NEWSLETTERS
The Education Innovator #28
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The Education Innovator
 September 8, 2003 • Number 28
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Feature
Mosaica Education, Inc.
What's New
D.C. School choice legislation passed by the House; OII's homepage address has changed; the next Innovations in Education Exchange to focus on supplemental services; Washington Post online web chat on school choice and more.
Innovations in the News
Thanks to No Child Left Behind, more data about schools will be available to parents nationwide; plus information on charter schools, home-schooling, teacher quality and school improvement.

Mosaica Includes Many Aspects of No Child Left Behind in Its School Management Approach
Mosaica Education, Inc., opens portals of opportunity for many children in their public charter schools. By partnering with community groups, universities, and school districts, Mosaica develops new schools and revitalizes existing ones. As part of the Mosaica approach, schools reflect the unique culture of their respective communities and feature parent volunteer and community-mentoring programs. Mosaica manages schools with safety and community involvement in mind.

In addition to a core curriculum that focuses on developing basic skills, the Mosaica school design includes the Paragon Curriculum. This curriculum combines philosophies of E.D. Hirsch and Howard Gardner by emphasizing cultural literacy, while teaching to multiple intelligences. Paragon combines Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development content standards with tested teaching practices such as:

  • Explicit phonics instruction, in conjunction with content-rich classical and multi-cultural literature;
  • Math and science taught as discrete subjects;
  • Computers used as learning tools to support instruction and create computer literacy; technology applications, including CD-ROMs and Internet sites, are woven into the curriculum;
  • Hands-on study of "great ideas" in world culture through the integrated Paragon program that includes social science, literature, philosophy, drama, music, art, science, history, math, geography and character development;
  • Foreign language for all students beginning in kindergarten.
In addition to these classroom practices, Mosaica provides structured management that differs from the way most traditional public schools are run. Characteristics of the Mosaica management approach include:

  • One hour of additional instructional time every day;
  • 20 additional school days every year;
  • Full-day kindergarten;
  • National standardized tests administered twice a year to each student;
  • Individualized personal learning plans for every child;
  • Safe environment that includes a "Code of Civility" based on kindness, respect and responsibility, and use of security technology to monitor classrooms and entrances.
Mosaica administers standardized tests annually at every grade level in order to analyze student performance and identify needs and challenges. The company reports that student achievement has risen faster in its schools than for students at comparison schools.

An independent study, conducted by WestEd, analyzed the performance of Mosaica-managed schools on national standardized tests and state assessments. On average, a Mosaica student's performance improved annually at a rate approximately 25% faster than the national average. The WestEd study also showed that, "there was a continual decline in the proportion of students scoring in the lowest two quartiles between Fall 1999 and Spring 2002 with commensurate increases in the upper two quartiles. …[and] about a third [of Mosaica students tested] rank in the upper half of the nation's students."

In addition to school management, Mosaica offers other educational services. For example, Mosaica has pioneered the direct issuance of bonds for charter schools to finance the purchase and/or construction of school facilities. The company is also an approved supplemental educational service provider in the District of Columbia. Finally, Mosaica sponsors professional development for teachers and potential school leaders.

Mosaica currently operates 21 public elementary and middle charter schools in 6 states and the District of Columbia. Mosaica assists schools and school districts in meeting the standards of No Child Left Behind by promoting accountability and parental options. It also provides supplemental services, supports safety, and contributes to teacher and school leadership quality. For more information about Mosaica Education, Inc., go to: http://www.mosaicaeducation.com/.

Note: The featured innovation is a description of one education management company and is given as an example to help school districts and schools fulfill the provisions of No Child Left Behind. The U.S. Department of Education has not evaluated the specific services of Mosaica Education, Inc., and the information provided should not be regarded as an endorsement. Also, according to the WestEd study, due to student turnover and inconsistencies in the manner in which student names are recorded, it was not possible to locate sufficient records with longitudinal data to provide a meaningful analysis of individual student gains.

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What's New
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the District of Columbia school choice legislation. Secretary of Education Rod Paige said in support of the legislation, "Parents in our nation's capital are demanding more and better options for their children, and this vote take us one step closer…" To read the full statement by Secretary Paige, go to http://www.ed.gov/news /pressreleases/2003/09/09052003a.html. (September 5)

Deputy Under Secretary Nina Rees was profiled on the Washington Post's "Federal Page." The article focuses on her work on school choice particularly in support of the District of Columbia scholarship plan. To read the article, go to the Washington Post web site. (September 3)

OII's homepage has a new address: www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oii/index.html. This address is part of the U.S. Department of Education's redesign of its website, which is to be more customer-friendly and focused around the four pillars of No Child Left Behind: accountability, flexibility, parental options, and research. To view the new site, go to www.ed.gov. (September 8)

The next Innovations in Education Exchange will focus on supplemental education services. This information session will be held in the U.S. Capitol in room HC-5 from 2 p.m.-3:30p.m. on September 25th. Space is limited and security requires advanced registration. Please register at OII.RSVP@ed.gov. (September 3)

Deputy Under Secretary Rees answered questions on District of Columbia school choice via the internet at the Washington Post's "Live Online" discussion session. If you were not able to participate live, you can read the questions and answers at the Washington Post web site. (September 3)

Secretary of Education Rod Paige met with Miss Tennessee Jamie Watkins. She discussed the importance of music education in our nation's schools with him, as well as her commitment to helping students understand the importance of music. The press release about this meeting, which reiterates the Secretary's commitment to arts education, can be read at http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2003/09/09022003.html. (September 2)

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Innovations in the News
School Choice
Thanks to No Child Left Behind, starting this fall, parents nationwide will see more comparative data about public schools than has ever been available, even to top administrators. [More-The Christian Science Monitor] (Aug 28)

Charter Schools
Gulf Coast Academy of Science and Technology, in Florida, gets started with 110 children and few hitches. [More-The St. Petersburg Times] (Aug 28)

The number of charter schools in Nevada will expand to 14 when two new programs open to provide additional options to area parents. [More-The Las Vegas Sun] (Aug 24)

Home-Schooling
As the start of the traditional school year approaches, parents who educate their children at home gather to swap favorite lesson books and teaching tips. [More-The Seattle Times] (Aug 28)

Teacher Quality
Boston College has been tapped to join a multimillion-dollar effort by the Carnegie Corp. to strengthen the quality of the nation's public school teachers. The college received a $5 million grant to create a stronger liberal arts curriculum for education majors, longer internships in public schools, and more support to help new teachers cope with the critical first few years they spend in the classroom. [More-The Boston Globe] (Aug 24)

School Improvement
Indiana administrators say they need to offer high-schoolers more advanced level classes, including Advanced Placement courses and International Baccalaureate programs. They also need to stimulate students in middle school to take more honors classes to prepare them for the rigorous work in high school. [More-The Indiana Star] (Aug 28)

High school reform efforts in North Carolina are getting a big jump-start from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which announced that it will provide at least $11 million during the next five years for more than 40 small, innovative high schools. [More-The News Observer] (Aug 28)

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Last Modified: 04/26/2011