTS 3

A Message From The Executive Director The Importance of Extracurricular Activities • By Molly Spearman

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A Message From the President Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day • By Lou Lavely

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PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR • WINTER 2012


A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Importance of Extracurricular Activities By Molly Spearman

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he performance of students on standardized tests has become the predominant criteria suggested to evaluate schools, administrators, teachers, and students. We have gone way too far with that logic.

That was a tremendous reminder to me recently at the Columbia Convention Center during our 2011 Office Professionals Conference. The luncheon entertainment was provided by 33 precious second graders from Saluda Primary School, Saluda District One. For most of those 7-year-olds, it was their first trip to Columbia; first time seeing a building the size of the Columbia Convention Center; first time riding an escalator and elevator; first time performing on a stage in front of hundreds of strangers; first time riding over the Lake Murray Dam and seeing the expanse of the Saluda River Dam and the City of Columbia from a distance; first time seeing buildings more than two stories high; and the list of firsts could go on! Those life-long memories and opportunities were made possible because a principal, teacher, and superintendent cared enough to go the extra mile to make it happen for these special children. The Saluda ShowTime Show Choir came to bring joy to a SCASA event, and they did. Moreover, the life experiences that these children enjoyed on Friday are just as important as the lessons they would have learned in class.

Saluda Primary School ShowTime Show Choir, Saluda County Schools

Over and over we heard, “This is the best day of my life!”, and one mother reported that her child explained that evening, “Mommy, I was magnificent!” This type of experience for students is repeated across South Carolina hundreds of times each school year because of caring school principals, teachers, and district administrators. They understand that true success in school goes beyond test scores. They are committed to providing extraordinary experiences for young people each day and are also seeking unique opportunities to make learning fun and personal. Thank you to all the SCASA members and school leaders who see the importance of field trips, arts activities, sporting events, and any extra opportunities that may light that special spark to make school and learning “the best day ever”. I am so thankful that we have school leaders in South Carolina who are committed to giving “every child, every chance, every day”!

SCASA Spans the Globe! Wally Hall is currently stationed at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. He is a Colonel with the S.C. Army National Guard. When he’s not deployed, he is the Director of Special Projects with Greenwood School District 52. Prior to his deployment, he was the Principal of Edgewood Middle School in Greenwood Dist. 52. He should return home in February after a year long tour of duty. SCASA sure does make it’s way “around the world”!!!!

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A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day By Lou Lavely

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he theme at Summer Leadership this past June, “Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day,” is a statement that resonated with me from the moment I walked in the door of the conference. As is true of most powerful themes, it was profound in its simplicity. There is no doubt in my mind that all committed South Carolina educators, from classroom aides through the district superintendent, embrace and manifest this theme every day. While most of us do not take the time consciously to reflect on this theme each day, our actions speak volumes as to our commitment to the students of South Carolina. We have all observed, probably within the last few days, a professional educator doing something remarkable for a student. Of course, these acts are never for an extra dollar, recognition, or professional advancement. They are reflex actions that are based in the heart of the educator, who serves a child in need because it is their nature to help any and all whenever possible. No doubt, this is the embodiment of teaching being a calling rather than a job. I am confident that this issue of Palmetto Administrator, in continuing this theme, will provide many examples and opportunities for all professional educators to continue serving our students in the best possible manner. We, as administrators, have the responsibility to stand up for our students and teachers in every way possible to allow every child’s needs to be met. Through SCASA, we have done a tremendous job of finding ways to serve our schools and districts so that students remain our highest priority. The record number of members in a difficult economy only begins to demonstrate our commitment to our students. Our organization has led the way in recognizing the challenges that bullying poses to our students and in finding innovative and successful measures to combat this persistent threat. SCASA has a deep-rooted commitment to developing the leadership

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capacity among our state’s educators, an increasingly important task in light of the current attacks on our school systems. Additionally, the advocacy efforts of our organization have been directly responsible for repelling efforts to dissuade parents from our public schools while effectively promoting positive changes in legislation and regulations. Clearly, SCASA is among the strongest of voices for the education of South Carolina’s students. Chances are that you are reading this article because you are a member of SCASA. For that, I personally thank you for your commitment to our organization. However, I encourage you to take your commitment to a higher level. Take a moment to encourage a colleague that is not a member to join so that they can be a part of an ever increasingly important voice at the table of our state’s education policy. Additionally, I know that each one of us can do more to be an active part of SCASA. This can be accomplished through the various, meaningful opportunities to serve within SCASA or by simply contacting a legislator to make our voice heard on a particular issue. Attending and supporting the many professional development opportunities or implementing the bullying awareness initiative can also support our organization. Regardless of the method, simply being a member cannot be enough for our organization to continue to grow and be successful. You must be involved! In closing, it is an honor to be selected to serve as the president of SCASA this school year. I am grateful for the opportunity and I will do everything in my power to live up to and exceed your expectations of the office. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you feel I can be of any assistance. Also, please join me by taking every opportunity to thank Molly and the SCASA staff for the tremendous job they do in making our organization the positive advocate for education in our state. Finally, thank you for making our theme of “Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day” a reality for the students of South Carolina. Have a great school year! Lou Lavely


Instructional Leaders Amidst the Storm:

How to throw a lifeline to young teachers without tangling them in bureaucracy. By Linda Blackwell, Ph.D.; Zach Kelehear, Ph.D.; and Beth L. Taylor, Ph.D. Overview The purpose of this article is to look at what induction teachers are saying about South Carolina schools during their first year of teaching, especially the role of mentors in helping them succeed. District office personnel and principals prioritized a list of concerns for supporting the induction teachers and developing mentor relationships in order to provide a plan of action for the induction process. Steps for improving the application of best practices for the induction teacher and mentor relationship are provided within the content of this article.

Teacher Turnover Approximately 30% of all beginning teachers leave the profession within their first three years of teaching (NCTAF, 2003). Studies show that as many as 50% of new teachers leave the profession within the first five years (Ingersoll, 2003). Not so many years ago, a new teacher was simply handed a key to the classroom and offered little to no support or feedback throughout the induction year. However, extreme turnover and the high cost of losing promising new teachers to other professions have sparked research into the best practices for guiding new teachers. What are some of the ways a principal can sustain teachers through their induction year? Many principals provide staff development, mentors, thoughtfully-designed schedules, reduced extracurricular duty, texts, materials, software, and special training, all of which can be lifelines for new teachers. Successful induction into the field of education requires a welldesigned program to encourage great teaching and curb teacher turnover. Why does it matter that sustained support is provided to induction teachers? Most importantly, it improves learning and is good for students. It is also the law. In 2006, the South Carolina Department of Education issued Induction and Mentoring Program Implementation Guidelines as a mandate for district teacher induction programs.

• Induction programs help overcome the contributing factors for teacher turnover, including: • Inadequate support through face-to-face communication with administration. • Few opportunities for success (bombarded with information). • Little collaboration with other teachers and administration. • Unresolved student discipline concerns. • Limited input in decision making. • Inadequate resources. • Insufficient preparation for teaching assignments. Many of these factors are areas that principals can control, and good induction programs encourage them to do so. Induction teachers must be provided with sustained programmatic support for the teacher to have an opportunity to succeed.

The Study Why is this topic so important? Finding out new teachers’ perceptions allows us to address the weaknesses in our school wide practice to benefit the administration, the induction teacher, and the students. Teachers and principals can utilize the data and materials to enhance instruction, but the biggest payoff is for the students who learn from a trained

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teacher who masters good pacing, routines, and best practices. The survey instrument chosen for this research was the Perceptions of Success Inventory for Beginning Teachers (PSI-BT) (Corbell, 2008). The survey was given to induction teachers in the fall of 2010 in school districts across the upstate of South Carolina. The PSI-BT was used to help school systems identify strengths and weaknesses of the induction process, including mentor support, colleague support, administrative support, instructional resources, assignments, and workload. “Effective teachers manage to produce better student achievement regardless of which curriculum materials, pedagogical approaches, or reading programs are selected.” (Allington, 2003)

The Problem

To keep good teachers, educators need to realize that teachers crave connections (Wong, 2003). 42% of the new teachers surveyed reported that they did not meet with their mentor on a regular basis. Principals often do not understand the dynamics of identifying mentors as teacher leaders (York-Barr, 2004). 41% of the teachers surveyed reported that their mentor does not teach the same subject area or grade level as them. One of the most frequently mentioned resources to the effective functioning of a school is the professional development opportunities for new teachers (Marzano, 2005). 80% of the new teachers surveyed reported that their administrator provided them with professional development.

The problem is to retain new teachers with the goal of making schools more effective. Major challenges for new teachers include: • Knowledge of the curriculum • Classroom management • Assignments: duty, coaching, sponsorship • Working with parents • Working with mentors • Resources • Data Interpretation • Balancing work and personal life.

The most problematic areas for those who left teaching were lack of support from administrators, difficulty with students, and workload issues (Eggen, 2001). 96% of teachers surveyed reported that their administrators encourage them to be an effective teacher.

Many of the barriers for new teachers can be addressed by the administrator before school begins. The induction process provides support for all new teachers, and this process ought to be assessed. Were schools in the upstate of South Carolina meeting the needs of new teachers in 2010? The PSI-BT survey gathered their reflections on the induction year. Based on our research study, the Top 10 results are as follows:

The teacher and mentor having common planning time with other teachers in the same subject area and regularly scheduled collaboration with other teachers on issues of instruction yielded a positive result (Ingersoll and Smith, 2004). 77% of the teachers surveyed that they have common planning time with teachers in their same grade or subject area.

Sharing strategies and ideas benefits the induction teacher and mentor relationship (Clark, 2001). 88% of new teachers surveyed agreed strategies and ideas are being shared between the mentor and induction teacher. Teacher expertise is at the foundation for increasing teacher quality and advancements in teaching and learning (York-Barr and Duke, 2004). 95% of the new teachers surveyed reported that the mentoring relationship was important to them.

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Collegiality among teachers as measured by the frequency of communication, mutual support, help, etc., is a strong indicator of implementation success (Fullan, 2001). 75% of the teachers surveyed said that they have opportunities for conversations with other new teachers.

The National Education Association Foundation (2003) affirms that mentoring helps to insure that new teachers have access to accumulated instructional knowledge and expertise of their colleagues in ways that contribute to student success. 81% of the teachers surveyed reported that their mentor has assisted them with instructional concerns.


Effective teachers managed to produce better student achievement regardless of which curriculum materials, pedagogical approaches, or reading programs are selected (Allington, 2003). 98% of the teachers reported that they were able to use a variety of teaching strategies to provide students with effective instruction. A thorough commitment to the induction program is essential. Keeping logs about meetings between the mentor and induction teacher will document the ongoing discussions. The principal or designee needs to meet with the mentor and induction teacher monthly to determine how things are going, perhaps in a seminar setting. Roll play and discussions about upcoming school events, parent-teacher conferences, and Open Houses should be addressed as needed. Within the seminar time, teachers should talk about challenges or successes within their classrooms. Two-way observations should occur in fall and spring between the induction teacher and the mentor. The administration controls many of the factors in the Top 10

results. Setting the tone for the teacher, the classroom, and the school can help today and in the future. Teacher turnover greatly impacts student achievement. Research supports that there is a significant correlation between effective teaching and student achievement (Rowan, Correnti, & Miller, 2002). Teacher turnover can inhibit the development and maintenance of a learning community (Ingersoll & Smith, 2004). Decades of educational research have documented that a sense of community and cohesion among families, teachers, and students is important for the success of schools (Ingersoll & Smith, 2004). The following are recommendations for the induction teacher, the mentor, and the principal. Recommendations for the Induction Teacher: • Participate in district induction program. • Follow best practices for the induction teacher. • Communicate with mentor and principal on a regular basis.

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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Participate in staff development & training. Participate in common team planning. Recommendations for the Mentor: Attend mentor training by district. Follow best practices for mentors. Model a lesson. Observe a lesson. Review data with induction teacher. Review classroom management plan with the induction teacher. Provide feedback and listen to concerns. Recommendations for the Principal: Assign an appropriate mentor. Assign appropriate duties to induction teacher. Meet monthly with mentor and induction teacher. Complete and assign classroom observations and feedback. Provide survey to mentor and induction teacher monthly. Ask for an action plan monthly. Provide a Professional Learning Community. Be available and visible.

The South Carolina Department of Education states: “An effective induction program will increase the retention of new teachers and provide a well-trained workforce for our education programs” (SDE, 2008). Whether it is mandated by law or best practices, it is all stakeholders’ responsibilities to improve learning and do what is best for all students.

References: Allington, R. (2003). The six Ts of effective elementary literacy instruction. Retrieved from www.readingrockets.org/article.php?ID=413. Clark, F. T.(2001) The Best Practices of Mentors. Retrieved from Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, www.ascd.org. Corbell, K. (2008). Evaluating the Perceptions of Success Inventory for Beginning Teachers and its Connection to Teacher Retention. Doctoral dissertation, North Carolina State University. Eggen, B. L. (2001). Teacher attrition in South Carolina public schools. (Doctoral dissertation, University of South Carolina, 2001.) Retrieved from Dissertations & Theses @ University of South Carolina. (Publication No. AAT 3013420). Fullan, M. (2001). The new meaning of educational change (3rd ed.). New York: Teachers College Press. Ingersoll, R.M. (2003). The teacher shortage: Myth or reality? Educational Horizons, 81(3), 146-152. Ingersoll, R.M., & Smith, T.M. (2004). Do teaching induction and mentoring matter? NASSP Bulletin, 88(638), 28-40. Marzano, R. J., (2005). School leadership that works: From research to results. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. National Commission on Teaching and American’s Future {NCTAF}. (2003). No Dream Denied: A pledge to America’s children. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from www.nctaf.org. Rowan, B., Correnti, R., & Miller, R. (2002). What large-scale survey research tells us about teacher effects on student achievement: Insights from the Prospects Study of Elementary Schools. Teachers College Record, 104(8), 1525–1567. South Carolina Department of Education (SDE). (2008). What is a mentoring program? Retrieved from ed.sc.gov. Wong, H. (2003). Induction: How to train, support, and retain new teachers. Paper presented at the conference of the National Staff Development Council. York-Barr, J., & Duke, K. (2004). What do we know about teacher leadership? Findings from two decades of scholarship. Review of Educational Research, 74(3), 255–316.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Linda Blackwell, Ph.D.

Zach Kelehear, Ph.D.

973 Sherwood Circle Lancaster, SC 29720 803-283-0993

University of South Carolina Columbia, SC 29208 803-777-0323; 803-777-3090 (f)

Principal at North Elementary School in Lancaster, SC Instructional leader of an elementary school. Maintains strong lines of communication with teachers, students and parents to impact teacher and student performance.

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Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Professor of Educational Leadership Faculty Athletics Representative Research on instructional leadership and mentoring with books published on arts-based approach to implementing such. 

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Beth L. Taylor, Ph.D. Greenwood High School 1816 Cokesbury Road Greenwood, SC 29649 864-941-5615 Principal, Greenwood High School in Greenwood, SC Principal of a high school of 1700 students where all students have the opportunity to become responsible, productive citizens and life-long learners.


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The Impact of School-Based Enterprises on the Achievement and Behavior of Special Education Students By Dr. G. Cleve Pilot and Dr. Nacati Engec Introduction In today’s society, many youth are faced with life changing problems on a large scale that affect their ability to succeed educationally and socially (Sitlington & Clark, 2006; Grey, 2010). Factors such as exposure, acceptance, peer pressure, gangs, drugs and the constant reminders about preparing themselves for life after high school, tend to hinder students from ever reaching their highest potential. Many students are dealing with these problems by acting out in school, making education secondary to survival, dropping out of school and ultimately becoming a statistic by involving themselves in illegal activities that will lead them into the penile system (Block, 2000). Children are considered educationally and socially at-risk due to the number of challenges they face on a daily basis along

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with low academic achievement in school (Rozycki, 2004). If a child’s negative behavior is not corrected, such characteristics could cause them to end up in special education at an early age and will have a greater chance of dropping out of school. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004) requires that education must be provided to all children with disabilities ages 3-21, and provide education in the least restrictive appropriate placement at no cost to the student or parent. All students who are enrolled in special education must also have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) developed to meet the individual academic needs of each student. In addition, all students enrolled in special education ages 14 and older must have transition services provided by the school or school district (IDEA PL-105-17). The school district must also ensure procedural protection concerning referrals, evaluations and placement for all special education students. Finally, access to the general education curriculum or, if this is not deemed appropriate, access to an alternative curriculum, must be provided to all special education students (IDEA PL-105-17). For those students who are on a district certificate track, educational success decreases as they get older for the majority of them. Because of their beliefs about not receiving a high school diploma, the possibilities of self-contained special education students dropping out of school without penalty once they turn the legal age of 17 may increase (Holloway, 2010). Young people who drop out of high school are unlikely to have the minimum work skills needed and credentials necessary to function in today’s increasingly complex society and technological workplace (Laird, Lew, Debell, & Chapman, 2011). Special Education students who are on a certificate track tend to have the impression that post secondary education is likely for them until reality hits during their junior or senior year after meeting with their perspective guidance counselors to finalize their Individualized Graduation Plan (IGP). According to a student’s Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), transition services must be provided to them in the area of career and technology education to meet the requirements of the Education Economic Development Act (EEDA). The Education Economic Development Act of South Carolina


(2010) requires that all students must choose a major during their tenth grade year in one of the 16 career clusters that has been identified nationally and accepted by the state of South Carolina. School-based enterprises can benefit the majority of special education students including the schools, community, local businesses and industries. A wellorganized comprehensive curriculum and program that meet the needs of the students can guide special education students to a more successful educational experience. A school district in Columbia, South Carolina implemented a school-based enterprise program at the district’s career and technology center to offer students needed job skills to increase their chances of success once they have completed high school. A school-based enterprise is a school/community-based enterprise system designed to integrate academics and real world experiences. This systematic approach addresses transition services for students with special needs. School-based enterprises encourage students to put into practice what they learn in the classroom by learning job skills and operating an actual business. The money generated from the programs are utilized to fund or replenish supplies, materials, equipment, field studies, and other work related experiences. While participating in these activities, students learn specific skill competencies and overall business operations such as managing costs, ordering supplies, working under pressure, working together, completing job duties, conserving supplies and maintaining facilities. School-based enterprises not only benefit special education students, but the school as well. The benefit for the students include transferring academic and practical concepts into technical skills, applying Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) workplace competencies skills such as time management, critical thinking and applying life skills to establish a connection between education and work (Baker, 1990; College Tech Prep in North Carolina, 2010; Lindstrom, Benz, & Johnson, 1997). Students who perceive education as relevant and valuable will work harder to reach their personal goals of success. Other benefits for students who participate in school-based enterprises include improving post-high school employment prospects; practice positive work habits, having positive attitudes towards work, understand the expectations of the workplace and most importantly, will be motivated to stay in school.

Significance of the Study Many educators and parents are advocating change in reference to special education and the new EEDA accountability act. Schools and school districts are somewhat lost about the pathways for self-contained special education students. The EEDA reads, “high school students must be provided guidance and curricula that will enable them to complete successfully their individualized graduation plans, preparing them for a seamless transition to relevant employment, further training, or postsecondary study” (South Carolina Education and Economic Development Act, Ch.59 Section 59-59-20 B). Even though special education students are receiving transition services, it is sometimes hard to have low functioning special education students choose a major because their inability to relate careers with their interest. According to Kafer (2006), high school graduates lack applied skills that employers are looking for such as work ethic, communication, critical thinking and being able to work together as a team. The school-based enterprise program focuses on work skills and soft skills such as time management, work ethics, positive attitude and critical thinking skills. The program has a support system in place to provide training and development for students in career preparation activities, integrated academic skills learned in the classroom, and workbased skills learned on the job while conducting service learning activities. The support component emphasizes skill building, understanding the concept of transferable skills, learning to work as a team member, establishing relationships, ethics and honesty, and relating personal interests and abilities to real world career opportunities.

Methodology The goal of this study was to investigate if schoolbased enterprises had an effect on special education students’ academic achievement and suspension days. The study also determined if there was a difference in the achievement and suspension days of the male and female school-based enterprise students. The study revealed which program impacted academic achievement and suspension days in conjunction to the variables. The sample population that was researched consisted of 120 10th-12th grade self-contained special education students who attended one of the seven high schools in Richland County and students who attended the district’s school-based enterprise program located at the district’s career and technology center. The seven high schools

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in Richland County range from rural environments to the urban setting in Columbia, SC. The population of sample (Group A) consisted of 60 self-contained special education students who were enrolled in traditional special education programs at one of the seven high schools in Richland County. The match sample (Group B) consisted of 60 self-contained special education students who attended one of the seven high schools, but were enrolled in the school-based enterprise program located at the district’s career center. The population of sample (Group C) consisted of the female students who attended the district’s school-based enterprise program. The match sample (Group D) consisted of the male students who attended the school-based enterprise program. The sample population of (Group A) was derived from a random sample of the students who received their special education transition at one of the high schools located in the district. The sample population for (Group B) derived from a random sample of the students who were enrolled in one of the seven high schools in Richland County, but who received their special education transition course in the school-based enterprise program located at the district’s career and technology center. The sample population for Groups C and D derived from the students who were enrolled in the school-based enterprise program. All of the students were identified as selfcontained special education and will not receive a sate diploma but a district certificate of completion.

