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October 17, 2003, Extra Credit
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October 17, 2003
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Different Schools With Different Approaches, But All Are Working To Improve

When a school is identified by a state as being "in need of improvement," school officials are required to work with parents, school staff, the local education agency, and outside experts to develop a specific plan to get the school back on track. Following are excerpts from a recent Associated Press article detailing the improvement efforts of some schools in Oregon:

"Across the state, Oregon schools are working on plans to improve their students' performance on reading and math tests, after more than 350 schools this year failed to meet goals set by the state and federal governments. By Wednesday, school districts had to submit a report to the state Department of Education detailing how they intended to use federal funds in the next year. As part of that report, they were required to show how they plan to improve student test scores. Some Oregon schools are focusing on reading, while others are trying to improve math instruction. And most schools are also trying to figure out how to improve the performance of special education and English as a second language students, who are most likely to be behind their age group in test performance."

"At North Eugene High School, which also has a high Hispanic population, all teachers are part of an effort to improve reading skills, which principal Peter Tromba said he thinks will improve overall test scores. 'Maybe a math teacher is assigning a biography on mathematicians, or in social studies kids are reading novels, not just textbooks,' Tromba said. The school has also created a class limited to students who are falling behind in reading, he said."

"At Lost River High School in the Klamath Basin, the focus is on math, principal Art Ochoa said, since that was an area that tripped up many of the school's students on state tests last year. The school is small, with just 21 certified teachers, he said, so focus has been on improving teacher development and training for math teachers."

"At North Medford High School, principal Doug McKenzie said that computer labs have been installed in several classrooms, to provide math and reading drills to reinforce classroom teaching. Students are also doubling up on English and math courses, he said."

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About Extra Credit
NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

If you would like the NCLB Extra Credit emailed to you, please send a request to Geoff Goodman at NoChildLeftBehindUpdate@ed.gov or call (202) 205-9191.

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Last Modified: 03/05/2008