District Administration - October 2011 - (Page 14)
$900,000 Buyout in Philly Arlene Ackerman is out as Philadelphia’s school chief, but she walked away with a buyout worth more than $900,000. Test scores increased under Ackerman, but there was often conflict between her and the teachers’ union and elected officials. NEA’s NEw LEAdEr On Sept. 1, the former deputy executive director of the National Education Association’s, John Stocks, became executive director. Stocks has been with NEA since 2004 and will oversee the organization’s $330 million annual budget and 535 staff members. doNAtiNg sALAry Fresno (Calif.) Unified School District Superintendent larry Powell is giving three years’ worth of compensation— $800,000—back to the district. Powell said he wants his projects to remain in place in the cash-strapped district after he retires in 2015. MichigAN’s sAviNg grAcE John Covington shocked many when he left Kansas City (Mo.) Public Schools after just two years to become the chancellor of Michigan’s Education Achievement System, which is a pilot project in Detroit to transform lowperforming schools. JoiNiNg rhEE’s cAusE tim Melton, a Democratic state representative in Michigan in his third and final term, is leaving to join StudentsFirst, an education reform group started by Michelle Rhee. Melton served as the Michigan House Education Committee chair.
First American and Chinese Public School Opens
Oxford (Mich.) Community Schools Superintendent William Skilling (front left) with students and teachers at the opening ceremonies of the first American and Chinese public school, Northeast Yucai Oxford International High School, in Shenyang, China in September.
Northeast Yucai oxford international high school, a first-of-itskind public school, opened its doors in shenyang, china, this fall. The school, a joint partnership between oxford (Mich.) community schools and Northeast Yucai education Group in shenyang, allows american and chinese high school students to attend and earn dual degrees for each country. “it’s not a sister school,” says oxford’s superintendent, William skilling. “it’s a sister school who partnered with a sister school to create a whole new school. We have ownership in it, they have ownership in it, and a private investor from china, does as well.” The partners also have ownership over the school’s curriculum, which skilling says will emphasize how to work as a team, create and invent in a less test-driven environment. fifty chinese students are currently enrolled and, according to skilling, the school gives them an opportunity to improve their english-speaking skills, study abroad in the oxford school district, and earn an american high school degree, which will increase their chances of acceptance to an american univer-
sity. The oxford district will offer 20 fulltuition scholarships for local Michigan students to attend NYo in fall 2012. This partnership isn’t the first global initiative from this district, which has 5,000 students in Michigan’s northern oakland county. since joining the district in 2007, skilling has been guiding the district to go global by implementing a mandatory 11-year world language requirement, and the district as a whole is on track to be certified international Baccalaureate by 2012. as the district moves toward the iB pedagogy, this year, teachers are introducing “flip” teaching, in which the students educate themselves at home and questions are asked in class. With the district’s new endeavors well underway, skilling has told his staff that this school year’s motto is to have fun and celebrate. “Never before have i seen a district that has asked so much of its staff in such a short period of time, and never before have i seen a staff rise to the occasion so greatly,” says skilling. “This year, we need to celebrate and have fun. We’ve got to take a breather and realize we’ve all done a good job. —Marion Herbert
14 October 2011
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration - October 2011
District Administration - October 2011
From the Editor
Building a Blended Learning Program
How Are Science Fairs Fairing?
A New Age for Algebra
Early College High Schools
Changing of the Guard in Florida
How Much Computing Power Do You Need?
An Unconventional Approach to 1:1
District Administration - October 2011