Findings The results of this study showed the findings of student achievement and out-of-school suspension days between special education students who received career transition services through traditional special education programs and those students who received career transition services through school-based enterprises. The final results indicated that those students who participated in the school-based enterprise programs received less suspension

days and exhibited higher student achievement than those students who attended traditional special education classes at the home school. Table 1 shows the grade point averages for the traditional and school-based enterprise students ranging from the lowest GPA to the highest a GPA for both groups. The mean Grade Point Average (GPA) for Group A which was 1.876 with the standard deviation of .773, where scores ranged from 0.1 as the low and 3.5 as the high. The median GPA for group A was 1.9. An astonishing 37 (61.6 %) of the traditional special education students had a GPA of 2.0 or below while only 3 (5%) of the traditional special education students had a GPA above a 3.0. Students’ grade point averages were calculated and computed on a 4.0 scale. The mean Grade Point Average (GPA) for Group B was 2.985 with the standard deviation of .570, where scores ranged from 1.4 as the low and 3.9 as the high. The median GPA for Group B was 3.1. Of the total, 34 (56.7%) of the students had a GPA above 3.0 while only four (6%) students had a GPA of 2.0 or below. Students’ grade point averages were calculated and computed on a 4.0 scale. Table 1 presents the selected descriptive statistical data in reference to grade point average for sample Groups A and B. The first research question examined whether or not a significant difference exists in the achievement between the school-based enterprise students and the students who participated in the traditional special education program. The second research question examined whether or not a significant difference exists in the achievement between the school-based enterprise males and females. Table 2 shows the grade point averages by gender for the traditional and school-based enterprise male and female students. The results indicated that the school-based enterprise male and female students overall GPA’s were higher than that of their peers in the traditional program, with the females outscoring

Table 1 Selected Descriptive Statistical Grade Point Average Data for Group A Traditional and Group B School-Based Enterprise Students GPA Range 0.0-1.5 1.6-2.0 2.1-2.5 2.6-3.0 3.1-3.5 3.6-4.0

Trad. Students 18 19 10 10 3 0

Cumulative f % Rate 30% 31.60% 16.70% 16.70% 5% 0%

12 PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR • WINTER 2012

SBE Students 1 3 8 14 25 9

Cumulative f % Rate 1% 5% 13.40% 24% 41.70% 15%


Table 2 Selected Descriptive Statistical Comparison Grade Point Average Data for Traditional and School-Based Enterprise Males and Females Program School-Based Enterprises

Traditional

Total

Gender Females Males Total Avg. Females Males Total Avg. Females Males Total Avg.

Mean 3.225 2.825 3.025 2.1300 1.7500 1.9400 2.6775 2.2875 2.4825

Std. Deviation .40243 .61382 .50812 .79875 .73798 .76836 .60059 .67590 .63824

N 24 36 60 20 40 60 44 76 120

Table 3 Selected Descriptive Statistical Suspension Data for Group A Traditional and Group B School-Based Enterprise Students OSS Days 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Trad. Students 31 2 1 6 1 2 9 4 1 3

Cumulative f % Rate 51.70% 3.40% 1.70% 10% 1.70% 3.40% 15% 6.70% 1.70% 5%

their peers in both the school-based enterprise and the traditional programs with the females in the school-based enterprise program outscoring them all. Table 3 shows the suspension days for the traditional and school-based enterprise students. The mean suspension days of Group A (traditional students) were 2.55 with the median suspension days of zero with the standard deviation of 3.08. The suspension frequency ranged from zero to as many as nine days out of school suspensions where as 5% of the students received nine days out of school. A total of 51.7 % of the students in sample Group A did not receive any out of school suspension days, which were 31 students of the total sample group. Close to 32%, about 19 students received five or more days out of school suspension. The mean suspension days of Group B (SBE students) were .25 with the median suspension days of zero with a standard deviation of .787. The suspension frequency ranged from zero to three days out-of- school suspensions where as 1% of the students received three days out of school suspension. Approximately 90% of the students

SBE Students 54 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

Cumulative f % Rate 90% 8% 1% 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%

in sample Group B did not received any out-of-school suspension days, which were 54 students in the sample group Groups A and B. Table 3 presents the selected descriptive statistical data in reference to suspension days for sample Groups A and B. The third research question examined whether or not a significant difference exists in the suspension days between the school-based enterprise students and the students who participated in the traditional special education program. The fourth research question examined whether or not a significant difference exists in the suspension days between the school-based enterprise males and females. Table 4 shows the suspension days by gender for the traditional and school-based enterprise male and female students. The results indicated that the school-based enterprise male and female students received less than one day of suspension while their peers in the traditional program were averaging more than 2 days out of school suspension. The male and female students in the school-based enterprise program did not display a significant difference in the number of days

WINTER 2012 • PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR 13


Table 4 Selected Descriptive Statistical Suspension Data for Traditional and school-based enterprise Males and Females Program SBE Students

Traditional Students

Total

Gender Females Males Total Avg. Females Males Total Avg. Females Males Total Avg.

received, while the male traditional special education students were averaging close to 3 suspension days out of school. Table 4 shows the suspension day averages by gender for the traditional and school-based enterprise students.

Conclusions The study revealed school-based enterprise programs has a positive impact on special education students’ educational success. Students who perceive education as relevant and useful will not only experience less discipline problems but will also achieve at a higher level. The study also explained how school-based enterprises can benefit special education students and equip them with hands on applied education to successfully gain useable work skills for life after high school. The proper implementation and utilization of the six key factors of the Special Education High Achievement Model developed by Dr. Pilot will increase the chances of special education students overall success while in the program. If special education programs are not able to implement a school-based enterprise, they can still utilize the key factors within a suitable specialized program to increase students’ success and decrease behavior problems. Finally, the findings from this study have substantial implications on the achievement and discipline for special education students and how their success rate and employability opportunities can be increased. The findings also revealed that school-based enterprises engaged students to participate more in education through hands on application, which motivated students to stay in school longer and focus more on their education and life after high school. The statistical findings of this

14 PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR • WINTER 2012

Mean .20 .28 .24 1.95 2.85 2.40 1.07 1.56 1.31

Std. Deviation .721 .848 .787 2.762 3.231 3.089 2.083 2.739 2.525

N 24 36 60 20 40 60 44 76 120

study confirmed the positive impact in which school-based enterprises had on academic achievement and student behavior among self-contained special education students.

REFERENCES Baker, K. N. (1990). Rural school-based enterprise: Promise and practice in the southeast. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED330513) Block, A. K. (2000). Special education law & delinquent children: An overview. Charlottesville, VA: Institute of Law, Psychiatry & Public Policy, University of Virginia Holloway, C. F. (2010). Inclusive schools and dropout rates: A phenomenological approach (Doctoral dissertation). Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3391494) Kafer, K. (2006). High School, College Graduates Lack Basic and Applied Skills, Employers Say. School Reform News. Retrieved from http://www.heartland.org/policybot/results/20280/High_School_ College_Graduates_Lack_Basic_and_Applied_Skills_Employers_Say. html Laird, L., Lew, S., Debell, M., and Chapman, C.D. (2011). Child Trends (2010) High School Dropout Rates. Retrieved from www. childtrendsdatabank.org/alphalist Rozycki, E. (2004). Identifying the “At Risk” Student: What is the Concern? Educational Horizons, vol. 82, no. 3. Retrieved from http:// www.newfoundations.com/EGR/AtRisk.html Sitlington, P. L., & Clark, G. M. (2006). Transition education and services for students with disabilities (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson. South Carolina Code of Laws Title 59 Chapter 18 (2010). Education Accountability Act. Retrieved from http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/ t59c018.htm South Carolina Code of Laws Title 59 Chapter 59 (2010). Education and Economic Development Act. Retrieved from http://www.scstatehouse. gov/code/t59c059. U.S. Department of Education (2004b). Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (Public Law 105-17). Retrieved from http://www.insource.org/pl105017.htm U.S. Department of Education (2004b). Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-446). Retrieved from http://idea.ed. gov/download/statute.html


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Providing Focus: Expectations, Differentiation and Environment By Dereck H. Rhoads, Ed.D. During the 2010-2011 school year I had the privilege of leading the opening of a new middle school. Establishing focus for our work allowed our staff to develop as a team, articulate beliefs, and agree on the actions need to reach all learners. As a result, our staff successfully dealt with change and the challenges of opening a new school. The experience of opening a new school reaffirmed my belief in the importance of believing in our abilities and the abilities of our students, differentiating instruction and assessment, and ensuring an environment for learning.

Beliefs and Expectations The impact of teacher expectations on student achievement is one of the most widely researched areas in education. “Expectations regarding student achievement do affect teacher behavior and teacher behavior then affects student achievement” (Marzano as cited in Umphrey, 2008, p. 17). Eliciting the best from our students meant that we, as a faculty, needed to believe in our own abilities to reach even the most reluctant learners. In fact, “the collective efficacy of the teachers in a school is a better predictor of student success in schools than is the socioeconomic status of the students” (Marzano, Waters, and McNulty, 2005, p. 99). Professional athletes often cite a person who “believed” in them as a driving force for success. Likewise, educators have postulated for many years that expectations regarding student achievement do affect teacher behavior, and in turn teacher behavior affects student achievement. As noted by Blankstein (2004), “the link between success in a given endeavor and our belief in our ability to succeed is well established” (p. 17). Every teacher needs to believe that they can inspire students to believe in their own ability and then scaffold the student experience so individual students actualize

16 PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR • WINTER 2012

that expectation. Consider a note taking technique to support students from the perspective of two different authors. “Providing students with a fill-in-the-blank-style advance organizer is a great scaffolding move that also serves as a summarization device (Wormeli, 2005, p. 44). Heward (1996) also identified fill-in-the-blank “guided notes” as an effective instructional technique for “helping students with learning disabilities (and their classmates) succeed in the regular classroom” (p. 230). Seeking out effective strategies is an outgrowth of belief in the ability of every student to learn as well as a staff’s belief in their abilities to reach all students. Next, we need to consider the importance of differentiating instruction and assessment so that our beliefs are actualized through our pedagogy.

Differentiated Instruction and Assessment According to Weinstein (2002), “if teachers are fully persuaded that children have multiple abilities, that ability is malleable, and that all can meet a specified standard, they will feel encouraged to broaden their teaching strategies and offer a wider range of performance opportunities that would measure competencies” (p. 207). As professionals we are constantly learning and refining our craft. Curriculum, instruction, and assessment are the cornerstones of what we do. Recording and reporting student progress links our work with next steps so that our efforts, and the efforts of our students, can be focused. Student achievement can be improved when teachers track student progress according to identified learning targets (Pollock, 2007). Aligning our assessments to the standards we seek to teach is essential for recording and reporting to be most effective. Differentiated instruction means addressing students’ readiness needs and their preferred way of learning so that teachers recognize and accommodate for the ways students vary as learners (Tomlinson as cited in


Rebora, 2008). However, differentiated instruction is not a “try anything” approach. In fact, specific principles of differentiated instruction have been identified (Tomlinson & Eidson, 2003) as well as best practice techniques (Tomlinson, 2003). For example, Tomlinson and Eidson (2003) identified six principles focusing on curriculum, individual learners, challenging tasks, flexible grouping, varied assessments, and grading for growth as “… key principles that typify a defensibly differentiated classroom” (p. 13). Advancing our understanding of differentiated instruction and assessment is assisting us in our collective efforts to positively impact student achievement. In fact, our staff is conducting a book study of Fulfilling the promise of the differentiated classroom: Strategies and tools for responsive teaching (Tomlinson, 2003) to assist us in advancing our abilities to differentiate instruction and assessment. We now turn our attention to an environment for learning.

An Environment for Learning For effective instruction to take place the environment of the classroom must first be attended to by the teacher (Wong & Wong, 1998). Teachers have used Physical Proximity (Gordon, 2001), Positive Reinforcement (Cameron, Banko & Pierce, 2001) and Token Economy systems (Brophy, 1983) successfully to try to shape proper behavior and to create an environment conducive for learning. In offering suggestions for Differentiated Instruction, Tomlinson (2003) addressed the importance of classroom environment by stating, “environment will support or deter the student’s quest for affirmation, contribution, power, purpose, and challenge in the classroom” (p. 37). In discussing research on how the brain functions, Jensen (2005) noted the importance of building a supportive environment to support learning. Goleman (2006) also wrote on the importance of environment stating, “by offering a secure base, a teacher creates an environment that lets students’ brains function at their best” (p. 283). Research on school connectedness confirms that when students feel connected to their school they are more successful (Breaking rankings in the middle: Strategies for leading middle level reform, 2006). The literature is clear that a positive and supportive environment is essential for learning. In addition, we also have an intuitive understanding that connecting with students and individualizing the school experience makes sense. We need only remember our own school experiences to affirm our belief in the power of environment and personal connection. At our school, teachers model and discuss appropriate emotional and physical responses on an ongoing basis. In addition, we have a daily advisor/

advisee program were we teach school-wide behaviors and universal values, as well as provide behavior and academic support to individual students. We embraced the Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) approach to help align our individual and team efforts into a cohesive school-wide approach. Whether controlling impulse, putting off gratification, or controlling moods, Goleman (1995) made the point that emotions impact people’s lives and children must be given instruction on how to use their emotions in a positive manner. Many believe that schools should not be expected to take the place of families and I wholeheartedly agree. However, as Goleman aptly noted, “as family life no longer offers growing numbers of children a sure footing in life, schools are left as the one place communities can turn to for correctives to children’s deficiencies in emotional and social competence” (p. 279). As some students have more “deficiencies” than others, the amount and types of support individual students need may vary. However, some infractions are not open to a range of responses and consistency must be maintained. Thankfully, we have a district-wide discipline handbook. We believe it is essential that we assist our students and families with understanding our policies, procedures, and expectations. As noted by Brown and Beckett (2006), “…discipline policies that are understood and accepted by teachers, students, and parents and consistently enforced by school officials, correlate with lower levels of student disruption” (p. 235). We remain committed to being consistent and ensuring our community understands our behavior expectations and consequences. We focus on teaching proper behavior and procedures, positively reinforcing expectations, and consistently applying consequences so that an environment for learning flourishes. As principal, I must be able to provide focus for our staff. Believing in our abilities and the abilities of our students, differentiating instruction and assessment, and ensuring an environment for learning provided a foundation for success and the needed focus to successfully serve our students.

References Breaking ranks in the middle: Strategies for leading middle level reform. (2006). Reston, VA: NASSP. Blankstein, A. M. (2004). Failure is not an option: Six principles that guide student achievement in high-performing schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Brophy, J. E. (1983). Classroom organization and management. The Elementary School Journal. Special Issue: Research on Teaching, 83(4), 264. Brown, L. H., & Beckett, K. S. (2006). The role of the school district in student discipline: Building consensus in Cincinnati. The Urban Review, 38(3), 235-256.

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Cameron, J., Banko, K. M., & Pierce, W. D. (2001). Pervasive negative effects of rewards on intrinsic motivation: the myth continues. The Behavior Analyst, 24, 1-44. Gordon, D.G. (2001). Classroom management problems and solutions. Music Educators Journal, 88(2), 17-23. Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ. New York: Bantam. Goleman, D. (2006). Social intelligence: the new science of human relationships. New York: Bantam. Heward, W. L. (1996). Exceptional children: An introduction to special education (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Jensen, E. (2005). Teaching with the brain in mind (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005). School leadership that works: From research to results. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Pollock, J. E. (2007). Improving student learning: one teacher at a time. Alexandria: VA: ASCD. Rebora, A. (2008). Making a difference: Carol Ann Tomlinson explains how differentiated instruction works and why we need it now. Teacher Magazine, 19(1). Tomlinson, C. A. (2003). Fulfilling the promise of the differentiated classroom: Strategies and tools for responsive teaching. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Tomlinson, C. A., & Eidson, C. C. (2003). Differentiation in practice: A resource guide for differentiating curriculum. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Umphrey, J. (2008, January). Producing learning: A conversation with Robert Marzano. Principal Leadership, 8, 16-20. Weinstein, R. S. (2002). Reaching higher: the power of expectations in schooling. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Wong, H. K., & Wong, R. T. (1998). How to be an effective teacher: the first days of school. Mountain View, CA: Harry Wong Publications. Wormeli, R. (2005). Summarization in any subject: 50 techniques to improve student learning. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

About the Author Dereck H. Rhoads, Ed.D. 30 New Mustang Drive Bluffton, SC 29910 (843) 707-0700 Dereck Rhoads served as principal for two previous schools before moving to Bluffton, South Carolina in July 2010 to become Bluffton Middle School’s first principal.

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Good vs. Best: Increase Learning for Every Student through Profiling By Douglas Smith, Ph.D. Under the magnifying lens of school report cards, teacher accountability, NCLB, and other initiatives, the stakes are high when conversations turn to measures of student achievement. As we pull back the lens and broaden our view to look at our society over a longer period, we see that the stakes are even higher where real student learning is concerned. In today’s educational climate, we face the challenge to thrive when availability of many instructional resources hinges on our schools and district’s ability to demonstrate continuous improvement through increasing achievement test scores. The very survival of some schools and districts seems to hang on answering the pressing question, “how can we raise our test scores?” As tempting as it may be, focusing on test scores is much like trying to adjust the path of an arrow in flight. As we know, it is much easier to adjust the archer’s technique before the arrows release. Perhaps we are focusing too much on the arrow, and not enough on the archer. Holcomb (2008) suggested that asking the right question is a fundamental imperative if education at the classroom, school, or district level is to improve. Instead of asking, “how do I raise test scores in my building or district?” a better question to ask might be, “how do I increase student learning in my building or district?” Intuitively, educators believe that deeper understanding of how students learn combined with other measures commonly taken to prepare students for standardized testing will inevitably increase learning and achievement. Still, schools tend “muddle through” as best they can, completing only half of this plan. Why do we tend to teach test taking skills but not gather and use critical information about our student? Because until now, the processes involved with gathering these vital pieces of information have been so cumbersome and time-intensive, that the trade-off of instructional time has seemed at best impractical and at worst, unwise. So, the part of the solution to this challenge that schools and districts tend to omit is to commit to investing in systemic, organized steps to know each learner deeply, and then increase learning by constructing content and instruction that matches learner needs. Herein, the term “profile” is defined as both the process and product resulting from efforts

20 PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR • WINTER 2012

made to discover and quantify each student’s individual characteristics on a variety of axes relevant to maximizing her or his learning and achievement.

What Gets Overlooked Without Individual Profiling? The short answer is, “too much!” Students are complex. Every student represents a collection of developmental, attitudinal, physiological, cognitive, and many other characteristics. Discoveries about how students think, process information, act, make decisions, and live their lives all have implications for how they learn best. When we carefully chart each student’s uniqueness, we may arrive at a profile that not only represents the student’s characteristics, but also clarifies the best ways to teach her or him both individually and as a member of groups. With a little diagnostic work, we can understand both the similarities among and differences between our students and how to maximize each student’s learning. Researchers and educational theorists such as Piaget (1976), Bronfenbrenner (2004), Erikson (1950), Kohlberg (1976), Sternberg (2002), Gardner (1983), and others have identified and defined many areas of development and cognition related to the teaching and learning processes where students differ from each other, even within the same classroom. Child developmental theorists, educational psychologists, and highly acclaimed educators have identified and delineated even more areas of measurable differences between children’s: • abilities to think and process information (Klahr & MacWhitney, 1998; Piaget, 1969, 1976); • preferences for learning/instructional modalities – (Armstrong, 1993, 1994; Dunn, 1984; Gardner, 1983); • motivations for how they relate to one another (Erikson, 1963); and • needs for certain environmental factors that facilitate their academic success (Jensen, 2005). Effective teachers and schools recognize, respect, and reflect these differences in their day-to-day operation and instruction. Skillful application of knowledge about a student’s development coupled with thoughtful administrative oversight has great potential to increase learning and achievement within classrooms and


throughout districts. An accurate and comprehensive student Student Curriculum profile provides teachers and administrators with information   Typically driven by Characterized by about these factors that otherwise Standards which dictate remain unknown and unused. Using information about Domain for Instruction Multiple Intelligences profile Teacher’s students to drive planning and (Cognitive, Affective, Role instruction is not a new concept. Psychomotor) Bredekamp (1987) addressed this Cognitive Developmental level Diagnose students thought when she coined the term, (individually and as a     ‘developmentally appropriate class) and ensure Bloom’s Taxonomic Level reasonable Ecological backdrop practice.’ This notion stems from (Knowledge, Comprehension, implementation of a fundamental recognition that Application, Analysis, implications from   these  variables to Synthesis/Evaluation) curriculum and instruction should produce Psychosocial level be organized and implemented in ways that reflect and respect children’s development. Tomlinson (2000) used the term ‘differentiation of instruction’ to Classroom Instruction that is characterize attempts by teachers Student Centered, to adjust instruction to the needs Developmentally of learners. Both differentiation Responsive, Achievement Oriented and developmentally appropriate   practice have gained wide acceptance as “best” practices for Figure 1: A Model for Balancing Classroom Instruction (Smith, 2009) instruction. According to these, and many other respected educators, instructional time for it to be practical. Thanks to the the message seems clear; in order advent of recent technological advances, profiling students for a school to be effective, every teacher must know every is no longer so time-intensive as to be out of reach. student and must teach accordingly in order to maximize student learning and achievement. Increased Achievement through Because we know that students are different from Student Profiling one another, we can also be sure that a “one-size-fits-all” instructional approach is unlikely to be the most effective Fig. 1 depicts some important factors influencing way to teach them. Rather, an approach to instruction effective classroom instruction. Note that each of the that is reflective of the proclivities and capabilities theories referenced on the left side of the graphic indicated by each student’s instructional/developmental represent information that must be known in order for the profile is more likely to increase student learning. student to be fully considered when planning instruction. Knowing a student’s needs requires accurate diagnosis. The right side presents domains for content presentation Teaching accordingly requires careful analysis of the and levels at which learners must understand required standards to be taught with an eye to matching learning content. Teachers commonly include these in their goals to appropriate instruction that is based on student planning. The final piece of the instructional puzzle is needs. There is good and bad news associated with this the teacher who must analyze, balance, and produce approach. The good news, presented below, is that there instruction that is responsive to the combination of these are data demonstrating increased student learning and classroom-based factors. Effective teachers balance the achievement when teachers implement developmentally forces and factors within their control with studentresponsive instruction. As stated earlier, the bad news centered, developmentally-responsive, achievementhas been that teachers who want to know their students oriented instruction as their goal. Teachers who do not to this depth by developing individual profiles for consider student characteristics are not as effective as each student have found they must sacrifice too much they could be. By analysing the developmental profile

WINTER 2012 • PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR 21


information to be used to track performance and achievement gains. Also provided on each report were recommendations about researchbased specific instructional approaches that represented the combination of all the measured factors. These instructional guidelines predicted increased learning for each student. Teachers then used the information in the reports to inform their planning and instruction during the treatment period. Effectiveness of the process was measured using student gains in scores from Fall to Winter administrations of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) instrument; a nationally standardized and commonly used achievement test for benchmarking student academic progress in grades 2 through ten (NWEA, 2010). Data reported here reflect the Fall and Winter administrations of the test in each school immediately preceding and following the treatment period. Actual student gains from Fall to Winter were compared with expected student gains published by the Figure 2: Sample Student Developmental Profile from LCAS Program (used with permission) NWEA (2008.) Students completed three content sections on the MAP; of the students, teachers begin to understand the mathematics, reading, and language usage. Results of parameters that must guide their instruction. By artfully these tests are reported by NWEA as both percentile and combining these two sets of knowledge, the teacher may RIT scale scores. Because the RIT scale scores represent make informed decisions about instruction that will result equal intervals of item difficulty, increases in scale scores in increased student achievement. represent increases in student content mastery, herein referred to as increased achievement. Research-Based Evidence Of Increased Table 1 presents expected (regular font) and Student Learning through Profiling actual (bold font) achievement gains resulting from The diagnostic-prescriptive approach briefly described implementation of the diagnostic/prescriptive process above was implemented in two failing schools in South described earlier. Data were gathered from September of Carolina with students in grades 3-6. Students in 2008 to January of 2009. these classes completed the diagnostic activities on Data in Table 1 indicate achievement gains in all grade the Learning Curve Achievement Systems (LCAS) levels of approximately 2 to 2.5 times the expected. In website (see demonstration website http://demo. addition to increased levels of content understanding increaseachievement.com). Teachers received diagnostic and the resulting increases in achievement test scores, profile reports for each student similar to the one in teachers involved in the study also reported a decrease Fig. 2. These reports contained information from the in severe classroom management issues (that is, those diagnostic instrument on the website related to each resulting in disciplinary referrals) of nearly 60%. student’s cognitive, and psychosocial development, Anecdotally, these results are similar to results obtained her or his multiple intelligences profile, and test score by nearly 200 teachers in grades 2-12 who implemented

22 PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR • WINTER 2012


Expected / Actual Achievement Gains in RIT Scores Grade

Math

Reading

Language Usage

Percent Actual Gains are of Expected Gains by Grade Level

3

5.9 / 8.8

4.7 / 11

5.4 / 11

195.63%

4

3.6 / 9.4

3.6 / 10.9

3.9 / 8

256.34%

5

4.3 / 8.7

2.9 / 7.7

3.0 / 5.6

218.17%

6

3.1 / 4.6

2.2 / 5.4

2.3 / 5

203.74%

Table 1: Achievement Increases from September 2008 to January 2009 for Grades 3-6 in Two Failing South Carolina Schools

this diagnostic/prescriptive approach to instruction, however, because those results were achieved using teacher-constructed assessments for which no reliability and validity information is available, those data will not be reported here.

