Thursday, March 16, 2006
NEW! Evidence against all-day kindergarten on
The Solution Staring OPS in the Face:
Pueblo, Colo., District Pulls Off a Miracle
Without Huge New Funding
When the Omaha Public Schools cries a river for huge amounts of new funding because they have so many high-poverty students to educate and “it costs a lot more,” the rest of us should take a look at what happened in Pueblo, Colo.
That district, with 65% of its student population poor enough to obtain free- and reduced-price school lunches, has recently undergone a metamorphosis. Pueblo used to be a bottom-feeder among Colorado school districts; now it is one of the top performers.
What did they do? Force consolidations with nearby richer, suburban school districts? Shake down Colorado taxpayers for more funding? Call Harry Potter?
Nooooo. They did the right thing – the thing that OPS should have done YEARS ago.
They switched to systematic, intensive, explicit phonics, and used their existing Title I federal remediation dollars to retrain all of their teachers how to teach the kiddies how to read the right way. The reading curriculum is Lindamood-Bell – not as great as Spalding Phonics in my book, but pretty great, anyway.
Presto! Eureka! It took several years, but the Pueblo test scores rose from near the bottom to the point where, today, 83% of Pueblo students read at a level deemed “proficient” or better. That compares to a statewide average of 71%.
The Pueblo superintendent said, “It does not take more money to do what we are doing! We quit doing things that didn’t work. We used resources that were already in the district.”
Read all about it on: http://www.educationnews.org/Commentaries/High_Minority_and_High_Poverty_Children-Can_Rise.htm
And if you have a friend who has any say-so in the OPS controversy, be sure to send that link to them. Presto! Eureka! You just never know what might be the happy thing that finally opens people’s eyes to the real solution that’s staring us all in the face.
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