September 16, 2003, Extra Credit
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September 16, 2003
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 September 15
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At Evansville Elementary In Wyoming, "The Thrill Of Success Is Infectious"

Following are excerpts an article in yesterday's Tacoma News Tribune:

"Roosevelt Elementary School teachers on Tacoma's East Side have a long to-do list this year. Learn how to better instruct students who speak little English. Hold more evening events to bring families to school. Test kids' reading and math skills more often to target instruction. Plan which math concepts need to be covered each week of the year. And that's just part of the list. Roosevelt is launching multiple strategies to boost the performance of its 250 students. It is one of six schools in the Tacoma School District that missed testing targets for two years, making it subject to a series of increasingly severe penalties under the No Child Left Behind Act, if scores don't improve."

"Under a state requirement of all public schools, other Clover Park and Tacoma schools also are developing plans to increase student achievement. The districts also are undertaking numerous initiatives to improve teaching and student performance. Clover Park teachers, for instance, will craft individual plans to help struggling first-graders read on grade level, something they're already doing for second-graders. Next year, they'll add third-graders. Principals are learning how to mentor teachers and lead their schools in raising academic achievement."

"In Tacoma, all elementary school teachers will receive training in how to teach literacy and math, using the best research-based practices. Last summer, Tacoma targeted its elementary summer school to struggling third-graders. Some Tacoma middle schools are devoting more time to math and reading; all are trying to align lessons more closely with state standards."

"At Roosevelt, outside auditors last year found the school needed to beef up its academic standards and increase parental involvement. Auditors found some teachers had low expectations of students, believing they were limited by income, ethnicity or English proficiency. Nearly 87 percent of Roosevelt students are poor enough to qualify for free and reduced lunch. Nearly half live in homes where English isn't spoken. That finding of low expectations hurt, and not all staff agreed with it, teachers and Principal Pat Pruitt said. Pruitt said she thinks teachers in general tend to empathize so much with students in tough circumstances that they don't always demand enough of them. 'The legislation has jolted us and said no, pay attention to your academics, make sure kids get skills so they can change the circumstances of their life,' she said. Most Roosevelt teachers are embracing the broad range of actions they've developed to raise academic achievement."


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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.

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Last Modified: 02/28/2008