NEWSLETTERS
The Education Innovator #18
Volume II
Archived Information


The Education Innovator
 May 17, 2004 • Number 18
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Feature
South Greenville Elementary School, Greenville, North Carolina
What's New
President Bush and Secretary Paige visit Topeka, Kansas, today; Education Week hosts web discussion on Brown v. Board of Education; Secretary Paige writes an article about educational equality for USA Today; Secretary Paige gives keynote address at Harvard conference on Brown v. Board of Education; Chamal Samaranayake, a student from Rolla, MO, wins the national essay contest on Brown v. Board of Education; the Citizen's Commission on Civil Rights releases report showing that school transfers create new opportunities for low-income and minority students; a Manhattan Institute for Policy Research study finds that public schools in Florida, whose students were given the offer of vouchers for private schools, made gains on their state's standardized tests; the National Charter Schools Conference is June 16-18, in Miami Beach, FL; The National Association of Charter School Authorizers has improved its online resources; and the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems invites applications for the 2005 Urban Superintendents Academy.
Innovations in the News
Magnet schools Lincoln High School and Enrico Fermi School, both of which emphasize the arts, have teamed up with the Neuberger Museum at Purchase College; plus information on school choice, Advanced Placement, and charter schools.

South Greenville School Fulfills the Promise of Brown v. Board of Education
If you live in Greenville, North Carolina, you might get a knock on your door or a phone call from a parent inviting you to enroll your child in South Greenville Elementary School (SGE). This traditional public school thrives on parental involvement and competition from private schools in the area.

At the dawn of the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, South Greenville had just added six new classrooms. The school had opened as a segregated school for black students just four years earlier. It wasn't until fifteen years after Brown v. Board that North Carolina schools were integrated. Today, diversity and parental involvement are vital aspects of the school, and parents often choose to send their children there. The school strives for racial and ethnic diversity to achieve the ultimate goal of equal access and excellent education for all students.

The school is now 66 percent black, 25 percent white, with the rest from other groups. Located in a predominately black neighborhood, with competition from local private schools, school officials and parents go out into the community, encouraging other parents to choose to send their children to South Greenville. South Greenville claims to be one of the best of the public or private schools in the area.

SGE welcomes visitors to its webpage by summarizing its culture: "Our school has a diverse population, supportive parents, talented staff, and motivated students all working together to reach common goals. We have a challenging curriculum where teachers nurture each individual student's strengths, skills, and talents... Our faculty is committed to meeting the needs of all students in a rapidly changing world, and helping them learn how to soar to success!"

The incentives for attending South Greenville are many. SGE has made Adequate Yearly Progress, and the students have met the standards set by North Carolina in response to No Child Left Behind. The school has achieved "School of Distinction" status under the State's ABC's of Education accountability system as a result of its performance on the 2002-03 state tests. Since the 2000-01 school year, students' reading scores have increased more than 20 percent, and math scores have risen more than 15 percent.

The school focuses on academics through "Up, Up, and Away to Greater Success," a program designed to motivate students to work hard throughout the year in preparation for end-of-year testing. The school also offers academic enrichment programs, including participation in the nationwide, online News Bowl in which the South Greenville 5th grade team placed 14th out of 98 teams in its division. The school also sponsors a science fair, a math fair, and an annual spelling bee. The school puts on a "Science Fun Day" each year with students conducting various scientific experiments. Examples from this year's fair include determining if various objects would float or sink or seeing if a barge constructed from aluminum foil would support a stack of 10 pennies.

The school also has an ongoing relationship with East Carolina University. This year, 4th grade classes conducted a history project with help from technology students at the university. Using East Carolina University databases, students researched the architectural and functional heritage of lighthouses along the East Coast of the United States and old gristmills and textile mills in North Carolina. Students learned how to read databases and sort specific information in a database. From there, students built their own databases, using the university databases as an example, for a sociological study of students' favorite foods and music.

Other enrichment programs at the school are geared toward family involvement. Family Math Night brings parents and students together to do fun activities that teach the principles of mathematics, and Family Reading Night welcomes guest storytellers from the community.

South Greenville Elementary School has emerged from a segregated school built in the 1950s, to becoming a witness to the historic struggle for desegregation, to becoming a school of choice for many parents with a commitment to diversity and educational excellence for all.