Where to Begin: Making “Good” Practice into “Best” Practice Results from these two schools suggest that broadbased, systemic use of instructional profiling has significant potential as a tool to initiate fundamental change in the academic landscape at the classroom, school and even district level. In order for improvement in a school or district to happen, changes must not only be systemic, but they must address fundamental needs. In the midst of the many well-conceived curriculum and instruction models available, this approach stands in a class by itself because it effectively addresses a fundamental truth about learning and teaching. That is, ultimately, learning and teaching are not about the curriculum; they are about the student. The website referenced in the results above provides a comprehensive, scalable, interactive, and secure support system for diagnosis of students and management of best instructional practices. The barrier of time intensive and cumbersome diagnostic processes for gathering important information about every student has finally come down. To learn more about LCAS, please contact the author at doug_smith@increaseachievement.com or visit us online at http://demo.increaseachievement.com.

References Armstrong, T. (1993). Seven kinds of smart: Identifying and developing your many intelligences. New York: Plume Armstrong, T. (1994). Multiple intelligences in the classroom. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Bredekamp, S. (1987). Developmentally appropriate practices in early childhood programs: Serving children from birth through age 8. Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Bronfenbrenner, U. (2004). Making human beings human. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Dunn, R. (1984). Learning style: State of the science. Theory Into Practice 23(1), 10-19. Erikson, E. H. (1950). Childhood and Society. New York: Norton. Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and Society (2nd ed.). New York: Norton. Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books. Holcomb, E. (2008). Asking the right questions: Tools for collaboration and school change, 3rd Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Jensen, E. (2005). Teaching with the Brain in Mind, 2nd Ed. Washington D.C.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Klahr, D., & MacWhitney, B. (1998). Information Processing. In W. Damon, D. Kuhn & R. S. Steiger (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology (5th ed., Vol. 2), (pp. 631-678.) New York: John Wiley. Kohlberg, L. (1976). Moral stages and moralization: The cognitive-developmental approach. In Lickona (Ed.), Moral development and behavior. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Learning Curve Achievement Systems (2011). Sample student profile. Retrieved 9-14-2011 from http://demo.increaseachievement.com/studentdetails.php?thisid= 540010002761&crid=82. Reprinted with permission. Northwest Evaluation Association (2008). 2008 Normative Data. Retrieved 9-20-2010 from http://www.nwea.org/sites/www.nwea.org/files/support_articles/ Normative%20Data%20Sheet_v2.pdf Northwest Evaluation Association (2010). The RIT scale. Retrieved 9-20-2010 from http://www.nwea.org/support/article/532. Piaget, J. (1969). Science of education and the psychology of the child. New York: Viking Piaget, J. (1976). Judgment and reason in the child. Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams. Smith, D. (2009). Using what we know: A practical guide to increasing student achievement. Denver, CO: Outskirts. Sternberg, R. (2002). Intelligence: The triarchic theory of intelligence. In J.W. Gutherie (Ed.), Encyclopedia of education (2nd ed.). New York: Macmillan. Tomlinson, C. A. (August, 2000). Differentiation of instruction in the elementary grades. (ED-PO-00-7) Wang, M. C., Haertel, G. D., & Walberg, H. J. (1993/1994). What helps students learn? Educational Leadership 51(4), 74-79.

About the Author Douglas Smith, Ph.D. 305 Lakeland Drive Conway, SC 29526 843-907-4001 Teacher, professor, author, and consultant, Douglas Smith has developed, tested, and now made available his innovative web-based diagnostic/prescriptive approach to increasing student learning and achievement.

WINTER 2012 • PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR 23


The Quest: No Walls, No Limits! By Derek McQuiston What is the The Quest? Or, perhaps more importantly, what is it not? The Quest is a playground for teaching and learning. It is every teacher’s dream—a classroom that can break the rules! The name was chosen because it embodies not only what I believe as a teacher, but it also declares the purpose of what we are doing in Rock Hill Schools. We are a 5th grade class of 24 students and one teacher who have embarked together on a journey marked by adventure in pursuit of answers to inquiries. When I began to plan and create this new program just a few short months ago, I started with a list of very basic and common questions that all teachers ask: • How do we create a learning experience for students that makes, includes, and even celebrates the differentiation students need and teachers know they should provide? • How do we accomplish the teaching and mastery of all required curriculum standards and all of the life skills and character education with the present constraints and mandates on our time? • How do we get students more involved, engaged, and accountable for their own learning? These inquiries grew as I talked and researched, collaborated and networked with teachers and district leaders from all over the country. By the end of the summer, these same questions became the framework for what The Quest is and what we want to become. We borrowed a great idea from a charter school in California, and we had several ah-ha moments while talking to a teacher in New York City. And equally as important, we talked to students and thought about what they wanted school to be. We are a pilot program in Rock Hill Schools that is working to create a super-engaging environment for students and teachers. This includes saturation with technology, project-based and problem-based learning, flexible scheduling, and also hands-on experiences embedded weekly into our schedule to promote the learning of the whole child beyond the walls of a classroom to help students take the skills we teach in public schools and connect those skills to real life. We are a classroom with no walls, a place where our learning has not limits. We are The Quest: No Walls, No Limits!

24 PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR • WINTER 2012

What are our guiding beliefs? • Learning is not a one-size-fits-all experience. • Learning does not have to start and end when a bell rings. • Learning is maximized by constant communication. • Learning should be active. • Learning is not just how much you know. It is important to point out that this is not a charter school. We are a public education program that is a “program of choice” for students in Rock Hill, South Carolina. This year, being the pilot year, the program is focused at one elementary school where students opted in from the school’s zoned population. The response to the initial parent meetings was overwhelming! The pilot group was slated to cap at 20 students. However, when we reached almost 50 applicants, a blind lottery was put into place. There were absolutely no discriminating factors included in the lottery and no set list of requirements one must meet, which was one of my non-negotiable beliefs about what I wanted The Quest to be. This was not going to be a class of just gifted and talented students, although they were more than welcome. I wanted all types of students, from all types of life backgrounds and home environments, because that’s what classrooms should look like. GT? Sure, you can be in the program! Resource, come on in! Boy versus girl? We just put them all in the lottery and waited to see how it turned out. I also made the decision that a class of 20 students simply wasn’t enough—I wanted more. Therefore, 24 kids were selected from a computerized lottery. These amazing young adults truly come from all walks of life, all racial backgrounds, and all levels of previous success in school. I have four students who have been identified as gifted and talented, six students who receive services from special education, 13 boys, 11 girls, and right at 50 percent of my class is on free/reduced lunch. Once the lottery was completed, we, as a class, threw all of that background data into a trash can, literally, and began to come to together to live, learn, and teach each other as one collective community.


What do our weeks look like? We are on campus in a classroom Monday-Wednesday just like any other class, starting at 7:40 a.m. However, when the elementary school where we are housed dismisses students at 2:25, we stay for two additional hours. Quest students are dismissed at 4:30 on these days and must be picked up by 5:00. The longer day was designed because I wanted to get rid of the choppy schedule that sometimes happens in a traditional school setting in order to accommodate lunch and special area schedules. I also know so many teachers that flip flop between science and social studies instruction in the elementary setting because they just don’t have time to do both each day. With the longer day, I have more time to include all subject areas in our integrated curriculum. Also, I am able to create several two-hour uninterrupted blocks of time for learning. We pushed the special area activities that students would miss on Thursdays and Fridays into Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. During the long and intense days of learning at school, students get two special areas. The final schedule worked out to be two hours of teaching, special area 1, two more hours of teaching, lunch/recess, special area 2, and then two more hours of teaching. Imagine in just three days getting 18 true hours of uninterrupted teaching time with students that does not include special areas, lunch or recess! Most weeks, our class is empty on Thursdays because we go on a field study trip. I know what you are thinking: “Who pays for the trips?” Well, with some creative planning, fantastic parents, and a very extensive release form, we load students into the vehicles of parents who are able to drive that week and head off Students learn math at RiverWalk. on an adventure. The trips are not designed to be a surface level visit to Carowinds or to a museum. Instead, we travel to a free venue with a very specific purpose. Recently, we went to a local outdoor walking trail in our city during a unit on Numbers and Operations through the lens of a mathematician, stopping every few minutes to do sidewalk division. Wouldn’t we all agree that division with an algorithm needs some pizzazz? In an upcoming

trip we are hiking Crowder’s Mountain to spend the day understanding and documenting food webs and food chains. In addition to getting kids outside the walls of the school, the design of the trips involves many of the 21st Century learner models like collaboration and problemsolving. On the trips, much like in our classroom, students work to complete a challenge as a group, solve a community or school problem as a team, and then we always build time into the activities for them to communicate with other teams and to question each other, reason, reflect, and then express new realizations. Here lately, these conversations have also led to many, many more inquiries. After a busy week of learning at school and during a field study trip, students actually work from home on Fridays! Yes, you read correctly . . . they do not come to school. Every child is equipped with an iPad2 that is web-enabled, thanks to a local business partnership. The students use a social media platform called Edmodo to view assignments and projects, to take part in whole group Students enjoy using iPads. and small group conversations, and even to check mastery levels and progress reports with the grade book tool. An added bonus is that every parent is also on Edmodo where they can view progress and communicate with me and their child about performance. I love the fact that parents can see what their child is saying during the conversations we have on Edmodo and can promote that learning and understanding at home. We were very lucky to acquire the iPads with district funds this year. However, this concept could even be a cost-saver for many districts if we can convince our state policy makers to shift money earmarked for textbook allocation to money that can be spent on non-consumable resources like laptops and iPads. Many, many teachers hear about our Friday schedule and then ask through hisses, glares, and clenched teeth, “If the students are not there, what are you doing on Fridays?” The response: “I am working.” I might be at Starbucks meeting with a guided reading group.

WINTER 2012 • PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR 25


I could be at home on my couch video-conferencing to tutor a student who needs extra help with a reconstruction project. With awesome technology, students can access me anytime, all the time. It is not uncommon for me to do an impromptu minilesson at 8:30 at night when a student calls in need of assistance. In addition, the freedom of having an empty classroom on Fridays allows me to commit the entire day to Tier 2 and Tier 3 intervention for my students who need extra help in mastering skills or who need to be pushed harder to learn and grow with an independent study because they mastered the skills on the pretest before we even started the unit. The beauty in this design is the support for all types of learners. The idea of a “flexible Friday” is new, it’s different, and it creates tons of positive and negative conversation among people that I talk with about this revolutionary program. However, it is working. The kids are engaged and they are learning! Just this week, I was able to commit three hours to one child who was having a very difficult time with fractions. No interruptions, no distractions, just dedicated time during the school day with one student. Where else can you get that? Afterwards, I met with a guided reading group off campus and then met up with a few boys in my class to play basketball and talk about books. I was having a hard time building a relationship with them as readers and writers, so I was able to find a connection to help motivate them to read. These Friday experiences have become a major part of how I get to know my students; how I even assess and support them; and also how I guarantee that I am providing all students in my class with what they need. Once teachers, parents, and community members get over the unusual fact that I am not mandated to report to school on Fridays, it has quickly become a very powerful teaching tool and some of the most important time I’ve had with my students. Since we are just in the first nine weeks of school, we have only formative data at this point. Yet, we will continue to look, examine and reflect on what is promoting the learning of each child and what may not be as effective as originally thought to make changes along the way. After all, part of being on a quest requires flexibility and humility to admit when something doesn’t work or to celebrate how amazing an idea turned out to be.

26 PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR • WINTER 2012

How do you create systematic and longlasting change in a district without creating new schools? The biggest question I’ve encountered so far from administrators, teachers, parents, and community members has been, “How do you create this kind of place without creating a new school?” I think the ability for a teacher to personalize the classroom setting and truly make it a community created by the community members starts at the top.  The fact that district and school leadership set the pace for what the daily expectations are in a classroom is nearly indisputable.  This same leadership also sets the tone for what liberties will be given to classroom teachers and what will be frowned upon, even if there is no outlined rule or policy against any practice. Within creating the non-traditional program in which I now teach, one of the biggest “ah-ha moments” I’ve had so far, both in my thinking as a teacher and in examining the practices of a school/district, is to question if a set ritual/practice/procedure is in place because it truly benefits and supports the growth of the whole child or if we just keep doing something a certain way because that’s the way we’ve always done it.    There are oodles of great teachers who are truly outof-the-box thinkers, operating with great success within the confines of “traditional school” without any issue because their intentions and success are understood by leadership. They have buy-in from parents and possibly even support from other teachers.  The buy-in from all stakeholders is where it all begins. 


For several years I like to think that I was one of those About the Author teachers who was successful and effective in a regular Derek McQuiston school, but I was in a school setting that offered me the York Road Elementary School chance to be creative and expressive and at times non2254 West Main Street conventional in what I did.  My previous principal allowed Rock Hill, SC 29732 me to plan chaperoned outings with students after hours 843.810-3905 and on the weekends. She trusted me as a professional, she knew I had the best interests of students in mind, and A former Teaching Fellow at U.S.C., Derek was asked by parent support could make it happen.    Supt. Lynn Moody to create a new, non-traditional pilot While writing this article, I kept thinking about what program for fifth-graders titled The Quest. other schools and districts can do to make learning more customizable. However, I don’t think there is any specific set of instructions that can create a recipe for creative success. That’s exactly what traditional thinking would do, right? Educational Consulting, LLC Let’s make a list of how to be flexible for Training Leaders for the 21st Century students!  I think this fundamental change in our thinking about what school is and what school can be is a combination of planting seeds of ideas within a staff to give them a free space to “dream big” without being shamed or put down but encouraged and supportive of free thinking, even when the thinking can lead to discussions that may challenge some of the established status quo.  I did not create the program in which I now teach because I was looking to leave my old school or a traditional setting.  Quite the contrary, my new program was just the big dream Safe School Management Leadership Training I had been dreaming and practicing in * Site Assessment * First Year Administrators small pieces in my previous years as a * Facility Assessment * Team Building * Community Collaboration * School Climate teacher.  In short, give teachers a voice * School Crisis Management * Conflict Resolution to think out loud. Give them permission * Leadership and Supervision to dream big and break the rules, and YES, even fail at times. Then, step back to watch them surprise you in the unique Interim Administrative Services *Short Term Administrative Support ways in which they teach, motivate, *District Level and differentiate the instruction for *Building Level the students they serve! Oh yeah, the students will have a pretty awesome ________________________________________________________________________ experience, too.

J. Brodie Bricker, PhD

J. Brodie Bricker, PhD

1 Bobby Jones Court, Greenville, SC 29609 Home (864) 292-1501 Cell ( 864) 436-7087

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WINTER 2012 • PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR 27


Can Online Learning Transform the Teaching Profession? By Dr. Joe Flora and Allison Reaves The Theory There is a theory about the impact of online learning on teacher performance and job satisfaction. It goes something like this: In the traditional model of schooling the teacher is responsible for a variety of instructional and non-instructional tasks. Teachers select the curriculum, organize content, plan instruction, and then deliver content in their discipline or grade level. But the process of instruction requires a lot more of teachers. Very few students will be motivated and inspired solely by a teacher’s professional knowledge. The best teachers are also actors who use their skills in vocal expression, body language, role-playing and use of space and instructional props. These teachers also generate surprise, create suspense and use humor in the classroom. Great teachers are expected at the same time to diagnose learning problems and provide or coordinate intervention and remediation for struggling students. Teachers are classroom managers who must guide student behavior in the classroom and throughout the school. Finally, teachers are responsible for a variety of non-instructional duties. “No wonder teachers are often heard to complain that they barely have time to “just teach.” The other tasks can overwhelm”1 The complexities of the teaching role raise a fundamental question. Are these multiple teaching responsibilities realistic in today’s schools when students and their families are not always supportive of education? Should teachers continue to work as “generalists” or would teachers become more effective and have greater job satisfaction if they specialized in more limited responsibilities where their talents and motivation are greatest?

28 PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR • WINTER 2012

Online learning may provide an answer. As virtual schools and blended online programs multiply throughout the country, teachers participating in these initiatives assume new roles. In the words of one policy expert, with technology “doing much of the heavy lifting of planning, presentation, assessment and reporting, teachers can focus on what real flesh and blood teachers can do best. They help students with the nuanced issues that impede their understanding, one by one. They can carefully evaluate student work that demands higher order thinking and guide real improvement. They can attend to individual student needs and counsel, with help from the family, thoughtful solutions. And, of course, they can just teach.”2 Moreover, online instruction allows teachers to individualize remediation and personalize student relationships. In virtual schools, with students learning electronically from home or other remote locations, teachers are liberated from the demands of classroom management.


In blended learning in traditional schools, management issues persist where students work in a lab or classroom online with teacher supervision. The purpose of this article to is to offer the perceptions of a group of teachers in an online environment in order to determine if the more specialized roles of an online school in fact lead to higher performance and a more satisfying work life.

Testing the Theory In order to test this theory, in the spring of this year the authors prepared a survey for teachers at South Carolina Connections Academy. SCCA is a charter school with an all online program for grades K-12 in South Carolina. A Board of Directors oversees the program, but school is managed by Connections Education, an educational management organization based in Baltimore, Maryland. Students work at home under the supervision of a “Learning Couch,” usually a parent of the student. Teachers and other staff members facilitate the online program, teach virtual lessons and provide intervention and remediation as needed. Teachers were asked to report their actual and ideal time allocated to a variety of instructional and noninstructional activities. In addition, there were several open-ended questions dealing with obstacles in the performance of the ideal responsibilities, suggestions about the reorganization of work, roles in which teachers excel and roles in which teachers are less effective, ideal professional development for role balance and the degree of satisfaction with online teaching in comparison with traditional teaching.

The Results About half the teachers on the staff completed the survey for a total of twenty-three responses. In comparing the current allocation of time to the ideal distribution of the workload, the teachers reported that they prefer more time for assisting students with instruction, diagnosing student needs, monitoring student progress, personalizing student relationships, motivating students and teaching “Live Lesson” sessions- classes taught online where students can synchronously view presentations and chat with the teacher and other students. What prevents SCCA teachers from performing the ideal work load? Teachers report that there are many obstacles in the way of full engagement in instructional tasks

and optimal relationships with students. Some teachers complain about the high student-teacher ratios that have plagued the school because of inadequate funding; others mention the time-consuming process of communicating with parents and students who are not fully committed to the program and the need to assist families with technology issues. The greatest concern was arduous task of managing student online attendance and truancy problems. Students who fail to log in on a regular basis trigger the “escalation” process which requires an often lengthy series of contacts by the teacher. As explained by one teacher: Dealing with students on escalation and students who are truant can take up a big part of the day and takes away from the students who are calling for help and asking questions. The majority of teachers at SCCA work remotely at home. Although there are numerous virtual professional development opportunities as well as other face-to-face meetings, several teachers reported struggling with the transition to a online working environment with less dayto-day human contact. Some teachers complained that a sense of camaraderie was less than in a traditional school. However, others indicated that the contacts they have with their colleagues are more meaningful in a virtual school because they can be scheduled flexibly and are not interrupted by bells, students and school duties. On a more positive note, the responding teachers reported greater effectiveness and satisfaction with their work than they experienced in brick-and-mortar settings. They extolled the absence of discipline problems in virtual learning which they view as a major instructional distraction in a traditional school. The teachers were emphatic that the flexibility of virtual learning facilitates a more personalized and individualized program. Finally, the staff members insisted that online teaching provides a more flexible work environment that supports teacher autonomy and professionalism. As one teacher expressed it: I think I am much more suited for online teaching since I never enjoyed dealing with discipline problems, and I prefer working one-on-one with students and learning coaches. I also love working in the peace, quiet and comfort of my own home and having a more flexible schedule.

