October 27, 2005 Extra Credit
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October 27, 2005

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"What We Are Doing Is Reaching Those Kids"

The following article, excerpted below, appeared in the Topeka Capital-Journal (10-27):

"Four local schools have won recognition for meeting challenges.

"Three schools in Topeka Unified School District 501 and one in Seaman USD 345 were named Challenge Award winners this week by the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force. Unlike other recognitions that only look at state assessment scores, these awards honor schools that exceed normal expectations based on the ethnic and socioeconomic make-up of the schools.

"Charles Volland, chairman of the task force, noted that the federal No Child Left Behind legislation is supported by a long-standing belief by educators that all children can learn.

"‘The purpose of this award program is to both affirm that belief and recognize those schools that have been successful in putting that belief into action,’ Volland said in a release.

"At winning school Logan Junior High, part of the Seaman district, staff members have been called to other schools to explain what the school did to improve test scores and narrow the achievement gap on the state's annual reading and math assessment tests…. At Logan, that gap was narrowed to just 1.1 percent last year in math, with 97 percent of seventh-graders reaching proficient or better scores.

"‘That is a big deal,’ said Logan principal Kathleen Sooter. ‘That shows that what we are doing is reaching those kids who are supposedly disadvantaged.’

To read the complete article, please visit


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Last Modified: 10/28/2005