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'Hurry up!' The pressure's on

By Anonymous on Dec 1, 2010 04:53 PM

We recently published a story about Mastery Charter Schools' Smedley Elementary and the "palpable sense of urgency" that drives its instruction.

We just posted a story with a more comprehensive look at teaching at Mastery in our December edition on teachers and reform.

The original story sparked a lot of discussion, and a post over on City School Stories. Blogger and former elementary school principal Frank Murphy questioned putting so much pressure on such young kids:

So now it is the academic performance of our five- and six-year-olds which is a threat to the dominance of our country as the powerhouse leader of the world.   This is quite a burden to place on the tiny shoulders of our youngest citizens.

Murphy brought the discussion back to the managed instruction approach that is in use throughout District schools as well.

There are a lot of issues at play here, and we explore many of those in our current edition. Do you think it's possible to find areas of agreement in what is increasingly a polarized debate about how to improve our lowest-performing schools? What are some approaches that have worked well (or not) in your school or examples of encouraging conversations you've had?

If you're free this evening, come to a screening of "A Community Concern" that the Notebook is co-sponsoring with the Teacher Action Group. It is a great opportunity to learn about activism in other cities and have some discussions--in person!

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