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Another teacher had a similar perspective: I love the fact that I do not have classroom discipline to deal with and that I do not have to fit all my instruction into a period or block in the day. I have the ability to work with students in small groups and one-on-one based on what they need. I also do not have to slow down the whole class to work with these students. I also like that I have flexibility throughout my day. I do not have to drop everything to change periods or go to lunch duty. When the teachers were asked whether online learning provided a more satisfying and effective work life, the following response was typical: I do feel that online instruction provides a more satisfying teacher work life because of the communication I have with families. I have a chance to get to know students better since a lot of the other classroom distractions have been reduced or eliminated. I like the ability to work individually with students as needed. At any time, I can pull a student into a live lesson room for one-on-one instruction. This would be difficult in a traditional classroom environment. I also feel that since the majority of teachers do work from home, we have better communication among teachers and work well together.

Conclusion The survey results do suggest that liberating teachers from curriculum and instructional planning, classroom management and the rigidities of a traditional schedule enable these educators to use online technology to individualize and personalize the program. SCCA teachers are able to leverage the technology to assume more specialized roles as coachers, motivators and mentors and in the process enjoy a more fulfilling career. At the same times, some challenges remain. The noninstructional duties of the traditional school have been

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reduced, but new responsibilities unique to online learning have emerged to replace them. Many teachers view these duties as interfering with instruction. School leaders at SCCA have pointed out, however, that activities such as monitoring attendance and truancy are yet another opportunity to communicate with families, build positive relationships with students and parents and promote the potential for learning.

References 1

John E. Chubb, “More Productive Schools Through Online Learning,” in Stretching the School Dollar, ed. Frederick M. Hess and Eric Osberg (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Education Press, 2010), 164. 2 Chubb, “More Productive Schools Through Online Learning,” 167.

About the Authors Dr. Joe Flora 125 Hawks Ridge Lane Chapin, SC 29036 803-732-7122

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Clinical Professor Educational Leadership and Policies College of Education University of South Carolina Dr. Flora specializes in human resources management and finance at the University. Until recently, he was President of the Board of Directors of South Carolina Connections Academy.

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Allison Reaves 220 Stoneridge Dr., Suite 403 Columbia, SC 29210 803-212-4712 ext. 301 Executive Director South Carolina Connections Academy Allison Reaves has been a public school educator for eighteen years. She just entered her fourth year as the Principal/Executive Director of SC Connections Academy.

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Assessment versus Evaluation of Student Data By Mary Lou Yeatts and Marie Milam

Assessment versus Evaluation of Student Data When your leadership team and your staff disaggregate student data, are you performing a physical or an autopsy? Which is best to actually raise student achievement? What data do you use to assist the students you have now? Once you have the data, what do you do with it? The disaggregation of data is an excellent way to help teachers assess student’s abilities and discover strengths and weaknesses in curriculum. But so many schools and school districts focus on last year’s test scores and use it as an autopsy; a physical is a much better way to look at data and move the focus on what is happening right now. Wouldn’t it be better to look at the individual child’s data as opposed to a group of data? When you look at data over time and individualize teaching strategies based on student strengths and needs educators can truly use a variety of teaching skills to enhance students’ instruction and achievement.

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For many years principals have disaggregated data and handed it to their teachers and ask them to improve their teaching and student achievement. The problem is that is the “principal’s” data and the teachers had no stake in the findings. Effective principals include their faculty and staff as part of the data disaggregation process, so that improvement becomes a shared commodity. Teachers are able to look at data vertically and horizontally to identify areas of need and adjust their teaching to these needs. It is paramount that all stakeholders weigh in on how assessment data can be used to raise student achievement. So how do you do it? As Stephen Covey proposes, “Begin with an end in mind.” Look at where you want each child to be at the end of the school year. Each teacher examines the assessment data of the students they currently teach and sets a goal for that group of students. The teacher and the principal determine goals and meet throughout the year to measure increments of improvement.


Appendix A

Point Evaluation

Interim -

Benchmarking

Summative -End

Formative -Ongoing

Teachers and administrators must consider the purposes of assessment and evaluation. Assessment comprises two parts—formative and interim formative, whereas evaluation represents a final measurement assigned to a content area during a specified time. The figure in Appendix A provides a graphic showing these three measures and their relationship to one another. Effective teachers continually work between formative measures and interim measures that benchmark student progress. Formative assessment is continuous, and includes measure such as observation, questioning, discussion, admission and exit slips, student response logs, graphic organizers, peer and self-assessments, etc. Interim formative measures are common assessments administered on a periodic basis to all students in a grade level within a school district, use standardized administration and scoring procedures, and provide teachers with mile-markers of student performance. Interim formative measures include assessments such as unit or chapter tests, four and one-half and nine week tests, Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), writing samples, literary responses, oral reports, demonstrations showing understanding of how-to-manuals, dramatizations, open-

Assessment and Evaluation

      Appendix A—Assessment and Evaluation

Student’s Name

Reading

Reading

Reading

Reading

Scale Scores

List scale scores from highest to lowest

Example:

300

280

260

240

6  

220

200

180

160

140

120

100

Grade Level

2

3

4

5

Teacher A

Teacher B

Teacher C

Teacher D

Appendix B • Use this process for all tested areas.

WINTER 2012 • PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR 33


ended mathematics problems, memory maps, laboratory investigations, keyboarding or typing tests, and projects using specialized software in the school’s computer lab. Summative measures signify end-point marks of student achievement and are evaluative in nature. Some common summative measures used in South Carolina include the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards administered in grades 3 – 8; the High School Assessment Program (HSAP) administered to students in the second year of high school; and End-of-Course Examination Program (EOC-EP) administered to students who are completing courses in English I, Algebra I, Biology, and U.S. History and Constitution. Teachers and administrators must understand and utilize the critical roles of formative and interim assessment as well as the constant interplay between the two in order to prepare students for high stakes summative measures. When looking at student achievement on the PASS, each teacher can look to see how their students performed and where they need to begin instruction. Viewing data in a graphic form is helpful, and provides a mechanism for updating information to indicate improvement. (Appendix B) This graph indicates the grade level, students’ previous teachers, the evaluation instrument, and scale score for each area of assessment. When data is received, each teacher is given their present students’ scores and the graph is updated to show the latest results. This is helpful when talking with parents about where their child is starting the year and where you want to take them. It is very beneficial to share this information with all teachers including art, music, physical education teachers, media specialists, computer lab instructors, Title I personnel, etc. As each teacher works with individual students, the graph serves to remind them to tailor instruction to the needs of the child. When our students fail to make satisfactory and accelerated progress, it is of no benefit to engage in the “blame game”. Instead, educators must employ a team spirit that supports the common belief that all students can and will learn while embracing the understanding that it is up to all of us to make that happen. Schools that have regular and consistent communication with internal and external stakeholders stand a much better chance of

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systemic change within the school setting. As many of us talk about the 3 R’s: relevance, rigor, and relationships, performing a physical instead of an autopsy with our assessment process is a means to promote student achievement to higher levels. Look at data individually, set goals, revisit measures, practice continuous assessment, and increased student achievement will unfold right in front of your eyes.

About the Authors Mary Lou Yeatts MSC 84 The Citadel Charleston, S.C. 29409 270-293-1538 (cell) As a 34 year veteran educator in grades PK-20, Mary Lou has spent her life as a teacher, principal, and professor in Virginia, Kentucky, and South Carolina. She presently teaches students pursing Educational Administration degrees at The Citadel. She has been fortunate to teach students at every grade level as well as adult education and brings a wealth of experience to The Lowcountry.

Marie Milam 116 Redtip Lane Laurens, S.C. 29360 864-684-7520 (cell) With more than thirty-three years of expertise as a public school educator and leader, Marie has an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and experience in instruction. She has led successful school reform movements in the Carolinas and is an expert in literacy and in raising student achievement. She currently serves as a professor in the education department at Presbyterian College.


Interventions that Work: eLearning and At-Risk Kids By Marsheila Natachee Ksor There can be no doubt that more students are being enrolled in alternative-education programs than ever before, and the numbers have increased threefold in the past 10 years (Carver & Lewis, 2010). Some educators believe that this phenomenon has occurred because the very structure of schools no longer accommodates the cultural, social, and linguistic background of many students. Other researchers point out that the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act and mandatory education of emotionally challenged students are partially to blame for the increasing enrollment among alternative schools (Bullock, 2006; Hughes & Adera, 2006), noting that 12% to 19% of students in alternative schools are effectively disabled. Indeed, there is a critical relationship between behavior and achievement, with as many as 97% of emotionally disabled students experiencing academic deficits (Hughes & Adera, 2006) and the need for quality instructional practices among these student groups is tantamount. Evidence also exists to suggest that technology in the mainstream of society (or rather the individualized, interactive, user-centered nature of contemporary technologies) is partially responsible for the inability of traditional methods of instruction to meet the needs of many American students (Fishman, 2007). There seems to be an indication that technology is producing a new type of learner. This learner is less receptive to authority but more eager to take an active role in the learning experience. One study discovered that 71% of teens owned cell phones, 77% owned a game console like an Xbox or a PlayStation, 74% owned an iPod or mp3 player, 60% owned a desktop or laptop computer, and 55% owned a portable gaming device (Lenhart, 2009). Although electronic gadgets may have always been popular, the new levels of interaction made available by advances in technology have changed consumers from viewers and receivers to participators and controllers. Students in U.S. society desire a greater degree of interaction with and control over their own environments (Perkins, 2008), and technology provides this. From the sounds of cellular phone ring tones to the background screens of their computers, youths in society today control even the smallest of details. Independence and personal

micromanagement seem to be a reasonable progression of this trend. It should come as no surprise, then, that these students have become less likely to be receptive to authority. It seems logical to assume that children who demand control over their personal environments, as evidenced by the growing popularity of interactive media among American youths, would transfer this desire for control to their educational environment. Therefore, a cultural byproduct of this technological trend was that those individuals interacting with media created nonhierarchical work habits. In other words, traditional hierarchical environments are not respected, and rigid frames of authority are completely rejected. Subsequently, teachers report that discipline has become a major concern in education today (Johnson, 2004). Indeed, since 2004, the Gallup poll has consistently reported that classroom discipline is perceived by the public to be one of the greatest 90 problems facing American schools today (Rose & Gallup, 2007). Because behavior problems and classroom discipline represent the foundation for most alternative-school programs, the dramatically increasing enrollment in alternative-education programs nationwide would seem to substantiate this notion. In any case, the task of educating behaviorally challenged and at-risk students seems to inevitably fall to alternative-education programs that must find a way to effectively educate these student populations and e-learning is being found more and more often in these settings (Austin, 2003; Claybaugh, 2005; Jones, 2004; Maninger, 2006, Archambault et al., 2010), where it is being used to educate behaviorally challenged at-risk students. Internet accessibility, the sheer number of computers, and an ever-expanding menu of technology options are making e-learning a viable option to educate populations of students for whom traditional learning structures have frequently failed. At-risk students come with a plethora of academic and behavioral problems that technology can help to alleviate. For instance, e-learning can increase motivation through individualized instruction and immediate feedback. E-learning can also improve behavioral defiance by allowing students the freedom to work at their own pace in their own way. Moreover, e-learning offers enriched learning environments that change the roles of learners from

WINTER 2012 • PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR 35


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passive receivers of information to active directors, which is considered a critical element for teaching at risk learners (Edmonds & Qing, 2005). A study was conducted during the 2008 - 2009 school year to compare the effects of three different methods of instructional delivery (e.g., computer based, blended, and traditional) on the achievement, attendance, behavior, course pass rates, and standardized test scores of at-risk students at Spartanburg County Alternative School. Students’ personal preferences for delivery methods and perceptions of the effectiveness of each approach were also examined. The data demonstrated that students were more likely to pass a class in the e-learning lab than in either a traditional or blended instructional environment. Seventy-one percent (71%) of courses taken in the eLearning lab using Pearson’s NovaNET courseware were successfully passed, whereas only 60% of the courses attempted in a traditional environment were completed. Instructional environments that blended traditional and computerized strategies had the lowest passing rate, with 47% of enrolled students completing the course. During the 2009-2010 school year, the courseware product APEX was utilized and during the 2010-2011 school year, the courseware product APLUS was used. Although no formal research studies were conducted during that time, the school nevertheless observed that the results of the first study were consistently repeated each year, regardless of the courseware product used. This fact indicated that it was the nature of computerized instruction in general rather than a specific program that was responsible for student success. The data from the 2008-2009 study also revealed that students were more likely to pass the South Carolina End of Course (EOC) tests when the method of instructional delivery was in an e-learning environment. However, the number of students taking EOC exams who were enrolled in either the e-learning lab or a blended environment was comparatively very low and could, therefore, pose a serious limitation to the validity of the results.

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The data obtained from this study also demonstrated that fewer disciplinary infractions occurred in the e-learning environments, as opposed to either the traditional or blended environment. Students were more than four times as likely to receive administrative referrals in a traditional classroom as they were in the e-learning lab and more than seven times as likely in a blended classroom. Teachers in the e-learning lab wrote disciplinary referrals for 3% of their total student population, whereas traditional classroom teachers wrote disciplinary referrals for 12% of their enrolled students. The two blended teachers wrote disciplinary referrals for 21% of their enrolled students. The average number of referrals written by teachers in the e-learning group was 3.5, and the average number of referrals written by teachers in the traditional group was 6.83. In the blended group, an average of 12 referrals was written. Among all groups, the average was 7.63 with a standard deviation of 4.71. With regards to attendance, students taking courses in the e-learning lab were either tardy or absent three fewer days than the average of the entire subject population. The year to date absence and tardy totals revealed an average of 28.27 days of activity in the blended courses, an average of 20.81 days of activity in the traditional courses, and an average of 19.73 days of activity in the e-learning lab. Using a report from the school-attendance program, the data revealed a statistically significant difference in absenteeism among the three subject groups. Students taking a course in the e-learning lab were absent, on average, 36% less from class than students taking courses in a blended instructional environment and 5% less than a traditional classroom environment. It is interesting to note that although the absence and tardy rates correspond positively to the number of disciplinary referrals, they correspond negatively with course pass rates and EOCT scores. One possible explanation for this revelation is the potential for students who are either failing or in danger of receiving disciplinary referrals to be more likely to find excuses to be absent from those particular classes.


Perhaps one of the most surprising outcomes of the research is with regards to student personal preference. Despite the success rate of eLearning (from an academic perspective that is), the vast majority of students preferred traditional classroom instruction with a ratio of over 10:1. One reason for the preference of the traditional classroom might be that more opportunity exists for interaction between students and teachers. Students tend to enjoy interaction and socialization, and this may explain student preference for traditional classes. In contrast, in the e-learning lab, students spend far more time on task, which effectively deters them from engaging in more pleasurable activities, such as note writing or socializing. In spite of the fact that students are more successful in an eLearning environment, they preferred classrooms in which they were allowed to participate and engage in personal relationships, as opposed to the isolated nature of an e-learning lab. For better or for worse, technology is rapidly changing the landscape of American schools. Countless studies and articles are published yearly on all areas of educational technology, from the number of computers in the average classroom to the relative effectiveness of certain technologies on specific programs or courses of study. Indeed, technology is being used to enhance, and in some cases replace, traditional classroom environments. Effective alternative programs must be capable of providing an individualized education experience, not only with regards to the curriculum itself, but in the delivery of instructional content as well. Research has consistently shown that computer-based instruction can make a positive difference for at-risk students (Austin, 2006; Claybaugh, 2005; Jones, 2004; Maninger, 2006; Archambault et al., 2010). In fact, computerbased instruction can educate even the most difficult of students. eLearning in the form of virtual instruction is yet another excellent tool for educating at-risk youths. Although many educators may question whether atrisk students possess the motivation and self-discipline necessary for online learning, this population nevertheless represents a sizable percentage of the nation’s virtual student body. In fact, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning reported that in 2010 at least 50% of full-time online learners were classified as at-risk by almost half of all responding virtual schools (Archambault et al., 2010). And although few studies exist examining the relative achievement of at-risk students in a virtual environment compared to their non-at-risk counterparts, anecdotal evidence suggest that the achievement gap remains the same while the overall success of both

populations is slightly lower in a virtual environment than in a traditional classroom. Still, virtual eLearning can be used to reach students who would not otherwise have had access to an education. During the 2009-2010 school year, Spartanburg County Alternative School (SCAS) began allowing some of their most behaviorally challenged students the opportunity to work from home using the courseware product APEX. A total of 11 students were offered this option in lieu of expulsion; seven successfully finished their courses and two also earned enough credits to apply for their high school diploma. The students were able to earn course credits, avoid expulsion and thereby remain eligible to return to their regular school the following year. The alternative school also benefited in the form of lower expulsion rates and the removal of a few sources of extreme classroom disruption. Because of the relative success of the school’s virtual option, a decision was made to expand the program during the 2010-2011 school year. In addition to students facing expulsion from the alternative school, students who were prohibited from entering school grounds due to certain outstanding criminal charges in the community (generally those deemed violent in nature) were also offered the option of enrolling in the program and completing coursework online. Moreover, because the courseware used during that year provided a middle school curriculum, the virtual program was offered to several younger students as well. During the 2010-2011 school year, 27 students were enrolled; 20 were high school students and 7 were middle school students. Middle school students were assigned English, math, science and social studies; no electives were utilized at that time. Among these middle school students (grades 6 through 8), one student transferred out of the district, 2 failed their courses, and 4 passed, earning promotion to the next grade level. Among the high school students, 3 students transferred out of the district, 4 failed all courses, and 13 passed at least one course. Altogether, 31 credits were earned by students in the virtual program. This may not seem like a successful number of earned credits for 20 students since high-schoolers in South Carolina typically earn 4 credits each per semester. However, given the fact that these students were removed from their regular school environment, considered too behaviorally challenged for even the alternative school, and were given no other choice for their course delivery method, 31 credits could be considered more than acceptable results. For these students, eLearning was not only a viable option, it was the only option. In addition to the obvious benefits of course completion, students in the

WINTER 2012 • PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR 39


virtual program were far more likely to remain within the school system than those who had been subjected to even a temporary separation from the school system. Students who become divorced from school for even one semester rarely return; they simply drop out. The program, therefore, not only reduced expulsion rates (by 27 students), increased course completion rates, but also reduced dropout rates. During the 2011-2012 school year, Spartanburg County Alternative School decided to improve the school’s virtual program. The school combined three course delivery programs: APLUS, courses from the South Carolina Virtual School Program, and courses created using their own moodle-based learner management system at scas. edumoot.com. All students were required to log into scas. edumoot as an entry portal. Hyperlinks to APLUS and the SCVSP were displayed when applicable. Having students to enter the scas.edumoot site as a portal of entry enabled the school to keep track of when students logged in and for how long they worked. This resource allowed the school to easily monitor student progress and intervene with inactive students. Another improvement made to the program was opening up the school’s computer lab for a few hours each day so that when students encountered problems with the program, help would be available. After all, it is a widely accepted fact that early intervention and good communication are essential components of any virtual program, particularly those serving at-risk students. While the virtual school revolution is sweeping the country, at-risk students face many obstacles to eLearning (Ash, 2011) which may be somewhat alleviated by maintaining a constant vigil on the student’s progress and academic involvement. It would be incredibly reductive, if not to say naive, to presume that eLearning is a universal remedy for at-risk students. Still, eLearning can be a promising solution for many of these students. Whether eLearning takes place in a school computer lab or whether education takes place in a virtual environment from a student’s home, computerbased learning has the ability to make a profound impact on a student’s academic career.

References Archambault, L., Diamond, D., Coffey, M., Foures-Aalbu, D., Richardson, J., Zygouris-Coe, V., Brown, R., Cavanaugh, C., (2010). Research Committee Issues Brief: An Exploration of At-Risk Learners and Online Education. International Association for K-12 Online Learning. Retrieved from http://www.inacol.org/ research/docs/iNACOL_AtRiskStudentOnlineResearch.pdf Ash, Katie (2011) At Risk Students Face eLearning Challenges. Education Week. Retrieved from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/08/24/01edtech-atrisk. h31.html?r=1309305146 Austin, D. (2003). Networking for success. Principal Leadership, 33, 37-39. Austin, D. (2006). Integrating technology to help students graduate. Principal Leadership, 36, 8-9.

