Tag: State Policy

West Wind Hosts Screening of the American Teacher Documentary

West Wind Hosts Screening of the American Teacher Documentary

Reading Time: 4 minutes

On Tuesday, April 3, West Wind Education Policy, Inc. and the Bijou Theatre at the University of Iowa co-hosted a screening of the American Teacher, a documentary produced by the Teacher Salary Project.  The Project aims to raise awareness of teacher working conditions in America, including salary, hours, and respect for the profession.  The film’s producers include Ninive Caligari, co-founder of the 826 National writing programs and a former classroom teacher who also co-authored the book Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America’s Teachers with co-producer of the documentary Dave Eggers, best known for his 2000 book,  A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.   The film is directed by Vanessa Roth, who won an Academy Award for Freeheld, and narrated by actor Matt Damon. Continue reading “West Wind Hosts Screening of the American Teacher Documentary”

Keeping the American Indian Education Truths Alive

Keeping the American Indian Education Truths Alive

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Since Osama bin Laden was killed nearly one month ago, many details about the mission have been unveiled. One particular story, which brings awareness to the “inappropriateness” of coding Osama bin Laden as “Geronimo,”[1] is a relevant and current reminder to the prevalence American Indians have as a thread of our nation.

In this way, it is important to be cognizant of American Indians, not only their revered historical figures from the past; but also their cultural traditions which struggle to be maintained and their hopes of responding to these ongoing issues today. In observing and aspiring to fully understand these issues from an education lens, it is important to not forget the past that has in part led to today’s state of American Indian education.

Currently, there are 565 federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives. [2] While the Cherokee and Navajo nations contain the majority of American Indian citizens, the myriad other tribes hold their own distinct traditional and cultural markers.  American Indian adolescents “make up only 1% of the total youth population [but] they account for 2% of the total juvenile population being held in custody and 3% of juvenile status offenders in custody.” [3] In 2003, 15 percent of Native youths 16- to 24-years old had not completed high school or earned a G.E.D. credential. This rate was more than twice the rate for white youths (6 percent), four times that of Asian American/Pacific Islanders (AA/PI) (4 percent) and about the same as Black youths. Only Hispanic students dropped out at rates higher than AI/AN students.

American Indian students attend public schools, private schools, schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and tribal schools.  In the 2005–06 school year, 644,000 public elementary and secondary school students, or about 1 percent of all public school students, were American Indian or Alaska Native.  Similarly, about 1 percent of all private school students were American Indian or Alaska Native. [4] About 8 percent of American Indian students attend schools funded by the BIE.

The BIE, despite accounting for serving only a small portion of American Indian students, carries strong cultural significance. The U.S. Department of the Interior website provides a useful history of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the establishment of the BIE whose mission aims to provide quality education opportunities through life in accordance with a tribe’s needs for cultural and economic well-being in order to maintain the diversity of American Indian and Alaska Native villages as distinct cultural and governmental entities:

There have been three major legislative actions that restructured the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) with regard to educating American Indians since the Snyder Act of 1921: First, the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 introduced the teaching of Indian history and culture in BIA schools (until then it had been Federal policy to acculturate and assimilate Indian people by eradicating their tribal cultures through a boarding school system). Second, the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 (P.L. 93-638) gave authority to federally recognized tribes to contract with the BIA for the operation of Bureau-funded schools and to determine education programs suitable for their children. The Education Amendments Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-561) and further technical amendments (P.L. 98-511, 99-99, and 100-297) provided funds directly to tribally operated schools, empowered Indian school boards, permitted local hiring of teachers and staff, and established a direct line of authority between the Education Director and the AS-IA. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110) brought additional requirements to the schools by holding them accountable for improving their students’ academic performance with the U.S. Department of Education supplemental program funds they receive through the Bureau.

Farther before the establishment of these various acts, with the installation of these boarding schools, came a very contrary notion. The founder of these schools, Richard Pratt, believed that “all the Indian there is in the [American Indian] race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him, and save the man.” As a result, American Indians were assimilated away from their traditions using methods that have haunted them since.

Although schools have complied towards transforming this past structure into a more positive experience for American Indian students, perpetual stereotypes and myths about American Indians are persistent.

Common stereotypes are: “that American Indians are drunks, get free money from the government, are made wealthy from casino revenue…or, that Indians are at one with nature, deeply religious and wise in the ways of spirituality” [5]. In relation to these stereotypes, are myths of the American Indian.