Resources:

Brown v. Board of Education
South Greenville Elementary School

No Child Left Behind:

Note: The featured school is interesting and innovative, but does not necessarily have evidence of general effectiveness from a rigorous evaluation. The success of the school described may not be replicable, depending on unique conditions in differing locations.

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What's New
50th Anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Decision
President George W. Bush and U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige visit Topeka, Kansas, today to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. (May 17)


Education Week on the Web
Education Week on the Web is hosting a live online chat commemorating Brown v. Board of Education, on Tuesday, May 18, from 4-5 p.m. ET. The session will explore the new teacher and student opinion data from a poll commissioned by Education Week on race, diversity, and the achievement gap in America's public schools. The public is invited to submit questions. (May 17)


Article by Secretary Paige: Educational Equality Eludes Us, Even Now
Secretary Paige wrote in an article about educational equality in USA Today, that "...equality of opportunity must be more than just a statement of law; it must be a matter of fact...our work begins in our educational institutions." (May 14)


Fifty Years after Brown v. Board of Education
Secretary Paige gave the keynote address at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government conference, "Fifty Years after Brown v. Board of Education." He re-examined the impacts of the Supreme Court ruling and what remains to be done in education. (April 22)


National Winner Announced in Brown v. Board Contest
The U. S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice lead the federal government's efforts on the Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary Commission to encourage and coordinate public activities surrounding the anniversary. The Anniversary Commission, with National History Day and the Brown Foundation, awarded Chamal Samaranayake, a student from Rolla Junior High School in Rolla, MO, the national Brown v. Board essay contest prize. (May 13)


Citizen's Commission on Civil Rights
The Citizen's Commission on Civil Rights released a report showing that the No Child Left Behind school transfer provision is creating new opportunities for low-income and minority students. Choosing Better Schools: A Report on Student Transfers Under the No Child Left Behind Act gives a detailed study of districts' and states' implementation of the school choice provision and the level of parental interest. (May 12)


Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
A new study from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research finds that public schools in Florida whose students were given the offer of vouchers for private schools made gains on their state's standardized tests compared with other public schools. (May 10)


National Charter Schools Conference
The National Charter Schools Conference is June 16-18, in Miami Beach, FL. The conference will provide an opportunity for individuals involved with charter schools to share their knowledge and experiences. See the U.S. Charter Schools website for the agenda and registration information. (May 17)


National Association of Charter School Authorizers
The National Association of Charter School Authorizers has improved its online resources with nearly 90 new or revised entries. Also, NACSA's Educational Service Providers Project has other resources, including a toolkit and an information clearinghouse with providers' profiles. (May 10)


The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems
The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems invites applications for the 2005 Urban Superintendents Academy, a ten-month executive management program designed to prepare the next generation of public school chief executives. The application deadlines are August 16 and September 13. (May 10)


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Innovations in the News

Magnet Schools
Lincoln High School and Enrico Fermi School, both magnet schools that stress the arts, have teamed up with the Neuberger Museum at Purchase College in Yonkers, NY. Lincoln students were trained as docents by Neuberger instructors, and then discussed paintings at the museum with students from Fermi, many of whom had never been to a museum before. This program was so successful that the Lincoln students followed up by creating art lessons for the Fermi students. [More-Journal News] (April 30)

Advanced Placement
Students are in the midst of taking Advanced Placement exams. Students and educators say the value of taking the exams is twofold: a high score can lead to college credit, and students who take the exams are often better prepared for college work. [More-Indystar] (May 7)

Resources: Advanced Placement

School Choice
Colorado Governor Bill Owens signed the state's first-in-the-nation college voucher plan into law. The voucher amount of up to $2,400 will go to students attending public institutions in Colorado, and $1,200 will go to low-income students attending three private schools: Regis University—a Catholic university—the University of Denver, and Colorado College. [More-Citizen Online] (May 11)

Charter Schools
More than 60 percent of urban charter schools in Massachusetts outpaced comparable schools in their cities on the most recent MCAS exams, and several ranked among the state's highest performers among schools that primarily serve poor and minority children. [More-Boston Daily Globe] (May 10)

Dennis Bakke, president and chief executive of Imagine Schools, has pledged $20 million for charter schools if the Florida legislature approves a bill making it easier to establish them. [More-Herald Tribune] (May 12)

Resource: U.S. Charter Schools

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Last Modified: 06/30/2011