Bullock, L. (2006). Alternative schooling: A viable approach to educating our children and youth. Preventing School Failure, 51(1), 3-4. Claybaugh, K. (2005, February). Colorado Springs district creates digital school in local mall for “disenfranchised” students. T.H.E. Journal, 32, 33-34. Carver, P. R., and Lewis, L. (2010). Alternative Schools and Programs for Public School Students At Risk of Educational Failure: 2007–08 (NCES 2010–026). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. Doe, C. (2007, March 1). A look at secondary-level software and webware. Multimedia & Internet @ Schools, 21-24. Edmonds, K., & Qing, L. (2005). Teaching at-risk students with technology: Teachers’ beliefs, experiences, and strategies for success. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED490354) Fishman, E. (2007). E-oneroom schoolhouse: Adapting to the “new kids.” Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED495306) Hannafin, B. (2002). Central Cabarrus High School, North Carolina: Evaluation study. Retrieved from http://www.plato.com/media/Evaluation%20Studies/C/ Central %20Cabarrus %20High%20School.pdf Hughes, A., & Adera, B. (2006). Education and day treatment opportunities in schools: Strategies that work. Preventing School Failure, 51(1), 26-30. Johnson, J. (2004, June 23). Why is school discipline considered a trivial issue? Education Week. Retrieved on October 16, 2007, from http://www.publicagenda. org/aboutpa/aboutpa_articles_detail.cfm?list=8 Jones, K. (2004, December). 2005: The year of the digital campus. T.H.E. Journal, 31, 32-33. Kim, K. J. (2004). Motivational influences in self-directed online learning environments: A qualitative case study. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED485041) Lenhart, A., (2009). Teens and Mobile Phones Over the Past Five Years: Pew Internet Looks Back. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2009/PIP%20 Teens%20and%20Mobile%20Phones%20Data%20Memo.pdf Maninger, R. (2006). Successful technology integration: Student test scores improved in an English literature course through the use of supportive devices. 339 TechTrends, 50(5), 37-45. Payne, R. K. (2005). A framework for understanding poverty. Highlands, TX: Aha! Process. Rose, L. C., & Gallup, A. M. (2007). The 39th annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll of the public’s attitudes toward the public schools. Phi Delta Kappan, 89, 33-48. Retrieved from ERIC database. (EJ775336)

About the Author Marsheila Natachee Ksor 290 Providence rd Spartanburg, SC 29302 Director of eLearning Spartanburg County Alternative School Dr. Ksor is a NBPTS certified English teacher who serves as director of eLearning for Spartanburg County Alternative School. Her work has been published in Education Week, the Journal of Applied Learning Technologies (JALT), and Palmetto Administrator. She has also presented at multiple conferences across the Southeast on the topic of at-risk students and eLearning.

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Support for School Leaders By Mary Chandler While teacher quality has been identified as the single most important factor in raising student academic achievement (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2008), the role of school leaders, and their impact on teacher effectiveness and student learning, is vital. (Waters et al., 2003, 2005; Leithwood et al., 2004). The expectation for principals, aside from making sure the building is safe and well managed, has evolved into one of instructional leadership, social reform, and accountability, both at the state and federal level. Faced with a myriad of challenges, our school leaders are expected to produce improved academic results for all children, many of whom often lack experiences necessary for school readiness. Additionally, serious implications exist when research indicates that high-poverty schools are much less likely to maintain strong retention of qualified teachers (National Academy of Education, 2008) and school leaders (Johnson & Strange, 2007). It is in this context, that schools today, require principals who possess a strong set of leadership skills, to make wise decisions about teaching and learning. If principals are to be capable instructional leaders and “lead for learning”, job-embedded and organization-embedded leadership development are critical. (Fullan, 2009). This criteria for leadership must be cultivated and continuously supported in real, on-the job settings. When new/newly assigned principals transition into these positions, they often come with little experience in balancing requirements from the district level, while managing a growing staff of professionals and making decisions related to instruction and curriculum. While internships give them a slight glimmer of the responsibility they will incur, it clearly cannot prepare them for what they will encounter as a principal in today’s schools and the pace at which they will need to function. How then, can we support new principals, as they transition into their positions, to ensure effective leadership succession and positively impact student achievement? Increasingly concerned by the plight of South Carolina’s high-need school districts, leaders at the Richard W. Riley College of Education at Winthrop University, in Rock Hill, South Carolina, are committing to address these challenges through partnerships with district and school leaders. Funding for the project, which has been named NetLEAD (Network of Leaders

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for Equity, Achievement, and Development), is a federal grant. The framework under which NetLEAD functions, is the development and implementation of a universityschool leader network, that will create and sustain a cohort of school principals/assistant principals, who embrace educational equity, maintain focus on student achievement, and engage in continuing growth as school leaders. NetLEAD is also partnering with the SC Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) and the SC Association of School Administrators (SCASA), who bring additional resources to the project. NetLEAD is designed to accomplish four goals: Goal 1: Increase student academic achievement in high-need schools Goal 2: Improve teaching effectiveness in highneed schools Goal 3: Strengthen the preparation of aspiring school principals and assistant principals Goal 4: Improve the skills of current practicing principals and assistant principals Built into the grant are many resources upon which schools can draw. Among these resources, and committed to providing support for these schools, are principal mentors/coaches. Principal mentors work closely with new/newly assigned principals in four districts from the upstate and seven districts in the lower part of the state. It is not the role of the mentor to impose his/her own ideology or educational philosophy upon the principal, but rather to assist the principal in becoming a skilled and reflective practitioner in his/her own right. The


mentor’s focus is building a strong trusting relationship with the principal, in a support role, to encourage and build a sense of confidence within that school leader. The NetLEAD Corps of Mentors, then, assumes four specific roles as they work with principals: As facilitator, the mentor is listening closely to the goals of the principal, and the path by which the goals will be met. By listening, and questioning to clarify, the mentor is allowing the principal to extend his/her own thinking or add specificity and detail. In other words, the mentor becomes a sounding board for ideas and thoughts as the principal makes his/her way through the process of solving problems or creating new ideas. As advisor, the mentor has the capacity to draw upon expertise in the field and uses this information to guide the principal in making decisions. Sometimes, just knowing about available resources, and where to find them, will help that new principal in making the right decisions or planting the right seeds. This “rounding up of resources” is invaluable to the principal, who is focused on the day-to-day routines of the school, with little time to devote to research. As coach, the mentor is much like any other coach. He/she is there to encourage, support, and assist the principal in using solid research-based strategies or perform the “right plays” to bring success. Again, by using the questioning techniques of Cognitive Coaching, the mentor helps the principal to become more secure in his/her own thinking and gain confidence in making decisions. Finally as teacher, the mentor becomes a resource for new learning. A new principal will encounter many experiences on the job, which require additional training. The mentor is able to provide research about current practice and/or other educational pedagogy that will allow the principal to acquire knowledge and information pertinent to the job. Together the mentor and the principal are then able to train the staff with important and timely professional development. As the Corps of Mentors facilitates continuous improvement for school leaders, through relevant ongoing professional development, so are they also expected to continue their own professional growth by staying abreast of current research and professional training. This summer, the mentors received training in Cognitive Coaching, Eric Jensen’s brain research in teaching children of poverty, Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS), as well as the National Principal Mentor Immersion Institute and principal mentor certification program sponsored by NAESP (National Association of Elementary School Principals). As mentors and

principals work together to effectively meet the specific needs of each learning community, schools are able to sustain best practices that ultimately achieve the common goal: to improve student learning for every child. In addition to the work of mentors, NetLEAD provides opportunities for professional growth and development, based upon the needs of each district and at no cost to participants. The first round of workshops was held this past summer. Districts were surveyed and professional development was designed to address rigor, as it relates to instruction, closing the achievement gap with children of poverty, and community involvement. This collaborative effort between the NetLEAD districts and Winthrop University is not without on-going monitoring and evaluation in the form of monthly Grant Management Team meetings, where liaisons from each school district, meet with Winthrop staff to plan and reflect upon the work that is being performed in each district. Components of the grant are reviewed with input from all stakeholders. As with any new initiative, success depends heavily upon the buy-in and participation of those involved, as well as the professionalism and trust that develops between and among all participants. Administration in the NetLEAD districts, from liaisons at the district office level, to principals and assistant principals in the schools, has been extremely positive. The desire to strengthen current programs and continue to grow, by collaborating with outside agencies throughout the state, is affirmation of their dedication to the educational process and to their sincere belief in the success of all children.

About the Author Mary Chandler 3216 Hitching Post Lane Rock Hill, South Carolina 29732 803 329-0361 Principal Mentor for NetLEAD – Winthrop University The author is a retired principal from Rock Hill Schools. She is currently working with the NetLEAD grant as a principal mentor along with four other mentors, under the direction of Dr. Shirley Martin and Dr. Mark Mitchell.

WINTER 2012 • PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR 43


The Reality of Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day By Dr. Rose Wilder

“Each and every American child adds or subtracts, multiplies or divides America’s problems and potential, and fulfills America’s nightmares or dreams.” —Marian Wright Edelman

Wow! What a powerful and fitting theme “Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day” (ECECED). Upon seeing our theme for this year, I immediately knew that I had to compose something because of the powerful theme. Two distinct times came into my heart. My first year as a teacher in 1979 in rural Eutawville, SC, and the 1954 Supreme Court Case, Brown V Board of Education. (This case was a result of Briggs V Elliott that occurred in Clarendon County, now Clarendon School District One. I am entering my eighth year of seventeen as Superintendent in Clarendon School District One). I thought about my first year of teaching because I still reflect upon that year and wonder if I made a difference in lives I touched. I would like to think that I created a culture of ECECED in my classroom.

44 PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR • WINTER 2012

As I reflect upon the overall culture of the school during my first year as a teacher, I can say without a doubt, the school’s culture permeated ECECED. During my formative years as a teacher, I looked upon public education as being the cure for most societal problems. Now, as I reflect on the role of public education, I do not know if I was just naïve or just hoping that public education would be the entity that allows for children of all ethnic groups and varied backgrounds to coexist, thereby developing a foundation to coexist harmoniously in the adult world. I was also of the mindset that everyone had high expectations for public education and valued and respected all children. As we navigate through the twenty-first century, I have to say I was simply naïve thirty plus years ago and didn’t have a clue that public education would be under siege as it is today. I thought about Brown V Board of Education because the overarching ramification of the case was about creating a culture where Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day


would be the norm, rather than the exception. However, 57 years later, the great debate about all children receiving a quality education still rages on. Issues impacting public education continue to evolve every day. In spite of the growing discontentment as to the support and purpose of public education, I strongly believe that most educators are committed to giving every child every chance to succeed every day in our public schools. Collectively, all efforts must be exerted to protect the integrity of public education. This is crucial because public education is the only entity that “hope” hinges on for all children. Without a quality education, some of our children will never know a standard of living void of poverty. According to the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, any powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people. To the best of my knowledge, education is not mentioned in the Constitution; therefore, it is one of those powers reserved for the states. I am not a legal scholar, but I do believe that education is a fundamental right that should be afforded to every child by the states. A very interesting note here is that education is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, but there are federal guidelines mandated upon states that impact education. This in itself should be enough to require states to ensure that all children are afforded a fundamental right for quality education. Now back to the task at hand: The Reality of ECECED. The great debate continues about the quality and role of public education. A specific raging debate is the role of the states in educating children. For the record, whenever I reference state in this reflection, I am referencing the state of South Carolina. This point is relevant due to the fact that the state is the primary vessel responsible for governing and funding education in South Carolina. The education for some children in our state is defined by their zip codes. Therefore, Every Child, Every Chance , Every Day will merely be a thought-provoking phrase and may never become a reality for all children. This is the point where I question the true intent of a free and appropriate education for all children. Remember, I stated earlier that the ramifications of Brown V Board of Education should have been about creating a culture of ECECED. Public education should have no boundaries in reference to student achievement. However, as we move into the twenty-first century, personal agendas are the norm for political gains. There appears to be little concern and effort from the policymakers for all children to receive a quality education. With this attitude of empathy, obstacles are inevitable. This could change if the public, as a whole, has high expectations for public schools and demands better

from the governing body at the State level. It’s ludicrous for the public to expect the schools to prepare students for their economic and civic responsibilities, if they are not willing to support the cause. The public engagement in education with the policymakers can be a powerful tool that acknowledges its value of all children. Without this engagement with the public education system, ECECED is just a thought. As I continue my reflection on Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day, my mind wonders back to my very first districtwide assembly as a teacher in Orangeburg District Three, now Orangeburg Consolidated Three. The guest speaker for the event was Dr. Charlie Williams, State Superintendent of Education, at that time. He opened his remarks with a very profound statement, “We are trying to play catch-up in SC for intentionally under-educating a large percentage of our citizens for over two hundred years.” Dr. Charlie Williams immediately caught my attention because of his straightforwardness and what appeared to be his sincere desire for all children to receive a quality education. He said something that really took courage to say and really needed to be said. However, saying it and doing it are two different situations. The problem in our State is that everyone is talking about public education and very few are attempting or willing to do anything about it. In some cases, we are still trying to catch up. Playing catch-up is extremely hard, when you are at a disadvantage from the beginning. If there was a sincere desire on behalf of all the powers that be to embrace all children, we would not be at the crossroad we are at today in public education. ECECED would be the norm and not the exception. I could not imagine or envision thirty plus years ago that we would be encountering some of the issues that we are experiencing in public education today. Most recently, there was a bill in the House of Representatives that targeted using public funds for private school. The bill was defeated by one vote. This kind of rhetoric is not good for public education, nor does it help preserve the integrity and purpose of public education. This type of attitude does not support the premise of ECECED. State policymakers have a major role to play in making certain that ECECED becomes a reality for all children. Some of our policymakers have consistently displayed attitudes and exhibited actions that all students in our state are not equally valued. Another example of an impediment to the reality of ECECED was the passage of Act 388 in 2006. This is a major culprit that contributes to the dividing factor in the State of the haves and have-nots in reference to public education. By now, the policymakers should realize that the public education system in the State will only be as strong as the most challenged school districts.

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Yet they continue to make decisions and pass laws that are detrimental to some school districts. The culture of public education is largely dependent upon the attitude of the State’s policymakers. It is always the right time to do what is best for all students. Some of our policymakers have the prevailing attitude of other people’s children. There appears to be the lack of commitment for ECECED to become the norm for our state. This kind of disposition is rapidly becoming the modern day norm for policymakers governing education in our state. The aforementioned challenges will be conquered only when our State embraces public education unconditionally. Public education should be protected, embraced, funded and held in regard as the greatest equalizer in our State. Children from all walks of life deserve to receive the best possible education. As soon as all of us recognize the power of educating all children, the sooner we can stop playing catch-up. Embracing education does not solely mean funding. It also means to respect and value all children, regardless of their zip code. The State should have unequivocal commitment to public education. This will be a powerful tool that ensures the culture of change that could lead to an educational culture of ECECED. Just imagine what challenges could be conquered if the policymakers change their disposition about public education. I believe this can become a reality, if public education is looked upon as one entity for the State, and not local systems. The public education system must be embraced and empowered by the State. It is always the right time to do what is best for all children. The education for some children in our state depends on their zip code. There does not appear to be a plan in place to equalize the infrastructure at the local levels throughout the state. A perfect example is the lack of infrastructure along the I-95 corridor. I am aware that much discussion has taken place about the need to improve the infrastructure along the l-95 corridor; however, there is no noted action as to the development of an action plan, to bring this to fruition. I can only imagine what educational condition SC would be in today, if someone had the heart over two hundred years ago to think in terms of all children receiving a quality education which equates to Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day. ECECED will never become

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reality for some children in our state if all children are not equally valued and respected by the powers that be in the State. There is insurmountable evidence that local school districts are not created equal in terms of the tax base; therefore, it is imperative for the State to take the lead in making certain that quality education is the norm for SC. Tougher standards and more mandates do not equate quality. The system must be embraced and empowered by the State. If there is ever a time to focus on our State’s role in public education, the time is now, if ECECED is to become the norm. Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day could become the norm for all districts in SC if our State implements the following recommendations:

Equal State-wide Source of Funding Adequate funding is necessary to ensure quality education. Funding is not the answer to every issue; however, funding is crucial in some counties with little or no infrastructure to support public education. This is a major factor. It is now compounded due to Act 388. Local districts do not have the authority to raise taxes beyond the CPI. All local areas are not created equal. This is the zip code factor. Some local communities have the capacity to increase revenue beyond the growth of CPI. Some communities can only dream of collecting any amount beyond the CPI. These are the communities where ECECED is not readily attainable. This does not change the premise that all children deserve a quality education and ECECED should be the norm.


Pay and Respect Teachers as Professionals Teachers play a vital role in today’s society. They are also an integral part in the process of education. They are on the front line as soldiers every day in classrooms throughout the state. They fully deserve better compensation for the major role they play in education. It is imperative that teachers are paid a better salary. They are the ones that make ECECED possible. All the programs in the world cannot replace a caring, committed and competent teacher. Our state must do a better job of compensating teachers if ECECED is to become a reality.

Develop a Special Program of Certification for Teachers of Students of Poverty This is necessary because poverty is a factor that impacts the reality of ECECED. It is with a sense of urgency that a program is developed to address the ramifications of teaching children of poverty. Poverty is the culprit that is strangling public education.

Repeal Unnecessary Regulations and Guidelines There are many unnecessary guidelines that impede teachers’ time and students’ learning. It is imperative that the State realizes one size does not fit all children.

Recruit the Best and Brightest for Teaching The State should lead the effort of helping to place the best teachers in schools, especially in high- need schools. This could possibly be the most difficult challenge that impacts public education. This is a very vexing issue that must be addressed at the state level, because we cannot afford not to recruit the best and brightest for high- need schools. Additional compensations should also be a part of the recruiting process. Studies consistently show that the best and brightest teachers work in the more affluent schools. The same appears to be true of teachers who generate higher student test scores.

Increase Funding for Innovative Programs at the Local Levels

About the Author

Public schools should be afforded the same freedoms as charter schools. Charter schools are held as the poster child for innovations, whereas public schools are bounded by regulations and in most cases insufficient funds for innovative programs. The status quo in public education must cease in order to embrace ECECED.

Superintendent Clarendon School District One P.O. Box 38 12 South Church Street Summerton, SC 29148 803-485-2325, ext. 230

Mandate and Fund Early Literacy in Poor Rural Areas

Teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and curriculum facilitator. Entering seventeenth year as superintendent. Special recognitionfirst Black female superintendent in South Carolina since reconstruction. Honored in 1999 as Superintendent of the Year by South Carolina School Boards Association. Member of Dr. Jim Rex’s transition team. Recipient of various awards. Active in community for social change. Past Rotary President.

Support and provide quality professional development to support early literacy in poor rural districts. If students leave second grade without adequate literacy skills, it is almost impossible to develop the skills needed for formal reading and independent reading for learning. Literacy is key for ECECED. Teachers in poor rural districts need help with closing the achievement gap. Many novice teachers navigate through their early teaching years without the support and mentoring services needed to be successful. Teachers adequately trained in literacy will make ECECED possible in all schools.

Dr. Rose H. Wilder

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Reading Comprehension and the Learning-Focused Schools Model By Tim Henson What we know about reading and reading comprehension has come to the forefront in the last twenty-five years (Duke & Pearson, 2002). A shift has occurred during this time and has been an attempt to help students use comprehension strategies in context to better understand the meaning of what they read rather than depending on teacher explanation exclusively (Pinar, 2000). Most of the research over the last twentyfive years centers on how good readers interact with text. The research suggests that good readers are classified as “active or strategic” readers, and they use a variety of strategies in order to find meaning as they interact with the text. This research has shown that all readers, very good readers or struggling readers, benefit from direct instruction in reading comprehension strategies (Duke & Pearson, 2002). This position was supported as far back as 1984 when Roehler and Duffy determined through their research that comprehension strategies should be explained and modeled effectively by the teacher. This instruction is then followed by an opportunity for students to practice the strategy in the context of reading and to think about how they are using the particular comprehension strategy being taught (Gambrell, Morrow, Newman, & Pressley, 1999). In Best Practices in Literacy Instruction (1999), the authors promote student learning of how to “craft meaning” through the use of specific comprehension strategies. The teachers demonstrate to the students how to use comprehension strategies to help them understand what they are going to read. These strategies are taught “before the point of need”(Gambrel, et al. 1999, p. 109). The teaching of the comprehension strategies result in fewer misunderstandings in what students read (Gambrell, et al., 1999). This research supports the view that providing students the tools to prepare them for greater understanding in reading is necessary. Routman (1996) believes that we are at a crossroads when determining the best way to help students become good readers. Some scholars are more comfortable promoting phonics, skills, and controlled text as best practices. Others believe that paying close attention to providing instruction in specific skills and strategies is the best answer. The vast majority of research presented thus far supports the latter.