Some examples:

1. They prefer to be called Native Americans.

2. They are given special privileges.

3. They are a dying race.

4. They are easily identifiable.

5. They all live on a reservation.

6. They are born knowing their culture and heritage.

7. They feel honored by mascots. [6] The American Indian Sports Team Mascots website addresses this controversy; as does the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media.

Suggestions to overcoming these common but misguided perceptions are to provide counterexamples that lead to knowing American Indian culture in a more positive light. This will not only allow us to interact with American Indians more appropriately, but it also will allow American Indian students to learn in a more comfortable school environment.

Going directly to the source is another way to debunk these common misconceptions. That is why collaboration and consultation with American Indian officials and individuals is often a priority recommendation for reforming education to better serve American Indians. These officials know, after all, that it is their young students that will pave the way in assuring authentic perceptions of their [diverse groups of] people:

“We must prepare them for active and equal participation in the global market. We must prepare them to be citizens in the 21st century. We must prepare them to be positive, involved members of our communities. And, most importantly, we must prepare them to be the future leaders of our governments. There is no more vital resource to the continued existence and integrity of Indian tribes than their children.” [7]

In the National Congress of American Indians’ summit last December, one of the recommendations was that states should be “required to enter into collaborative agreements with tribes.” [7] This, they believe will create a more welcoming and positive environment for American Indian students in which they will be more likely to thrive.

To see more American Indian led policy recommendations, go here.


[1]The Buffalo Post. 2011 Use of Geronimo Code name to be Discussed on Capitol Hill. Retrieved from http://buffalopost.net/?p=14623

[2]Bureau of Indian Affairs, http://www.bia.gov/WhoWeAre/index.htm

[3] Mmari, K., Blum R., Shone-Teufel N., What Increases Risk and Protection from Delinquent Behaviors Among American Indian Youth? Findings from Three Tribal Communities, 2009,Youth & Society, Volume 41 Number 3,  March 2010 pg 382-413.

[4] Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, 2008. Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaskan Natives: 2008. http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2008084

[5] Fleming, Walter C. (2006, November). Myths and Stereotypes About Native Americans. Phi Deltan Kappan, 88, 213-216.

[6] Ibid.

[7] National Congress of American Indians and National Indian Education Association. National Priorities for Indian Education. Retrieved from http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/files/uploads/18/NCAI_NIEA_jointESEAreauth.pdf

[8] National Congress of American Indians, 2010 Education: 2010

Act 250 Helping Rid Wisconsin of Offensive Native American Mascots and Logos

Act 250 Helping Rid Wisconsin of Offensive Native American Mascots and Logos

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Wisconsin’s new law–Act 250–allows persons to file a complaint against a school board for its “use of race-based nicknames, logos, mascots and team names.”  What is particularly exciting about the new law is that, during the resulting hearing before the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the school board and not the complainant “has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the use of the nickname or team name in connection with the logo or mascot does not promote discrimination, pupil harassment, or stereotyping as defined by the state superintendent by rule.”

According to the Wisconsin Indian Education Association’s Indian Mascot and Logo Task Force, that burden is going to be pretty hard to meet.  The Task Force cites research by Dr. Stephanie Fryberg showing white students receive an artificial boost to their self-esteem and self-efficacy while American Indian students experience a decrease in both;  the harm is the same whether the images are intended to be “noble” or cartoonish.  Moreover, the effects on American Indian students are worse when the use is “approved.”  (The Task Force cites other studies as well, including a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology titled “Effect of Exposure to an American Indian Mascot on the Tendency to Stereotype a Different Minority Group,” by Chu Kim-Preito, Sumie Okazaki, Lizabeth Goldstein and Blake Kirschner).

Despite overwhelming evidence of harm, the Task Force reports that, as of May 13, 2010, 35 schools in Wisconsin were still using Native American mascots or logos.  That number will certainly go down.  For example, Kewaunee School District–one of the first districts to be challenged–has agreed to change its logo.

The most recent challenge was filed by Rain Koepke regarding the Mukwonago High School mascot, and a hearing is scheduled for August 27.  In the local paper, a high school student said he, too, wanted to file a complaint and offered his own rebuttal to claims that such mascots and logos are benign and intended to honor American Indians.  The student chose to remain anonymous for fear he would be ridiculed for his Native American heritage, which is not apparent by his appearance.  The student wrote a four-page essay on the issue, an exerpt of which was published in the local paper.  Sadly, in an update in the same paper, MHS Principal Shawn McNulty was quoted as saying “We will present the facts and provide a vigorous defense in support of the Mukwonago School District and our Mukwonago High School logo.”

