2010 VAAA – LaRose Elementary School

Third Place, West Division, Elementary Schools Tonya Cooper, Principal 864 Willoughby St. Memphis, TN 38126 Memphis City Schools Visit website Recipe For Success: As the proud principal of LaRose Elementary School it is my pleasure to share some of the practices that have contributed to our success. Our commitment to school improvement, with an emphasis on student achievement, has been the staple of our continued and sustained growth. Some keys to our success include: Engaging in intense data … Read More

2011 VAAA – Bethpage Elementary School

Third Place, Middle Division, Elementary Schools Bill Johnson, Principal 420 Old Highway 31 E Bethpage, TN 37022 Sumner County Schools Visit website Recipe For Success: Bethpage Elementary School has been honored by being selected as one of the 254 public schools is America to receive the 2010 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award by the United States Department of Education. The recipe used to create Bethpage Elementary School is a combination of precious ingredients, each unique and … Read More

2012 VAAA – Little Milligan

Third Place, East Division, K-8/Middle Schools JR Campbell, Principal 4226 Highway 321 Butler, TN 37640 Carter County Schools Visit website Reporting on the Award: Johnson City Press,Elizabethton Star Recipe For Success: Little Milligan Elementary is a Pre-K – 8 school in rural Carter County.  Of the 155 students, 88% are economically disadvantaged.  Our goal is to prepare our students to be life long learners so they will be able to meet the challenges of a quickly changing world. The success … Read More

Computer-Based Instruction that Produces Catch-Up Growth

posted in: General Information

Funnix Reading Instruction Funnix is computer-based reading instruction program containing a carefully sequenced series of small-step reading lessons developed by the author of Direct Instruction.  It is inexpensive, effective, and requires no teaching experience. Funnix was designed for use by parents but can be used by classroom aides, trained volunteers, and teachers with up to 5 children at a time. In this video, a parent teaches two children who are on a first grade level.  One of the … Read More

Kill the Messenger: The War on Standardized Testing

If standardized testing is such a valuable tool for school improvement, why do so many educators oppose it? The key difference is one of perspective.  Parents, policymakers, and the consuming public view public education as a human development resource. Their top priority is literacy, numeracy, and the other educational outcomes that prepare youth to be productive members of adult society. Educators want these same outcomes but consider a broad range of other objectives to be of equal or … Read More

Other Recommended Reading

Selections that we’ve highlighted over the years. Is Teaching to the Test a Problem? It Depends… Richard Phelps, author of the classic Kill the Messenger:  The War on Standardized Testing, has written an article featured in the Autumn 2011 issue of the Wilson Quarterly. Among other things, he notes that “most of the problems with testing have one surprising source: cheating by school administrators and teachers.” Click here for more.   Test, Testing, and Genuine School Reform In this 2011 book, … Read More

Danon Hooper: Recipe for Success

Lakeview Elementary The entire staff of Lakeview School is extremely proud and honored to be recognized by the Education Consumers Foundation for our Value Added gains. Lakeview School is a rural community Pre-8 school.  This year we have 358 students of which 49.1% are Economically Disadvantaged. The majority of our students are brought to school and taken home by their parents or other family members each day. Only about 1/3 of our students ride one of our two … Read More

Renee Bernard: Recipe for Success

McPheeter’s Bend Elementary There are many factors that contribute to the success of McPheeter’s Bend Elementary. We have had excellent Value-Added scores for many years, but still strive to achieve more. I strongly believe Todd Whitaker’s stance that it is “People not Programs” that is the core of our success. The faculty and staff of McPheeter’s Bend Elementary School work together as a team to improve student achievement.   Every day begins with a 120 minute reading/literacy block. During … Read More

Direct Instruction and the Teaching of Early Reading

posted in: Briefings & Reports

Direct Instruction and the Teaching of Early Reading, Wisconsin’s Teacher-Led Insurgency (click here for full article) (click here to download a PDF of this article) By Mark C. Schug, Sara G. Tarver, & Richard D. Western Thiensville, WI: Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, 2001.   Briefing Everyone knows reading is the foundation of learning. Students know it. Parents know it. Teachers know it. So why isn’t it taught using only the most carefully tested methods? Direct Instruction (DI) is arguably the most … Read More

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