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Reading comprehension can be improved by teaching students to use specific reading comprehension strategies. “Explicit or formal instruction in the application of comprehension strategies has been shown to be highly effective in enhancing understanding” (The National Reading Panel, 2002, p. 15). Instruction in specific reading comprehension strategies such as finding main ideas, noting important details, determining sequence of events, understanding cause-effect relations, comparing and contrasting, and drawing conclusions can significantly improve the comprehension of students (Pearson, 2001). This research supports the position of the Learning-Focused Schools Model of teaching specific reading comprehension strategies from kindergarten through high school. The Learning-Focused Schools Model is not a new way of thinking about education and student achievement. Although it was developed over twenty years ago by Dr. Max Thompson the model is based on a wide array of theoretical underpinnings (Thompson, 2007). Among these are Dewey (1916), Piaget (1954), and Bruner (1966) with present day designs of learning supported by Reeves (2001), Marzano (2003), and Wiggins and McTighe (2000). Dewey, Piaget, and Bruner all provided valuable insights into the role of the teacher as the facilitator for the learning processes within the individual learner. These strong underpinnings as well as more recent research provide a great deal of credibility and authenticity to the LFS Model. The extensive research behind this model was compiled from schools and districts across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Over 3000 schools were evaluated, and the research results determined that a number of exemplary practices emerged from these schools. One important aspect of this research surrounded what has come to be known as 90-90 schools. Data from over seven hundred schools went into the development of this model. A 90-90 school is one in which at least 90 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced meals and at least 90 percent of the students score at or above grade level on state assessments (Learning-Focused Schools Overview). One overriding focus that emerged from this research was that these schools changed from a coverage model


to a focus on learning model. In other words, teachers in these schools used researched-based practices to be certain students were learning the material being taught rather than simply covering the material without being certain student had learned the material. “Teachers plan and teach differently in schools when the focus in on continuous improvement. Administrators and decision-making teams plan, evaluate, and make different decisions when the focus is on learning and continuous improvement” (Learning-Focused Schools Overview, p. 1). The LFS Model has evolved since its inception some twenty years ago. Learning-Focused Schools has been selected as a continuous improvement model for over 3000 schools throughout 20 states in the United States. The model is based on five categories of exemplary practice. The five categories are: 1. Curriculum Frameworks, Benchmarks, and Maps 2. Instructional Strategies for Learning 3. Assessment To Promote and Measure Learning 4. School and Teacher Organization 5. Short and Long-term Planning. (Learning-Focused Schools Overview) In the last few years, additional research has taken place to support the original Learning-Focused Model. Research by such notables as Robert Marzano, Midcontinent Research for Education and Learning (McREL), Douglas Reeves, the PEW Educational Forum projects, and the United States Department of Education (US DOE) Evaluation Consortium has contributed data that has led to improvements in the model (Learning-Focused Schools Research). One example of expanding the original research was conducted by Douglas Reeves. In this new research, Reeves added 90% minority schools to his study conducted between 1995 and 1998. This led to what are now known as 90/90/90 schools. This study focused on more than 130,000 students in over 200 schools. The school setting included inner-city urban schools, suburban schools, and rural schools. The student populations were as varied as the schools including “overwhelmingly” poor students who were minorities to mostly white schools where students were not economically disadvantaged (Leadership and Learning Center, 2008). This study found that there were five common characteristic of these 90/90/90 schools. The 90/90/90 Schools have the following characteristics: • More than 90% of the students are eligible for free and reduced lunch. • More than 90% of the students are ethnic minorities. • More than 90% of the students met or exceeded this

standard according to test of academic achievement. (The Leadership and Learning Center) In the schools with the highest achievement, high minority population, and high poverty there was a “laser like” focus on academic achievement, clear curriculum choices, frequent assessment of student progress with multiple opportunities for improvement, an emphasis on nonfiction writing, and collaboration when scoring student work (Leadership and Learning Center, 2008). One should note that although stated differently, these characteristic are exactly the same as five exemplary categories promoted by the Learning-Focused Model. Nonfiction writing is not a separate strategy in the Learning-Focused Model categories but is included as an instructional strategy for learning (Learning-Focused Schools Research). In addition to the expanded research of Douglas Reeves, some of the most important research in recent years has been provided by Marzano, Pickering, Pollock, and McREL (2001). The findings from this research have contributed to the updated Learning-Focused Model now in place across the United States (LFS Research, 2008). Two important aspects of the Marzano research are metaanalysis and effect size. According to Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock (2001), “A meta-analysis combines the results from a number of studies to determine the average effect of a given technique” (p. 4). Then the results can be translated into what researchers call an effect size. The effect size represents the increase or decrease in achievement in a particular group in standard deviations (Marzano, et al., 2001). The research of Marzano has been instrumental in providing a basis for the Learning-Focused Schools Model and the reading comprehension strategies promoted by this model. The research determined that five strategies impact achievement the most (Learning-Focused Schools Research). Those five strategies in rank order are: 1. Extended Thinking Skills 2. Summarizing 3. Vocabulary in Context 4. Advanced-Organizers 5. Non-verbal Representations These strategies produce effect sizes from 1.61 to.65 with percentile gain of 45% down to 25% (LearningFocused Schools Research). This research shows gains that are statistically significant in both effect size and percentile gain. The goal of this study was to identify strategies with the highest probability of providing greater achievement gains for students (Marzano, et al., 2001). Since the data yields such positive results, a

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strong rationale for using these proven strategies still exists today. Recent research confirms that the most important factor affecting student achievement is the teacher. If the most recent research shows this to be true, then by improving the strategies used by teachers during instruction should improve the achievement of the students taught by that teacher (Marzano, et al., 2001). This is exactly the point of the direct explicit approach to teaching reading comprehension strategies promoted by the Learning-Focused Schools Model. Each of the Learning-Focused Reading Comprehension Strategies includes the use of the five achievement strategies promoted by Marzano’s research (LearningFocused Schools Research). Each LFS Reading Comprehension Strategy is designed to tap into these powerful research-based findings in order to advance the achievement of students in reading. Each of the five achievement strategies are woven into the teaching of the comprehension strategies. At this point, it is important to look at some specific examples of how the five strategies that impact student achievement work within the context of comprehension. First, to deepen understanding of comprehension, a good reader must be taught how to extend his/her thinking. The goal of extending the learning is for students to be able to transfer and use these concepts and skills in other learning. Next, summarizing allows students to reflect on the key points they have learned during the comprehension lesson. This also provides the teacher with important information about how well the students understand the material and the skills being taught. In addition, teaching vocabulary is very powerful to help students reach a greater understanding of the material. Building vocabulary skills allows students to expand their knowledge and understanding. Along with vocabulary, advanced organizers help students “frame” information to promote better retention of the material being taught. Key concepts and skills from the material are more easily retained by the students through the use of these organizers (Brewer and Gann,

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2005). Finally, non-verbal representations of creating graphic representations, physical models, mental pictures, drawing pictures, or engaging in activity can all lead to greater understanding of what students are learning (Marzano, 1998). The focus must change from prior knowledge of story content with low level questions to the strategies used by good readers. When the main emphasis becomes the identified comprehension strategy supported by extended thinking skills, summarizing techniques, vocabulary related to what the student is learning, advanced organizers, and pictures/drawings powerful learning will take place (Brewer and Gann, 2005). These components work in tandem with each other to facilitate learning and create a greater understanding of the comprehension strategies for the student. It is highly recommended that teachers use all of these components together when designing lessons and delivering instruction to students. The greatest achievement gains in reading comprehension occur when all of these components are used explicitly by teachers over a long period of time (Brewer and Gann, 2005). The explicit teaching of these strategies over a long period of time continues to be supported by researchers. Beers (2003) states, “It is important to remember that we can teach students how to comprehend texts” (p. 40). Teachers should not assume that students automatically know how to use comprehension strategies to help them understand what they are reading. It is up to the teacher to teach them the strategies to help them understand the information they are reading. She promotes the position that through explicit and direct teacher modeling, students can learn to use these strategies to understand texts (Beers, 2003). Beers states, “That means we’ve got to be very direct and explicit in strategy instruction” (p. 41). In order to be successful in teaching these strategies, teachers must be able to respond appropriately to questions and comments from students to assist them in developing a greater understanding of the strategies being taught, and ultimately to help students with the understanding of the text (Beers, 2003).


Support for these strategies is also provided by Keene (2008), “Comprehension strategies are taught for one reason – so that readers can understand more deeply” (p. 12). Students must be able to use comprehension strategies in order to understand the information they are reading. Keene’s research supports the fact that these strategies are learned by students most effectively when they are introduced a few at a time, taught in depth over a long period of time, have importance to the learner, and can be applied to a variety of texts and learning situations (Keene, 2008). By teaching fewer comprehension strategies over a longer period of time, students have enough time to learn the strategies, use and develop the strategies, and apply them to increase their comprehension in many settings (Keene, 2008). The Learning-Focused Schools Reading Comprehension Strategies supports Keene’s philosophy. The seven strategies of main idea, sequencing, comparing and contrasting, fact and opinion, cause and effect, text elements, and inferences are all supported by research. A clear case is made for the direct and explicit teaching of these comprehension strategies over time. There is much evidence contained in an enormous amount of educational research to support the fact that direct and explicit teaching of reading comprehension strategies help students’ gain deeper meaning as they read and can be a means to increased student achievement in reading. As one can see from the research and discussion provided in this article, reading comprehension instruction is vitally important for student growth. The direct and explicit teaching of comprehension strategies provides students with the opportunity to gain deeper meaning from what they read and can be a means for greater student achievement. The Learning-Focused School approach to teaching these comprehension strategies is a model for teachers to deliver this comprehension strategy instruction to students. The ultimate success or failure of this model or really any model depends on the implementation process and monitoring of that implementation. The fidelity of any approach to reading comprehension lies within the power of teachers and administrators to consistently and pervasively implement strategies within their classroom, school, or district. The Learning-Focused School approach to reading comprehension strategy instruction is a proven method for providing this most important instruction.

References Beers, K. (2003). When kids can’t read: What teachers can do. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Brewer, C. & Gann, J. (2005). Learning-focused reading comprehension. Boone: NC: Learning-Focused Solutions, Inc. Brewer, C. & Gann, J. (2005). Reading to learn. Boone: NC: Learning-Focused Solutions, Inc. Bruner, J. (1966). Toward a Theory of Instruction. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UniversityPress. Dewey, J. (1897). My Pedagogic Creed. Retrieved June 26, 2010 from http://www.infed.org. Duke, N., & Pearson, D. (2002). Effective practices for developing reading comprehension (3rd ed., pp.205-242). Newark, DE: International Reading Association. Gambrell, L., Morrow, L., Neuman, S., & Pressley, M. (1999). Best practices in literacy. New York: The Guilford Press. Keene, E. (2008). To understand: New horizons in reading comprehension. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Learning-Focused Overview. (n.d.) Retrieved October 11, 2008 from http://www.learningfocused.com/lf-overview.php Learning-Focused Research. (n.d.) Retrieved October 11, 2008 from http://www.learningfocused.com/research.php Marzano, R. (1998). A theory-based meta analysis of research on instruction. Aurora, CO: Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 427 087). Marzano, R, Pickering, D., & Pollock, J. (2001). Classroom instruction that works: researched-based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria: VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Marzano, R. (2003). What works in schools: Translating research into action. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum. Pearson, D. (2001) Reading in the twentieth century. Retrieved October 11, 2008 from http://www.ciera.org/library/archive/2001-08/200108.htm Piaget, J. (1954). The construction of reality in the child. New York, NY: Basic Books. Pinar, W., Reynolds, W., Slattery, P., & Taubman, P. (2000). Understanding Curriculum. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. Putnam, R. T., & Borko, H. (1997). Teacher learning: Implications of new views of cognition. In B. J. Biddle, T. L. Good, & I. F. Goodson (Eds.), International handbook of teachers and teaching (2nd ed., pp. 1223–1296). Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer. Reeves, D. (2001). Making Standards Work. Denver, CO: Advanced Learning Press. Routman, R. (1996). Literacy at the Crossroads. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann The National Reading Panel Report: Practical Advice for Teachers. (n.d.). (2002). Retreived October, 11, 2008 from http://www.learningpt.org/pdfs/literacy/ nationalreading.pdf Thompson, M. (2007). Leadership, balanced achievement, & accountability. Learning Focused Solutions. Boone, North Carolina Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2000). Understanding by design. Upper Saddle River, NJ:Prentice Hall.

About the Author Tim Henson Principal, Lyman Elementary School 1221 Holly Springs Road Lyman, SC 29369 tim.henson@spart5.net Tim is an Inez Tenenbaum Award Winner, a Charter Member of the SLEI Alumni Fellows, a former Spartanburg County, and State SCIRA Administrator of the Year.

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Can You Hear Me Now? The Cell Phone Challenge for School Administrators By Thomas McDaniel, Ph.D. Consider this hypothetical (but not implausible) scenario in your school: Ima Texter, like so many of her classmates, loves her upscale cell phone that has more apps than she can count. Her teachers, however, are upset by her obsession with her latest electronic communication device. You are aware of the spate of cyber bullying cases that have hit public schools in recent years* and have helped to educate your students and their parents about the requirements of the Safe School Climate Act (2006) and your specific policies now in place. But your teachers are complaining about other matters:  Ima’s probable cheating by texting, possible “sexting” of “indecent” pictures of her boyfriend, her secret efforts to keep her cell phone turned on during class (in spite of warnings), apparent conversations with her mother, and even unflattering photos of her teachers on her camera. You meet with her teachers, who ask you these questions: • What does South Carolina law say about cell phones? • Can’t we ban and confiscate these devices? And does our policy give us this right? • How about taking them and reading all the stored messages and viewing all the stored photos? • If she is “sexting,” isn’t that a crime?  And might that also be called child pornography? • We know about “freedom of speech” guaranteed by the First Amendment and “unreasonable search and seizure” prohibited by the Fourth Amendment—but hasn’t she stepped over the line? How would you answer these questions from your frustrated teachers?

The Law In South Carolina Because cell phones are emerging as a major concern for schools, many states are passing laws to clarify what schools should do to protect Constitutional rights of students while giving school administrators and teachers some guidance as they carry out their mandate to provide education free of “material and substantial disruptions”

(Tinker v. Des Moines, 1969). While South Carolina has not developed specific legislation to address this matter, there are two laws that provide some guidance to schools. Statute 59-63-280 in the Code of Laws requires boards of trustees in each district to “adopt a policy that addresses student possession of paging devices” to be included “in the district’s written student conduct standards.”  Further, this law states that “if the policy includes confiscation of a paging device…, it should also provide for the return of the device to the owner.”  A second statute in The Code of Laws is 17-30-10, which says it is a felony “to intentionally intercept, attempt to intercept, or persuade another person to attempt or intercept any wire, oral, or electronic communication.” Between these two statutes is a wide area of gray— clarified by a number of recent court decisions.  Most of

* See the comprehensive article “Disciplining Students for Off-Campus Cyber Speech: A First Amendment Review” by Jesulon Gibbs in the Spring 2009 issue of Palmetto Administrator.

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these decisions have been in federal courts because of First and Fourth Amendment concepts in the U.S Constitution. Let’s look at a few of those cases that bear on the questions asked by your teachers in the scenario above.

Cell Phones And Case Law In Price v. New York (2008) the court upheld the city school district’s ban on cell phones and declared that the parents who brought the suit did not have a fundamental right to talk to their children on cell phones during the school day on school grounds. Parents had claimed that such a ban caused risk to students should they encounter problems with gangs, transportation, or illness during the school day. Of course, districts in South Carolina are free to ban or restrict cell phones but under state law must clearly develop and publish their policies so that parents, students, and educators will know exactly what the policy requires.  But having a policy and enforcing it are two different things.   A national poll by Common Sense Media in 2009 found that 66% of students ignored requirements to keep phones turned off, 63% carried phones with them even though the school policy banned them, and 57% did not store them even though the policy required that restriction on possession. In Foster v. Raspberry (2009) a federal court decided against a Georgia school that conducted a strip search to locate an iPod that had been confiscated by a teacher but later disappeared from the teacher’s desk.  Of course, in South Carolina school strip searches are banned as a matter of state law (59-63-1140) although another state statute (59-63-1130) gives school principals or their designees the authority to conduct reasonable searches.  What is “reasonable” is always a judgment call depending on such factors as the rule violated, the degree of intrusion, the scope of the search, the danger of the object searched for, and the evidence at the inception of the search (see the leading case of New Jersey v. TLO in 1985 and the more recent Safford Unified School District v. Redding in 2009— both decided by the U.S Supreme Court.) In Klump v. Nazareth Area School District (2006) a teacher confiscated a cell phone that had fallen out of a student’s pocket and took it to an assistant principal, who searched the contents and found a request from Klump’s girl friend for him to get her a “tampon.”  That was an apparent slang term for a marijuana cigarette.  The administrator then searched the phone for any other drug-related information.  In response to Klump’s suit, the court said that merely finding of the phone did not justify a search of its contents.  Confiscate the phone, yes; but search it without “reasonable suspicion,” no. Unless a school administrator has good evidence that information

in a cell phone will show the student violated a law or school rule, searching its contents violates the student’s rights. However, any evidence of “sexting” or “child pornography” would justify a search and a report to police officials. Furthermore, if a student voluntarily consents to a search of his or her phone (and it is truly voluntary), an administrator can probably justify reading messages or viewing photos. In Requa v. Kent School District (2007) a group of students secretly used cell phones to videotape a teacher in unflattering positions (featuring her posterior) as she walked around the classroom and then uploaded the film to You Tube.  A link to the film was found by school officials on Gregory Requa’s Web site. Students implicated in this “prank” were given suspensions but took their case to court on First Amendment freedom of speech grounds. The court held for the district saying that Gregory and his friends had violated school rules by the secret taping incident.  This is one reason that a strong clear school policy is needed.  Freedom of speech goes a long way in protecting legitimate student expression—but violating reasonable school rules is another matter.

A Word To The Wise Administrator Here are a few guidelines to help administrators and everyone in your school community confront the reality of the cell phone phenomenon in a well-reasoned and legally sound fashion: 1) Be sure to know what your cell phone policy says and work for clarifying what it means. That includes seeking clarification from your board and your legal counsel as necessary. 2) Educate your teachers, students, and parents about the specific requirements of the policy.  Prevention is always a better course of action than punishment. 3)   Know what the law says about specific activities related to “electronic communication.” Both statutes and cases at state and federal levels are becoming more numerous and explicit as cell phone use proliferates in school and society. 4) Help students come to know the dangers and risks of sharing private information with the world.  In the era of the cell phone and the Internet, there are no truly private communications. 5) Provide teachers with strategies for preventing cheating, texting in class, “sexting,” and other inappropriate uses of cell phones. If cell phones are permitted in the school and/or classroom, teachers need to recognize the signs of misuse—even requiring that both hands of every student be visible at all times.

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The cell phone is not going to be a passing phase; if anything, we can expect to see more and more students owning and using cell phones as a primary communication device. Some may even become addicted to their cell phones. We live in an era when everyone is “connected,” and the technology advancements now underway will be aiding that connecting via ever-more sophisticated instruments and apps. First and Fourth Amendment rights protect student expression and prohibit school authorities from unreasonable searches, but strong and clear school policies can provide students and teachers the guidance they need to honor such student protections while maintaining the learning environment of the classroom. The wise administrator knows the value of “an ounce of prevention.” When a student caller asks, “Can you hear me now?” the educator-in-charge should know how to act in the most legally-sound and educationally-appropriate way.

About the Author Thomas R. McDaniel, Ph.D. Converse College Spartanburg, SC 29302 (864-596-9015) tom.mcdainel@converse.edu. Dr. McDaniel is Senior Vice President and Professor of Education. He is former chairman of the Spartanburg County Board of Education and former chair of the Policy Board of CERRA. Specializing in school discipline and law, he has over 200 publications in education, the humanities, and the social sciences and is Executive Editor of The Clearing House, a journal for secondary school educators. “The latest of his eight Books is School Law for South Carolina Educators (2011) available from www.createspace.com/3565709 http://www.createspace. com/3565709.” He presents workshops regionally and nationally on such topics as law, discipline, motivation, and instruction.

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Helping Children to Succeed Before It Is Too Late:

Using Formative Assessment and Feedback to Improve Learning By Emily Harris McQuay, Ed.D.

It is only through assessment that we can discover whether what we intended our students to learn was in fact learned. According to Stiggins (2008), “assessment is the process of gathering evidence of student learning to inform instructional decisions” (p. 5). Many teachers I have worked with over the years would argue that the previous definition should end after the word learning. Every school has one—a teacher that complains and gripes in the teacher’s lounge that the students didn’t learn the material and all bombed the final. My question is why did the teacher not know the students did not understand the material before the test was given? As educators we are charged with making sure all of our students are learning. The attitude of “well they didn’t learn it, that’s not my problem, the kids were lazy” is unacceptable. It is the teacher’s job to ensure that everyone is learning. I can imagine some teachers rolling

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their eyes and saying, “I am supposed to be preparing my students for the responsibilities of adulthood, so I don’t have to do this”. However with high stakes testing and accountability, we can no longer think this way regardless of our students’ age/grade.

What is Formative Assessment? The focus of assessment should be shifted from assessment of learning (summative) to assessment for learning (formative). Assessment should not be what teachers do after we teach, but what teachers do while they are teaching to improve or redirect their instruction and the students’ learning. The easiest way to explain the difference to your faculty is to have them think of formative assessment as tasting soup as you are cooking to determine if in needs anything added or changed to make it good, and summative assessment is serving the


soup to your guests and having them taste and judge its goodness. We are teaching a new type of student; using purely summative assessments is no longer effective. We live in an information-driven society, and our students are constantly stimulated outside of school through television, computers, social media, cell phones, and video games. Our students are used to trying techniques in video or cell phone games repeatedly without fear of failure. Therefore, if they don’t pass their current level, they learn from their mistakes and try again. We need to change and adapt to suit our students and make our schools a place to grow and try new ideas without fear of failure (Dirksen, 2011). Formative assessment gives teachers information in time that adjustments can be made so that further time is not wasted (Volante, Drake, & Beckett, 2010)

Challenges to Formative Assessment Although formative assessment has been shown to be justified by the research, there are barriers such as accountability and bureaucratic constraints that are focusing the educational system on other types of assessments instead of what has been shown to be effective (Tierney & Charland, 2007). Education policy such as No Child Left Behind has made an unwelcoming environment for the type of assessment transformation that needs to happen in our classrooms (Clark, 2011). According to Volante, Drake, & Beckett, “educators are faced with the challenge of balancing the demands of grading, which puts the emphasis on summative assessment, with the research literature, that strongly favors the utilization of formative assessment (2010, p.45). The biggest obstacles to formative assessments may be the teachers in your school. Change is scary, and teachers often think this “newer” type of assessment (and I use that term very loosely because it has been around forever, but was just called “checking on your students” before) will cause them a lot of extra work. In reality a lot of formative strategies are very simple and easy to do. Teachers may also see the re-teaching they may have to do as extra work. I think if administrators pitch formative assessment to them as a way to “catch” the little problems before they snowball into a big problem, they might be more willing to try it (i.e.- so they won’t have to go back two chapters to teach something they moved past weeks before and now the whole class is failing) Think about this: Early childhood teachers do a phenomenal job of using formative assessment. They listen to their students read frequently, change their

reading groups daily or weekly depending on what reading issue they are working on at that moment, and give individualized instruction based on the needs of each student. Something happens when students enter 4th grade and each year students get less and less individualized instruction based on the teacher’s observations, informal assessments, and testing. I personally feel that the administrators stop expecting the teachers to do this type of instruction that is why it stopslet’s all change that!

