Effective Practices

Helping Students Navigate the Path to College

As you may remember from previous posts, Doing What Works from WestEd, the American Institutes for Research and RMC Research Corporation, is a great multi-media site that is a wonderful clearinghouse for research based education practices online. This site from  the U.S. Department of Education offers an online library of resources that may help teachers, schools, districts, states and technical assistance providers implement research-based instructional practice. This Practice Guide offers educators, administrators, and policymakers five research-based practice recommendations designed to increase postsecondary access, particularly for underserved, low-income, or first-generation college-going students. Fitting perfectly with the goals of California GEAR UP, each recommendation includes …

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Ed Chief Praises California GEAR UP Success at Tincher

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan held a round table discussion at California GEAR UP distinguished school Tincher Prep yesterday in Long Beach. The purpose of his visit was to learn best practices of the school and to hear how Tincher has been so successful in creating distributed leadership and a school community working for the same goals. Principal Bill Vogel said it best: “You give teachers choice in their professional development, you let them lead the direction of the school, and you let the school have discretion in how to best serve their students.” The teachers chose to participate …

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Support College Access in Middle School with Donors Choose

Most people think that high school is where students should start thinking about preparing for college, but California GEAR UP, KnowHow2GO and the Lumina Foundation for Education know that real success starts in middle school – where students first begin more rigorous coursework.  That’s why they are working together to half-fund middle school college readiness projects across 16 states. KnowHow2GO is an effort initially funded in 2007 by the Lumina Foundation and now works through Donors Choose to match individual donors with teachers. Attention middle school teachers! If you’re interested in KnowHow2GO funding consider submitting projects that include: College guides, Financial Aid …

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Pacoima Middle School + Math Carnival = CST Success

On Thursday, April 22 Pacoima Middle School hosted a math carnival to prepare and engage students in the upcoming CST’s. Here is the live report from the Math Department at Pacoima: This is our third year doing this event and it is headed up by our Math Coach Ms. Ourfalian.  

The Math Carnival consists of 22 fun and engaging math games including a CST preparation station.  This event takes place during our Open House day at Pacoima Middle School.  Our students are trained to conduct the games, and our parents are in charge of the prize station.  We invite the community to come play …

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Strategies For Funding College: Live Video-Streamed Meeting

Friday Online Fair On April 16th our friends at Green College Tours hosted over 700 chat sessions between high school students in Chicago, IL, El Paso, TX, Gilroy, Colton, Bakersfield, Anza, Riverside, Chino Hills, Bloomington, Cathedral City, Beaumont, San Jose, CA and colleges from across the country.  No travel required. Live Video Presentations – DePaul University, The Art Institutes and Get College Funding.org delivered live video presentations to freshman and sophomore high school classes.  Green College Tours will continue to expand this model network to provide high schools with an online window into colleges, campus life, college prep services and …

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Einstein Middle School and Cornell Collaborate on Bird Count

Albert Einstein Middle School in Sacramento shared this great activity with us today. Another great example of building a college going culture through instructional activities. Every year our school participates in the National Great Backyard Bird Count…which is held every President’s Day Holiday in February across the nation.  On February 12, 2010 ten of our students counted and tallied local bird species.  This recorded information is sent back to Cornell University for analysis.  I use the data in my classroom to have the students create graphs and analyze yearly patterns in our area.  We’ve been able to discuss hypotheses as …

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Entire Senior Class Accepted to 4-Year Colleges.

The entire senior class at Urban Prep Academy for Young Men, Chicago’s only public all-male, all-African-American high school has been accepted to four-year colleges. At last count, the 107 seniors had earned spots at 72 schools across the nation. That’s quite an achievement, especially considering that the overall college acceptance rate for Chicago public school graduates is 52.5 percent. Only 4 percent of this year’s senior class read at grade level as freshmen, according to Tim King, the school’s CEO. An excellent example of creating a college-going culture, success such as this is further evidence that California GEAR UP’s work in …

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Gaining Ground in Middle Grades: Why Some Schools Do Better

A new middle grades report from EdSource provided further affirmation of the capacity building efforts of California GEAR UP. What is particularly interesting for GEAR UP schools is the findings suggest schools who have high functioning Leadership Teams that focus the school community on a shared “future oriented” mission are far better off. Gaining Ground in the Middle Grades: Why Some Schools Do Better, is based on surveys from 303 principals, 3,752 English language arts (ELA) and math teachers in grades 6-8, and 157 superintendents in California. Educator responses were analyzed against spring 2009 scores on California’s standards-based tests in …

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Doing What Works: Turning Around Low Performing Schools

New for our ‘Courageous Conversation’ and ‘Discussion’ catagories: Our friends over at WestEd (thanks Sanjay) shared with us a great multi-media site that is a wonderful clearinghouse for research based education practices online. This site is a joint venture lead by the Department of Education to create an online library of resources that may help teachers, schools, districts, states and technical assistance providers implement research-based instructional practice. What we at GEAR UP particularly like about this site is the well produced videos, slideshows, and information under each topic. It is hard to think of another website that has as much …

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Valley High GEAR UP collaborates with californiacolleges.edu

California GEAR UP Valley High School collaboration participated in a week long training on the interactive college prep website californiacolleges.edu. On the site students create a profile that allows them to track their progress towards college, including A-G requirements, career and interest assessments, grades tracking, and the ability to begin, finish, and submit their college applications directly to their chosen schools. Christian Smith is tasked with training all the Valley students in their English classes Californiacolleges.edu is supported throughout the state by its administrator, Michael Burton (pictured). Thanks Michael and Christian!