The new law provides a powerful legal tool to fight racial discrimination, and it opens up an avenue for continued dialogue about race.  In particular, it invites conversation about why it is that when people of color say they have been harmed, the response is often disbelief (it’s the  “show me your wound and I’ll tell you if it hurts” phenomenon).  The fact that a student feels he has to hide his Native American heritage–and the district continues to fight for its mascot–suggests there is much more going on at MHS than can be solved by doing away with the mascot.

Wisconsin Mascot Law Having an Impact

Wisconsin Mascot Law Having an Impact

Reading Time: < 1 minute

The Kewaunee School District in Wisconsin has decided to formally discontinue the use of its Indians team name and logo!  We think this is an extremely important issue for public education today.

This decision comes after Wisconsin passed the historic Race Based Nicknames, Mascots, and Logos Law.  Here is some background (from the Wisconsin State Human Relations Association):

On May 5, 2010, Governor Jim Doyle signed into law SB 25, the Race Based nicknames, mascots, and logos law.  The signing of this law was the culmination of a 16-year collaborative process.  Rep. Jim Soletski, and Sen. Coggs introduced this critical piece of legislation in 2009.

Bill co-sponsor Democrat Sen. Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee) said, “If we use that logic, back in 1954, when Rosa Parks got on a bus and she decided it was not right for black people to sit at the back. … Would it have been okay for another black person to say, ‘Hey I like sitting in the back of the bus. It’s okay with me – let’s cancel out what Rosa Parks is talking about?'”

Rep. Jim Soletski (D-Green Bay) stated that, “It’s 2009. It’s time we put this behind us. It’s the Native American’s heritage, first and foremost. If they’re not feeling honored, then it’s time to get rid of it.”  Wisconsin is the first state in the United States to pass such an important legislation.

Indian County Today’s article on the signing of the bill

Indian Country Today’s 2009 article on the content of the bill

For additional information about the importance of the issue, go to Students and Teachers Against Racism or you can view our presentations on “Othering.”

State Policy Implications of the Model Core Teaching Standards

State Policy Implications of the Model Core Teaching Standards

Reading Time: < 1 minute

[box class=”grey_box”]By Deanna Hill, Circe Stumbo, Kathleen Paliokas, Deb Hansen, and Peter McWalters. This draft discussion document was written on behalf of CCSSO’s Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) as a companion document to Model Core Teaching Standards: A Resource for State Dialogue. Disseminated at CCSSO’s 2010 Summer Institute, it was written to assist the organization’s influential network of chief state school officers and the education community as they make decisions about standards adoption and implementation.[/box]


Library image (cc) Marco Antonio Torres

Report of the Focus Groups to Discuss Bold and Innovative Ideas

Report of the Focus Groups to Discuss Bold and Innovative Ideas

Reading Time: 2 minutes

[box class=”grey_box”]A report on seven focus groups on the topic of Pay for Performance in the state of Iowa, conducted in the Fall of 2006. Prepared for the Institute for Tomorrow’s Workforce.[/box]


In 2005, the Iowa General Assembly created the Institute for Tomorrow’s Workforce (ITW). The ITW is charged with focusing elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education on what children need to know to be successful in Iowa’s global workforce. More specifically, the General Assembly asked the ITW to provide a “long term forum for bold, innovative recommendations to improve Iowa’s education system to meet the workforce needs of Iowa’s new economy.”

In 2006, the Iowa General Assembly passed legislation termed “Pay for Performance.” The legislation called for a pilot study of 10 school districts with pay-for-performance programs where teachers’ pay is based on student achievement, among other factors. An executive order by the governor contracted that work to the ITW. The legislation also directed the ITW to create an education efficiency and improvement plan for Iowa.

In order to inform the pilot study and improvement plan, the ITW contracted with Learning Point Associates (LPA) to conduct background studies. Under the contract, LPA will convene advisory work groups, conduct focus groups and a phone survey, meet with interest groups about their preliminary findings, and publish a final report by January 2007. LPA contracted with West Wind Education Policy, Inc. (West Wind) to conduct the focus groups. West Wind is a small company based in Iowa City, Iowa, providing policy analysis, professional development, and leadership training to district, state, and national leaders and advocates for public education.

Seven focus groups were conducted around the state, with 100 total participants. In September and October 2006, focus groups met in Muscatine, Oelwein, Fort Dodge, Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Centerville, and Des Moines. The focus groups were held in neutral locations in small towns and urban areas in order to gather a wide range of perspectives. Participants represented an array of interests, including educators, administrators, higher education, students, parents, community members and activists, business owners and managers, and senior citizens.