Strategies to Share with your Faculty There are simple and complicated ways to go about formatively assessing your students. The simplest way is merely observation. Teachers already do this all the time, but do they put that observation into action? When teachers vary their explanations, engage students in further discussions, prod a student in the right direction on a question based on their observations, or postpone a quiz to another day so they have more time to reinforce the material, then they are using observation as formative assessment. Another tool that is not something atypical is just checking homework, classwork, groupwork, etc. to see which students are having trouble and where they may need extra assistance. Teachers can also evaluate their tests in order to change their instruction for the following year. The key in all of these instances is reacting and learning from any and all information gathered. The following are some effective techniques that you can share with your faculty. As a teacher, I had my students write weekly summaries of what they learned in class and how it would relate to the real world. This not only helped me to see how they connected the content to their lives, but it also helped the students with their writing skills. I also liked to give pre-tests to see students’ prior knowledge before beginning a large unit. Next, I recommend using “clickers” (there are a million different brands of these you can buy). Setting up your homework assignments and quizzes into files for whatever interactive response devices your school owns takes a lot of time, but once they are done- they are easy to use and helpful in checking for understanding. Within a minute the teacher can ask a question or two and see who needs more work and who is ready to take the skill to a higher level or move on to the next skill Teachers can also have students punch in their homework answers from the previous night and they immediately know how to approach the day’s lesson. If you are an administrator who does not have the money to buy response devices, a teacher in my school allows her students to access the

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Internet on their cell phones (gasp!!) to buzz in their answers on quizzes she creates using the Survey Monkey site (free service). Exits slips are an excellent way to get quick feedback on what your students know. They can be undemanding like a free writing exercise or specific like asking, “What didn’t you understand today?” You can also make them anonymous by having a board where students can stick post-its on the door of what they aren’t quite understanding as they exit the classroom. If you don’t want a million slips of paper on your desk then have students keep a journal where they write one sentence per day (could be that day’s most interesting, most confusing, most relevant, etc. item) at the end of class (Dirksen, 2011). Finally, self-assessment and student-led conferences are ways for the student to be a bigger stakeholder in their own learning. Teachers can have students create their own rubrics for their projects because they have to know the material and the assignment well in order to set up how it should be graded. Another option would be for the teacher to create the rubric, but make the students grade their own project the day before you grade it so they have time to make changes. We know that students should be doing this on their own, but in reality; many aren’t going to do it unless it is an assignment. Student led-conferences are a big new push in the education field. Students must keep up with portfolio of their work, set goals for themselves, and also check to see if they are progressing towards achieving those goals at certain benchmark dates. They present all of these things at a meeting with their parents/guardians and teacher(s). This is a great way for students to self assess, but does add some extra initial work on the teacher’s part to help the students get started (Volante, Drake, & Beckett, 2010).

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Effective Feedback: a Crucial Component Feedback is an essential part of any assessment, but it is even more important if the classroom teacher is shifting into using more formative assessments. Effective feedback includes certain elements. It should be aimed at a specific goal or standard so the student has exact criteria to which he/she can compare their performance (Wiggins, 1998). The feedback provided should give the student knowledge to assist him or her toward his particular goal (Hattie & Timperly. 2007). To be truly effective, assessment must be timely, frequent, and ongoing. It should be positive and express confidence in the learner, but nevertheless it should not say that the student’s work is good if it is not. The comments and suggestions should point out steps in the right direction (Brookhart, 2008). Effective feedback gives a strength (because some students don’t know what they do well), but then gives a specific next step for the student to take (Brookhart, 2011). However, the feedback should not be so specific that the teacher does the work for the student (Brookhart, 2008). Effective feedback addresses three major questions “Where am I going? How am I going? and Where am I going next?” (Hattie & Timperley, 2007, p.84). Valuable comments compare the work of the student to the teacher’s pre-set criteria, so they can see where they are compared to where they need to go. Good feedback does


not compare the student’s work to other students’ work, but does compare the student’s work to prior works of the student (i.e. this essay was longer than your last one, but I felt the shorter one had more insight into the main idea of the poem and more information on the character’s feelings). If a student is VERY far away from where they need to be, then give the feedback one step at a timedon’t overwhelm them with a list of things wrong with their assignment because they will shut down. Let them work on it piece by piece until they are successful. Also, don’t forget that successful students need feedback too. If a student turns in a perfect assignment then pick out specific things you particularly liked to praise them on and then suggest enrichment activities they might be interested in doing to expand their knowledge (Brookhart, 2011).

Recommendations for Change Some teachers choose to neglect or omit checking for the students’ understanding throughout a unit or lesson. Also, once the summative assessment for that unit is given, the students who do not pass may have a teacher who does not re-teach or give extra help to make sure those students are ready to move on to another topic. This diminishes hope and will ultimately cause to the student to end up even farther behind. This is where some big improvements can be made. Administrators or subject chairs should be monitoring lesson plans and assessment tools to look for warning signs that some students are not getting the extra help they may need. They should also check to see if pre-tests are being given to guide instruction, exit slips are being used to gauge students’ feeling about their learning that day or week, homework is being checked for comprehension, or really any of the tools I mentioned above in the strategies section. Observing teachers to view assessments and feedback first hand is also a good idea. Make sure you follow the effective feedback guidelines when giving it to your teachers too- remember they are also learners. Another item that should go without saying (but unfortunately some teachers don’t know this) is that re-teaching or reinstruction does not mean teaching the same exact lesson over again slower and louder. If the students didn’t learn the material the first time that way then you have got to do something different to teach it the second time around.

Getting your teachers on board with using some of the techniques mentioned can be a powerful change maker in your school. I hope that you can use this information to help your teachers identify gaps in their students’ knowledge, give feedback to the students, modify their lessons, and ultimately close the gaps so all students can learn and be successful.

References Brookhart, S. M. (2008). Feedback that fits [electronic version]. Educational Leadership, 65(4), 54-59. Brookhart , S. M. (2011). Tailoring feedback: Effective feedback should be adjusted depending on the needs of the learner [electronic version]. Educational Digest, 76(9), 33-36. Dirksen, D.J. (2011). Hitting the reset button: Using formative assessment to guide instruction [electronic version]. Phi Delta Kappan, 92(7), 26-31. Fogarty, R., & Pete, B. (2007). From staff room to classroom: A guide for planning and coaching professional development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Hattie, J. & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback [electronic version]. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 81-113. Shepard, L.A. (2005). Formative assessment: Caveat emptor. ETS Invitational Conference 2005. The Future of Assessment: Shaping Teaching and Learning, New York. Retrieved from http://www.cpre.org/ccii/images/stories/ccii_pdfs/ shepard%20formative%20assessment%20caveat%20emptor.pdf Stiggins, R. (2008). An introduction to student-involved assessment for learning. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Tierney, R. & Charland, J. (2007, April). Stocks and prospects: Research on formative assessment in secondary classrooms [electronic version]. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL. Volante, L., Drake, S., & Beckett, D. (2010). Formative assessment: Bridging the research – practice divide. Education Canada, 50(3), 44-47. Wiggins, G. (1998). Educative assessment: Designing assessments to inform and improve student performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

About the Author Emily Harris McQuay, Ed.D. Rock Hill High School 130 W. Springdale Rd. Rock Hill, SC 29730 (803) 981-1300 emcquay@rhmail.org Emily Harris McQuay is in her first year an assistant principal at Rock Hill High School and was formerly an elementary and a middle school educator. She completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2010. She was previously published in The SCMSA Journal and the Big6 Newsletter under her maiden name and has presented at SCASA’s SLI.

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A New Point of View

Don’t expect yesterday’s benefits enrollment strategies to work for the new generation. By Mike Linebaugh Public Sector Account Executive – South Carolina Colonial Life When you look across the room at a faculty meeting, do you see a lot of young faces? If so, you’re not alone: Generation Y — those born in 1980 and later — is literally taking over the workplace. By 2014 these 20-something workers will make up nearly half of the employees in the world,1 outnumbering all other generations. Most importantly to you, they’ll also bring with them new expectations about their jobs, their futures and the workplace. Do you understand what makes these younger employees tick? And are your current benefits enrollment strategies on target for this age group? If you want to attract and retain the best and brightest in your school system, it’s time to take a serious look at how benefits you’re providing them are communicated and enrolled.

Profile of a Gen Y employee Gen Y, also known as the Millennials, is the first generation to come of age at the start of the new millennium. They were raised in a technology-rich environment, with computers at home and school and the Internet an integral part of their lives. (No wonder some of the newer schools opening now, such as Muller Road Middle School in northeast Richland County, are issuing touch-screen tablet computers to students and going totally paperless.) Gen Y is generally considered more open-minded than other demographic groups and comfortable embracing cultural differences. Diversity shapes their thinking, from their home life to their school life to pop culture. They’ve spent the majority of their education working in groups, so they’re adept at communicating and sharing ideas and information among their peers. Gen Y employees thrive on change, innovation, teamwork, immediate feedback and regular rewards and recognition. They’re expressive, creative and socially attuned. However, Gen Y tends to struggle financially more than other age groups: • They’re not always financially responsible. Just 58 percent pay their monthly bills on time.2 • They aren’t saving enough. Nearly 70 percent

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of Millennials are not building up a cash cushion, and 56 percent of those who work admit they have not done anything to build retirement or financial security.3 • They’re in debt. Forty-three percent are accruing too much credit card debt,3 with the average Gen Y holding three credit cards and one-fifth (20 percent) carrying a balance of more than $10,000.2 • They aren’t counting on Uncle Sam. Sixty-seven percent of Gen Ys believe government plans, such as Social Security, will not be available to them when they retire, forcing them to rely more heavily on a combination of employer-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k)s and personal investments to meet living expenses when that time comes.4 • They may not be homeowners. They Gen Y employees are the least likely generation to own their own homes, and a majority of Millennials recognize they are not saving as much as they should.5 Despite their financial struggles, Gen Y tends to be more positive than older employees about their own economic futures. Research shows nine out of 10 Millennials believe they currently have enough money or feel they will eventually meet their long-term financial goals.5

Gen Y values benefits Gen Y employees place a high value on their benefits, ranking them as the second most important aspect of job satisfaction, behind job security. Anita Potter, assistant vice president, LIMRA group product research, believes many employers mistakenly think otherwise. “One common employer misconception is that older employees value benefits more than younger employees,” Potter says. “In fact, when it comes to benefits, younger employees value benefits nearly as much as older employees and are just as likely to participate in benefits as any other generation. The different values employees place on their benefits appear to be more a function of life


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Learning everything we can about your employees is part of the job description. At Colonial Life, our highly trained benefits counselors meet with every employee 1-to-1— to discuss their needs and educate them on the best protection possible. That way, your employees have a voluntary insurance benefits plan that works just as hard as they do. Mike Linebaugh ❘ 803.422.9847 ❘ michael.linebaugh@coloniallife.com Kirk Cox ❘ 803.467.5836 ❘ kirk.cox@coloniallife.com Louie Jones ❘ 803.699.1499 ❘ louie.jones@coloniallife.com © 2011 Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company. Colonial Life products are underwritten by Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company, for which Colonial Life is the marketing brand. Products may vary by state and may not be available in all states.


experience rather than life stage, income or education levels.”6 But the workplace isn’t rapidly responding to the individual benefits needs of this generation. Only 27 percent of human resources professionals say they offer employment options designed to attract and retain younger workers.7

Voluntary insurance can meet Gen Y’s benefits needs Voluntary insurance offers employers an option to provide individualized benefits without incurring any additional direct costs. Employers can choose to offer an array of employee-paid benefits that expand their benefits package and allow employees to select those that best meet their individual needs. Millennials view choice, cost and convenience as key advantages of voluntary benefits. A majority believe they’re more likely to find benefits to meet their needs in these plans, know that comparable products are more affordable than on the open market, and appreciate the workplace as a convenient and time-saving place to purchase them.8 In addition to gaining some financial peace of mind when the economy is tight, Gen Y employees appreciate voluntary benefits for other reasons:

• Flexibility in using claims payments. There

are no restrictions on how claims payments can be used: helping pay for transportation to the hospital, lodging and child care during a family member’s treatment; or paying for deductibles, copayments, coinsurance and other non-covered costs associated with hospitalization or outpatient surgery. • Portability. Gen Y employees who purchase individual policies can keep coverage if they leave the company, as long as they continue to pay the premiums. Voluntary insurance can fill a gap in this situation. For example, the Optional Life insurance provided by the State expires at age 75. The voluntary life insurance offered by Colonial Life includes a permanent, cash value plan with no increase in premiums later.

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• More lenient underwriting. Underwriting criteria through voluntary programs are typically more lenient than those of an individual plan purchased on the open market. • Stable premiums. Premiums for voluntary insurance won’t go up simply because an employee no longer works at the company where the policy was first purchased. In fact, a voluntary insurance provider cannot raise premiums on individual policies unless it raises them on all similar policies in that state.

Benefits communication and education helps engage Gen Y Where does Gen Y turn to for benefits information? The workplace tends to be the most reliable source, although these younger employees don’t rely on their employers as much as their older colleagues do. In fact, Gen Ys are considerably more likely to turn to family and friends first. Forty percent rely on a family member or a friend for benefits information, compared to 27 percent of the total workplace.4 Although Gen Y employees count on their employers as a good source of information about their benefits, they typically rate their employer’s efforts at benefits communication fairly low. To make your benefits communication efforts for this audience as effective as possible, consider adopting the following tactics. • Use technology where it makes sense. Gen Y is tech savvy and embraces digital technology and social media. Many employers have begun using web-based, self-service tools to help communicate


their benefits because they speed up the enrollment process and capture real-time benefits decisions of employees. However, these tools generally do very little to help employees make informed benefits decisions. Use technology to supplement, not replace, face-to-face, ongoing communication with this group. • Use multiple touch points. Only 41 percent of Gen Y employees visit their employer’s HR websites when looking for information about their benefits, compared to 49 percent of the total workforce.9 This group is also less likely to look at HR booklets or attend benefits seminars. Employers should use a variety of different methods to reach Gen Y employees at work, at home and “on the road.” Don’t rely on any one method to do the job. • Use one-to-one benefits counseling. Insurance is complex, and it can be difficult to communicate benefits effectively without human interaction. Having a trained benefits specialist who can talk to Gen Y employees about their insurance options, answer their questions, and clarify product features gives them the personal attention they need to make informed decisions. They’ll be more likely to feel comfortable about their benefits choices and, in return, have a greater understanding of their benefits.

Take a fresh look at your benefits strategies. Gen Y employees differ from the typical employees you’ve come to know and understand. They have different needs and expectations regarding employee benefits — and their numbers are too large to ignore. Their unique characteristics call for a different approach than what’s worked in the past. Employers need to consider a new workplace benefits strategy that includes voluntary insurance and benefits communication practices that speak to the careers and lifestyles of this important group.

Sources: 1 Solheim, Shelley, “Seven Strategies for Recruiting Generation Y Workers,” CRN, June 21, 2007. 2 Dugas, Christine, “Generation Y’s Steep Financial Hurdles: Huge Debt, No Savings,” USA Today, April 23, 2010. 3 MetLife, “Y Worry? Gen Y Optimistic about Recovery, Looking for Guidance, Met Life Survey Shows,” press release, Nov. 10, 2009. 4 Colonial Life, Harris Interactive Survey, June 23-27, 2011. 5 Pew Research Center, “Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next,” February, 2010. 6 LIMRA, “Employees Across All Generations Value Employer-sponsored Benefits—But Most Don’t Understand Actual Costs,” Press Release, April 18, 2011. 7 Society for Human Resource Management, “Workplace Forecast: The Top Workplace Trends According to HR Professionals,” 2011. 8 MetLife, “9th Annual study of Employee Benefits Trends,” 2011. 9 LIMRA, “What is $1 Billion an Hour Worth?” Navigating the Employee Benefits Marketplace,” 2011.

About the Author Mike Linebaugh, CLU, is a public sector account executive for Colonial Life in South Carolina. He can be reached at (803) 422-9847 or michael.linebaugh@ ColonialLife.com. Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company is a market leader in providing insurance benefits for employees and their families through their workplace, along with individual benefits education, advanced yet simple-to-use enrollment technology and quality personal service. Colonial Life offers disability, life and supplemental accident and health insurance policies in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Similar policies, if approved, are underwritten in New York by a Colonial Life affiliate, The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company. Colonial Life is based in Columbia, S.C., and is a subsidiary of Unum Group. To download a free copy of Colonial Life’s white paper on Gen Y and their benefits needs, “Pump Up Productivity from the Next Generation,” visit coloniallife.com and click on Latest News and then White Papers.

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Public School Reporting: Reassessing Personal and Legal Responsibility in the Wake of the Penn State Scandal By: Shawn D. Eubanks, Esq. Associate Attorney Boykin & Davis, LLC I. Introduction It is rare in our society, and mercifully so, that a worst-case scenario unfolds publicly as it has for Pennsylvania State University. If the details set forth in the Pennsylvania Statewide Investigating Grand Jury’s finding of facts are true, the system of reporting and accountability within the Penn State organization was significantly flawed. While we cannot undo the damage exacted upon the victims in that case, perhaps by reassessing our own public schools’ responsibilities regarding reporting abuse and other crimes, we might prevent a similar situation from threatening students in our schools. If you haven’t read the Grand Jury’s report, perhaps you are not familiar with the facts of this situation. In essence, the allegations are that Jerry Sandusky, former assistant football coach for the Nittany Lions, used his own charitable organization, “The Second Mile,” to seclude and sexually assault minors on multiple occasions, often using his status with Penn State as a bargaining incentive for sexual favors. Sandusky was caught at least twice in extremely compromising situations with young men, one as young as ten years old, on the Penn State campus. In 2002, a young graduate assistant witnessed a particularly disturbing instance of this abuse, and reported what he saw to Head Coach Joe Paterno. Paterno, in turn, reported the allegation to the Penn State Athletic Director, Tim Curley. From there, it is unclear exactly who reported what to whom, given the fact that the Grand Jury found portions of Curley’s testimony not credible. It is clear, however, that there was little or no follow-up by the administration, and the incident was never reported to state police. Despite apparent knowledge of Sandusky’s practices before and after the 2002 incident, the school’s administration did nothing to involve the proper authorities, or bar Sandusky from campus. In fact, until very recently, Sandusky retained emeritus status with Penn State and enjoyed unfettered access to its facilities. From nearly every viewpoint the details of this situation are horrific, particularly in light of the fact that

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some of the victims may not have been harmed if certain incidents had been timely reported to the police. Perhaps the most disconcerting and perplexing claim set forth in the Grand Jury’s presentment is the allegation that several sexual assaults were witnessed on the campus of Penn State by employees of the University, yet the proper authorities were never contacted. Some have opined that this failure is due, in part, to a particularly restrictive Pennsylvania law requiring state employees to “report up” to their direct supervisor, rather than “report out” to law enforcement. As a result, the accounts appear to have been, “handled internally,” their specificity and urgency fizzling as they traveled up the chain of command until they died at the top. For school employees in South Carolina, however, this approach to handling information regarding child abuse


or injurious activity on campus would be a crime in itself. School employees are guided by two separate statutes regarding reporting potentially criminal behavior, both of which would apply in a situation in which abusive behavior was witnessed on campus. The first is triggered upon notice that a person has engaged in potentially harmful behavior on a school campus or at a schoolsanctioned event. The second specifically addresses child abuse, including instances that do not occur on a school campus or at a school-sanctioned event. While neither statute is complex, it is imperative that school districts take steps to ensure that their administrators, school teachers, and other employees understand their responsibilities, and the possible consequences if those responsibilities are not fulfilled.

II. Reporting Suspicious Activity on Campus South Carolina law calls upon our school administrators to act swiftly to protect the health and safety of the students participating in school events. Administrators are legally required to contact law enforcement “immediately upon notice that a person is engaging or has engaged in activities on school property or at a school sanctioned or sponsored activity which may result or results in injury or serious threat of injury to the person or to another person or his property as defined in local board policy.” S.C. Code Ann. § 59-24-60. A word to administrators: the statute is not specific with regard to what type of administrator would be required to report. While the context of the statute suggests that administrators would include only certified education personnel, it is not clear that the statute is limited to those individuals. A safe interpretation would be that all administrators must report such activities to law enforcement, from administrative assistants all the way up to the superintendent. Unlike the child abuse reporting requirement to be discussed forthwith, this statute provides the administrator with a broad interpretive power. School administrators are presumed to have substantial education and training, and, while assessing risk or threat of injury may not be a topic specifically covered in any post-graduate education program, they must possess the prudence to do so. By the same token, administrators must remember that they, themselves, are not police officers; they must leave the arrest and subsequent criminal investigation solely to those individuals with the training and authority to do so in compliance with state and federal laws. If an administrator does not understand and appreciate the clear distinction between school officials and police

officials, he could easily attract liability to himself and his school district. All school employees should bear in mind that this provision does not in any way prohibit teachers from contacting law enforcement regarding potentially harmful activity, particularly if the information has been relayed to the school or district administration and subsequently ignored. In fact, a separate statute actually provides immunity “from criminal prosecution and civil liability” for any “person affiliated with a school in an official capacity” who reports school-related crime in good faith. S.C. Code Ann. § 59-63-380. Thus, while it would be advisable in most instances for a teacher to report to an administrator first, if a situation dictates immediate response, the law contemplates non-administrative personnel reporting the activity as well. Teachers should look to their district policies and school handbooks for guidance on the proper internal reporting procedure. In the absence of a policy or school handbook provision, common sense might dictate an assessment of the nature of the situation, including the availability of an administrator, the immediacy of the need for intervention, and the seriousness of the threat, in determining whether to contact an administrator, or go directly to law enforcement.

III. Reporting Child Abuse In addition to the reporting requirements relating to criminal activity on school property or at schoolsanctioned events, another statute places additional reporting responsibilities on school employees who receive information in their professional capacity giving them reason to believe a child has been or may be abused or neglected. This statute explicitly states that the following school positions are required to report child abuse: nurses, school teachers, counselors, principals, assistant principals, school attendance officers. S.C. Code Ann. § 63-7-310(A). This statute, unlike the one discussed above, places the duty to report abuse on almost all school officials— not just administrators. As a school attorney, I am occasionally contacted by friends who are teachers with questions regarding the law, and this duty has on several occasions been the topic of conversation. Teachers are in a unique position to ascertain unlawful treatment of their students; yet even in clear cases of abuse, many are understandably hesitant to contact the authorities for fear that they are wrong, or that their report will ultimately cause the student’s family more harm than good. These insecurities may be somewhat quelled by adequate staff training regarding the reporting

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responsibilities of school employees, and the legal definition of the child abuse.

A. What is Child Abuse? The definition of child abuse, for purposes of this reporting requirement, is set forth in S.C. Code Ann. § 637-20, et seq. The definition is necessarily long and specific, and it should be required reading for all school employees. Essentially, child abuse is defined as the infliction of physical or mental injuries upon a person under the age of eighteen by a parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare. Among those abusive behaviors specifically named are committing or allowing a “sexual offense” to be committed against the child, failure to provide for the child, abandonment, and encouraging, condoning, or approving delinquent acts by the child. S.C. Code Ann. § 63-7-20(b)-(e). It should be noted that corporal punishment is not considered child abuse if the punishment is (1) administered by a parent or person in loco parentis; (2) perpetrated for the sole purpose of restraining or correcting the child; (3) is reasonable in manner and moderate in degree; (4) has not brought about permanent or lasting damage to the child; and (5) is not reckless or grossly negligent behavior by the parents. S.C. Code Ann. § 63-7-20(4)(a)(i)-(v). However, if the punishment instituted does not comply with any one of these requirements, it is considered excessive, and therefore may constitute child abuse pursuant to the statute.

B. Making the Decision to Report If a school official receives information in his or her professional capacity giving reason to believe a child has been or may be abused or neglected, as defined in the paragraphs above, that information must be reported. Reportable information includes, but is not limited to, a child’s own statements, statements from the parents or other concerned individuals, or behavior that the school official has personally witnessed. Of course, where a teacher or administrator has concerns or questions as to whether or not the information must be reported, it is appropriate to seek counsel from other knowledgeable school officials. At the end of the day, though, the responsibility rests on the recipient of the information to ask him or herself the simple question: “Does this information give me reason to believe that child abuse has occurred?” If the answer is yes, the information must be handed over to the authorities. If the information received involves allegations of abuse or neglect by a parent, guardian, or other person

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responsible for the child’s welfare, the report may be made orally by telephone or otherwise to the county department of social services or to a law enforcement agency in the county where the child resides or is found. S.C. Code Ann. § 63-7-310(D). By the same token, if a school official receives information of child abuse or neglect inflicted by someone other than a parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare, this information also triggers a duty to report. In that situation, however, a school official must report to law enforcement only, as the department of social services would not likely have jurisdiction over the matter. S.C. Code Ann. § 63-7-310(B). A school official who reports information in accordance with these mandates is protected in several ways. First, the identity of the individual reporting the alleged abuse must be kept confidential, and may only be disclosed to law enforcement to further the agencies’ investigations. See S.C. Code Ann. § 63-7-330. Under no circumstances may the identity of the reporter be disclosed to the individuals involved in the abuse, or any other individuals not directly involved in the official investigation of the matter. Second, any individual who, in good faith (i.e. honestly, and without any malice or bad intent), reports or provides information regarding possible child abuse “is immune from civil and criminal liability which might otherwise result by reason of these actions.” S.C. Code Ann. § 63-7-390. Finally, it is a crime to threaten or attempt to intimidate an individual making a report pursuant to these requirements, punishable by up to five hundred dollars and six months in jail. S.C. Code Ann. § 63-7-410. If a school employee is required to report pursuant to the statutes discussed above, and knowingly fails to do so, he or she risks criminal prosecution and punishment of up to five hundred dollars and six months in jail. S.C. Code Ann. § 63-7-410.

IV. Conclusion As is the case with almost all large-scale organizational success, communication and understanding of the roles and responsibilities each employee must play are fundamental to creating a safe educational environment. Ultimately, it may not be possible to prevent all incidents of violence, abuse, and other criminal activity with mandatory reporting. However, it is possible that, in a situation such as the one the Grand Jury found at Penn State, numerous children might have been spared from sexual assault, if only the information received by the school had been reported to the proper authorities.


What to Look for in a Quality Teacher By David W. Holzendorf, Ed.D. Who is Sean Foley?

Five Qualities of an Effective Teacher

I would not consider myself an avid golfer by no-stretch of the imagination. However, I do like to get out on the course once or twice per year, hit a few balls at the local driving range, and on occasion read about all of the people who do it for a living. Fortunately, I was reading a recent edition of Golf Digest and came across an article on one of golf’s most sought after golf instructors, Sean Foley. As I read through the article, I could not help but make a number of connections between what Foley does as a professional golf instructor and what those who teach school age children for a living do on a daily basis. Interestingly enough, but not necessarily related to the purpose of this article, Foley charges $250.00 per hour for his services. One of the reasons I believe that Foley is able to charge so much for a golf lesson is because one of the world’s greatest golfer’s, Tiger Woods, has sought Foley’s assistance with his golf game. There are a number of lessons that I believe educators can learn from why Foley has been chosen to teach Woods a better way to play golf. The title of the article, A Teacher Speaks Truth to Power, written by Jaime Diaz (2010) immediately caught my eye as an educator. The first question that crossed my mind was; how does a person teach someone as great as Woods to be a better golfer? According to the PGA Tour website, Woods began his professional golf career in 1996. In his fourteen year professional career, Woods has won 71 PGA Tour events, is second only to Jack Nicholas for the most major PGA tournaments won in his career, and is at the top of the list when it comes to career money leaders in professional golf at over 94 million dollars. Ironically, when I searched for information on Foley, I was only able to find limited information about his career. According to Wikipedia, Foley coached the Canadian Junior Golf Association, and teaches at Core Golf Junior Academy at Orange County National Golf Center. Foley has coached several professional golfers in his career, but none with the record or success of Woods. So, out of all the professional golf instructors in the world, why did Woods choose Foley as his teacher? Second, how does Foley go about teaching arguably the best golfer in the world a better way to swing a golf club?

The purpose for the Golf Digest article was to discuss why Foley was picked by Woods. Diaz (2010) concluded that Woods evidently observed some special qualities in the 36-year-old Canadian that attracted him to Foley as his next teacher. It is these qualities that intrigued me as a professional educator. I do not know why it surprised me so much that the same qualities that Woods saw in Foley are the same qualities that I believe every teacher should have. For example, every teacher should be able to build a trusting relationship with their students, provide a variety of meaningful work for students, provide a safe-nonthreatening environment, know how individual students learn, and help students become better people. Ironically, many of these qualities can also be read about in Phillip Schlechty’s book, Working on the Work: An Action Plan for Teachers, Principals, and Superintendents (2002). The remainder of the article will discuss the connections between Woods’s relationship with Foley and Schelchty’s explanation of the teacher’s role in the classroom.

Build Trusting Relationship Teachers must be able to create a trusting relationship with their students. Diaz (2010) stated that, Woods has demonstrated “faith” in Foley’s concept of the golf swing. There is no doubt that someone as successful as Woods did his homework when considering who his next teacher would be. Woods must have found out that Foley’s approach to teaching golf were defined by five pillars; life experience, philosophy, physics, biomechanics, and geometry (SeanFoley.com). Furthermore, Foley, according to Diaz, received a Bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy from Tennessee State University. In addition, Foley evidently read extensively in the fields of biomechanics, physics, geometry, and neuroscience in order to develop his philosophy of the golf swing and playing golf. Foley believes that this information has given him the ability to diagnose, explain and correct what each of his students needs. Foley’s knowledge and intellectual background must have given Woods the confidence to consider him as his teacher. So, what implications does this have in the classroom? Schelchty (2002) stated that there is no substitute for a teacher who is knowledgeable about the subject(s) he

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or she is trying to ensure that students learn. Schlechty went on to say that teaching is more than a technical undertaking it is an intellectual and moral undertaking. Schlechty also stated that when it comes to ensuring student success, there is nothing more important than a competent and committed teacher. Interestingly enough, Foley’s intelligence and knowledge of multiple subjects, according to Diaz, intrigued Woods. Because of his faith in Foley’s philosophy and intelligence, Woods committed himself to breaking a lifelong golf habit (Diaz, 2010). Interestingly enough, neither Schlechty nor Diaz argued that the teacher must be a master of every skill of concept that they teach to their students. In fact, I seriously doubt that Foley could even come close to beating Woods in a round of golf. However, Foley is knowledgeable about his techniques and can clearly explain the steps and provide meaningful and engaging work that will lead to perfection for his students. Woods, in this case is the one who has to apply the skill to his profession and make it work for him. Teachers must be knowledgeable about the subjects that they teach in order for their students to trust the authority of the teacher. Like Foley, teachers should be able to clearly explain and create engaging activities for students to practice.

Create Meaningful Work for Students Teachers must be able to create a variety of meaningful and engaging work for students. Schelchty (2002) stated that improvement can occur only when the thing to be improved can be brought under control. Novelty and variety are two of the attributes or qualities of schoolwork that Schlechty said that teachers should work on bringing under control. Diaz (2010) revealed that Woods took on several drills such as having a golf club shaft held next to the right side of his head, swinging while keeping a golf glove from dropping from his right armpit, hitting golf balls barefoot to improve footwork, and walking through shots by stepping forward with his right foot. Woods’ willingness to do these unusual tasks is an excellent example of a healthy teacher to student relationship. Foley created tasks that were new to Woods. Simply put, Woods could not continue to practice the same way and expect to get different and better results. In the same way, classroom teachers must employ a wide range of formats and varied modes of presentation (Schlechty, 2002) to keep students motivated. Teachers should use technologies and various mediums to present information to students based on the students’ needs and interests. For example, teachers may use anything from pencil and paper to the most sophisticated electronic

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technology to present or model information. Students should be provided opportunities to lead others, and assistance in carrying out leadership functions. Teachers should also vary the setting for instruction by instructing students in the environment that would best engage the student. For example, I would imagine that Woods and Foley meet at a golf course to practice golf. While teachers cannot always teach in the optimal location, they should attempt to engage students by providing realistic experiences for students through various media and field studies when available. Providing such experiences allows students to explore and immerse themselves in an environment that enhances the learning process.

Ensure a Non-threatening Environment Teachers must be able to provide a non-threatening environment for students to learn. Diaz (2010) commented on the fact that Woods has been complimentary of Foley, even as he played unevenly. In other words, Woods is pleased with his hidden successes with his golf swing in the midst of playing mediocre in tournaments. Diaz stated that Foley might need to be more discrete in the future, but candor is just one of the attributes that can benefit Woods. Foley has been openly critical of Woods’ old swing. Foley is quoted as saying that as good as Woods is, as much work as he put in, the stuff couldn’t have been right, or it would have worked better. In other words, as good as Woods is and was at the game of golf, Foley believes that he could have been and can be better. Every gifted and talented teacher and teacher who teaches in high performing school needs to read Diaz’s article. Foley has created a situation for Woods that allows him wiggle room while he is going through a learning process by providing a safe and nonthreatening environment. Classroom teachers must do the same thing for their students. Therefore, students and parents feel that the school as well as each classroom is a physically and psychologically safe place: success is expected and failure is understood as a necessary part of learning (Schlechty, 2002). In order for students to be engaged in the learning process, they must feel safe from threatening or humiliating behavior. Much like Woods, students should feel that failure to accomplish a task is a normal part of the learning process. One of the questions that teachers should ask themselves, according to Schlechty, was; Would my students be likely to do what I am about to ask them to do if they did not fear negative consequences for failing to do so? Discussions and conversations should be respectful, friendly, and civil. Students should be able to interact with other students


in a respectful and supportive manner. When students do fail to meet standards but are making sincere efforts the student and teacher should accept it as a normal part of the learning process (Schlechty). Students should have access to the resources needed to be successful. When a student fails, the teacher and other students should work to discover the cause of the failure and correct the situation. Woods relationship with Foley seems to provide all of these qualities which will allow them both to work in a safe and secure environment.

Desire to Create Better People The final quality that Diaz (2010) mentions in his article was that Foley not only helps people become better golfers, but he helps people become better people. Diaz stated that for all of Woods’ obsessions with finding the correct swing technique, Foley’s biggest attraction was his intangibles. There are several statements in Diaz’s article that Foley himself made that really stand out to me as an educator. All of them have to do with Foley’s passion for teaching. Foley was quoted as saying, I want to be a teacher who teaches his guys more about life and themselves than just about the game. Diaz later quoted Foley as saying that by helping them become better people, they are going to become better at their sport. In order for Foley to help Woods or any of his other students become better people, he must get to know them as people. In fact, Diaz quoted Foley as saying that there really is not a whole lot to learn about the swing. Teaching is really more a function of how people best learn. Wow! What a profound statement. Educators need to understand that teaching is not necessarily all about meeting and mastering standards in order to score well on high stakes standardized test. In fact, Schlechty (2002) stated that teachers who encourage superficial coverage of content are more likely to produce quick results than teachers who expect students to be involved in more profound learning. Getting students engaged in ways that produce profound understandings takes more time and is more difficult (Schlechty). Furthermore, according to the Schlechty Center (n.d.), students who are engaged have a profound grasp of what they learn, retain what they learn, and can transfer what they learn to new context.

Conclusion In conclusion, Woods and Foley have individually and professionally entered in to a very powerful relationship as a professional golfer and a professional golf instructor. However, classroom teachers enter into similar relationships with numerous boys and girls each year. The personal and pedagogical qualities that Woods saw in Foley are also similar to those teachers who decide to do it right in the classroom each day. Much can be learned from Foley’s philosophy of teaching the game of golf. I would like to leave you with one of the final quotes by Foley in Diaz (2010) article: The beautiful thing is that teaching is my therapy. You give people the advice you also need to hear. I have the opportunity to get people to get the most out of themselves, and to live a life of principle and character. You really try to understand the life of the person you are teaching. But no one is going to listen to me if I do not do it myself. Diaz concludes by stating that to all appearances, at least one person (Tiger) has been all ears. Do you have the attention of your students the way that Foley has the attention of Tiger Woods?

References Diaz, J. (2002). A teacher speaks truth to power. Golf Digest 61(11), 86-87. Sean Foley. (n.d.). The next generation with Sean Foley. Retrieved January 11, 2011, from https://seanfoleydvd.com/philosophy/. Sean Foley (golf instructor). (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved January 11, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_Foley_(golf_instructor). Schlechty, P. C. (2002). Working on the Work: An Action Plan for Teachers, Principals, and Superintendents. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Schlechty (n.d). Schlechty Center on Engagement. Retrieved January 12, 2011, from http://s3.amazonaws.com/www.schlechtycenter.org/tools/prod/4046/original/ sc_pdf_engagement.pdf?1272415798. Tour Rankings. (n.d.). Tiger Woods. Retrieved January 11, 2011, from http://web. tigerwoods.com/onTour/tourRankings?ranking=186&year=2011.

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Photo Contest Take a Closer Look by Matthew

Fun in the Sun Field Day

First Grader at Doby’s Mill Elementary School, Kershaw County Schools

Take a Closer Look by Erin

First Grader at Doby’s Mill Elementary School, Kershaw County Schools

Take a Closer Look by Kristina Doby’s Mill Elementary School, Kershaw County Schools

Vet

First Grader at Doby’s Mill Elementary School, Kershaw County Schools

Military veterans from Georgetown County were honored at Carvers Bay High’s annual Veterans Day Celebration. Members of the school’s MCJROTC lead the event, which is one of the largest in the county.

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Grad Day

Johnny Wilson Congrats One of the most enjoyable duties for Georgetown County School District Board of Education members is offering congratulations to high-achieving students.

Some seniors were shouting with excitement on graduation day. This Waccamaw High senior could not contain her enthusiasm.

Georgetown Win

Waccamaw High School

Georgetown High ran past Waccamaw en route to a 2011 season that saw the Bulldogs return to the Class AAA football playoffs

Halftimes of football games are an opportunity for high school bands to shine. Waccamaw High’s band is one of the state’s best.

WINTER 2012 • PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR 71


SCASA Business Affiliates Name

Primary Contact/Organization

Preferred Phone Number

Achieve 3000

Shane Dukes

(803) 840-7751

Aflac/Gibson & Associates

Brent Horne

(803) 318-3985

AIG VALIC

Billy Peebles

(803) 743-2022

American Book Company

Karen Olson

(770) 928-2834

Apex Learning

Matt Kirby

(919) 824-5914

Blackboard Connect-AlertNow

Brian Harris

(800) 213-7168

Boykin and Davis, LLC

Charles J. Boykin

(803) 254-0707

Bridgeway Solutions

Kathy Hooper

(803) 312-3559

Calloway, Johnson, Moore & West

Larry Wilund

(803) 957-9373

Cambridge College - Augusta, GA Regional Center

Sharlotte Evans

(706) 821-3356

Carnegie Learning

Mark Prince

(888) 851-7094

CDI Computer Dealers Inc.

Anthony Cornacchia

(888) 226-5727 x3729

Childs & Halligan P.A.

Kathryn L. Mahoney

(803) 254-4035

Classworks

Jim Chitwood

(803) 732-1744

Collaborative Learning, Inc.

Fran Abee

(770) 630-5640

Colonial Life

Mike Linebaugh

(803) 422-9847

CompassLearning

Barbara Roberts

(803) 463-7075

Computer Software Innovations, Inc

Nancy Hedrick

(800) 953-6847

CPSI, Ltd.

Michelle Elia

(800) 659-8240

CTB/McGraw-Hill

Charles Watson

(540) 776-3423

Cumming|SMG

Melinda Diego

(803) 256-1989

Data Recognition Corporation

Pam Enstad

(763) 268-2000

Deal Rhino-Fundraising Made Easy

Melesia Walden

(803) 983-4990

Duff, White & Turner L.L.C.

Andrea White

(803) 790-0603

Education2020

Alice Smith

(803) 269-1982

Energy Systems Group

Kim Smith

(404) 541-2590

Evans Newton, Inc.

Elizabeth A Menchaca

(480) 998-2777

Foreign Academic & Cultural Exch. Serv.

Rick Palyok

(803) 782-3902

GCA Services Group, Inc

Mike Johnson

(865) 588-0863

Global Recruitment LLC

Aurora C. McNear

(703) 928-0144

Greene, Finney, & Horton

Larry Finney

(864) 423-5752

Horace Mann

Tim Smith/Bill Beckman

(864) 575-2949/(864) 313-8964

ID Shop, Inc.

Ken Cobb

(864) 223-9600

Interactive Achievement

Rick Isbell

(540) 206-3649

iStation

Michelle Mansour

(214) 572-4627

JBHM Education Group

Sandra Funchess

(601) 987-9187

Jumper Carter Sease Architects, P.A.

Barry F. Bolen

(803) 791-1020

K12/Aventa Learning

Chuck Paynter

(703) 483-7244

72 PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR • WINTER 2012


Name

Primary Contact/Organization

Preferred Phone Number

Keenan Suggs Insurance

Ebonn Hixson

(803) 799-5533

Lexia Learning Systems

Stephanie Williams

(800) 435-3942

Lifetouch National School Studios

Mr. Greg Young

(803) 788-1605

LS3P Associates

Ms. Mary Beth Branham

(803) 765-2418

M. B. Kahn Construction Co. Inc.

Regenia Dowling

(803) 736-2950

MBAJ Architecture

Robert Scarborough

(704) 375-2510

McMillan Pazdan Smith & Partners Architects, PA

Angela M Napolitano

(864) 585-5678

Moseley Architects

Joe Bradham

(704) 540-3755

Mountain Empire Promotions

Earl Bethea

(803) 940-6448

National Teacher Associates of SC, INC.

Scott Calaway

(972) 532-2100

New Hope Foundation

Jim Holladay

(919) 968-4332

Parker, Poe, Adams & Bernstein LLP

Ray Jones

(803) 253-8917

Pearson Digital Learning

Sharon Langdale/Julia McCombs

(843) 260-4698/(919) 264-7653

Planned Financial Services, Inc.

Jim Seel

(864) 232-7153

Pope Zeigler, LLC

Katharine M Zeigler

(803) 354-4906

Presentation Systems South

Randy Hobart

(704) 662-3711

Professional Printers/R.L. Bryan Company

Jess MacCallum

(803) 343-6775

Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, LLC

Mike Gallagher

(800) 255-0795

SC Association of School Nurses

Kimberly L. McPherson

(803) 321-2620

SC Chamber of Commerce

Robbie Barnett

(803) 799-4601

SC ETV

Donna Thompson

(803) 737-3322

SC School Boards Association

Paul Krohne

(803) 799-6607

SC School Boards Insurance Trust

Franklin Vail

(803) 799-6607

SC State Credit Union

Suzette Morganelli

(803) 255-8417

Scholastic

Odell Taylor

(770) 342-8564

Scientific Learning

Thomas Chapman

(803) 417-9291

SCOIS

Toney Farr

(803) 737-2733

SMART Technologies

Ginger Rutherford

(704) 458-5022

Stevens & Wilkinson of SC, Inc.

Holly S Lathrop

(803) 765-0320

The Budd Group

Mike Cooper

(843) 324-5773

Thinking Maps, Inc.

Jeff Alman

(919) 523-0040

TiGROUP

Paige Carlton

(803) 933-9337

Trane Commercial System and Services University Instructors

Andy Guidici

(864) 616-4638

Voyager Expanded Learning

Amanda Phillips

(803) 518-9364

Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School

Pat Smith

(803) 896-6462

Wireless Generation

Debbie Owens

(212) 796-2259

Zaner-Bloser Educational Publishers

Shannon Parker-Hardee

(843) 263-6606

WINTER 2012 • PALMETTO ADMINISTRATOR 73


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Please call ANCGroup, the Level Data Strategic Partner in South Carolina, at 888.424.4863 or visit www.ancgroup.com and schedule an appointment to learn more about our process solutions.

We believe that quality data exchanged across multiple departments should be part of the district culture rather than part of a job description. We have witnessed the efficiencies brought about by sharing clean, consistent and timely data making school district employees much more effective in their roles and allowing them to focus on their original mission — education! We also have proven time and time again that higher quality data and increased efficiency will increase school district’s revenue streams.

Who are we? We are Level Data. School districts across the country are already experiencing such benefits by using Level Data’s fully managed data integration service. If your district needs to become data driven faster, needs children engaged in learning more quickly and desires to see a dramatic increase in district funding, Level Data can deliver. We GUARANTEE it in writing.

2011 palmetto administrator magazine  
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