Questions were posed to each focus group to elicit the participants’ ideas, concerns, and priorities. Analysts at West Wind analyzed the results and prepared the following report for LPA and the ITW. An accompanying Technical Report is available with additional detail from each focus group session.

Continue reading by downloading the full report (PDF).

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Library image (cc) Brooks Elliott

Perspectives on Georgia’s High Schools

Perspectives on Georgia’s High Schools

Reading Time: 3 minutes

[box class=”grey_box”]A report on the Regional Focus Groups on High School Redesign and the Work of the High School Redesign Advisory Panel. Prepared for the Georgia Department of Education School Improvement Division.[/box]


Educators and the public in Georgia share a growing concern about the capabilities of the public education system going forward into the 21st century. Despite our best efforts, changing demographics, economic realities, and challenges to democracy put pressure on the system as a whole to improve. The good news is that much is being done to assess the current and future needs of students and to adjust or redesign our education systems accordingly. Over the past several years, the nationwide emphasis on early literacy and standards-based education reform opened the doors for improved student results. While many of these efforts are paying off in the early grades, improvements have not yet taken hold at the high school level nationwide or in Georgia. Rather than attempt to make incremental improvements to a system that is widely recognized as needing large-scale reform, the Georgia Department of Education has approached the challenge to improve student performance as an opportunity to redesign its high schools at the levels of both student and system outcomes. Initially, the Department endeavored to provide answers to three broad questions:

  • How do we create a sense of urgency and action in the high schools across the state in a way that motivates redesign and leads to improved student achievement?
  • How can the Georgia Department of Education align resources to affect high school improvement?
  • How can the School Improvement Division collaborate across the Division and the Department as a whole to help align inter- and intra-agency work to improve high school?

With these questions in mind, the Georgia Department of Education directed substantial resources to support secondary school improvement. In late 2004, the Department created the position of Coordinator of High School Improvement. It also directed a majority of its federal Comprehensive School Reform grants to high schools and middle schools. With the Board of Regents, the Department launched Education Go Get It in February, 2005, which is a program to encourage Georgia’s youth to embrace education in high school and beyond. Once these programs were in place, the Department began to plan the first steps toward its much larger goal of comprehensive high school evaluation and redesign.

In April 2005, the Department convened an Advisory Panel on High School Redesign, comprising leaders of statewide education associations, Department staff, and community partners. The Advisory Panel helped conceptualize the focus groups as forums for public engagement and information gathering. In August and September of 2005, the Georgia Department of Education organized a series of high school redesign focus groups, hosted by the Regional Education Service Agencies, with the purpose of identifying core areas for focus in Georgia’s effort to lead the nation in improving student achievement. The Department contracted West Wind Education Policy, Inc., an independent entity based in Iowa City, Iowa, and with no ties to the state of Georgia, to conduct the regional High School Redesign Focus Groups.

After collecting and analyzing focus group results, analysts at West Wind developed a series of recommendations based on those data. The Advisory Panel was again convened in December 2005 to review the findings and draft recommendations and again provide their input. The result is this report. It is hoped that the Department will use this resource as it develops a vision and state action plan for the redesign of high schools toward the goal of leading the nation in preparing high school students for education beyond high school and for their chosen fields of work.

Continue reading by downloading the full report (PDF).

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High School Leadership: Preliminary Report

High School Leadership: Preliminary Report

Reading Time: 3 minutes

[box class=”grey_box”]A report introducing New Hampshire Vision for High Schools and representing stakeholder workshops, forums, and focus groups conducted throughout 2004 and 2005. Prepared for the State of New Hampshire Department of Education.[/box]


Introduction

Educators, education policy makers, and key stakeholders in New Hampshire are calling for improvements in the overall performance and completion rates of their high school students. This report introduces the New Hampshire Vision for High Schools and represents a compilation of a number of stakeholder workshops, forums, and focus groups that were convened throughout 2004 and early 2005. Over five hundred representatives of nearly every high school in the state and a wide array of stakeholder groups came together in these face-to-face events to offer their perspectives, hopes, and fears about high school in New Hampshire. The purpose of this report is to inform ongoing efforts to improve high schools in New Hampshire.

Why Be Concerned About High School in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire has a great deal that is going right related to its high schools. Graduation rates have increased steadily throughout the 20th century. New Hampshire’s business and community members have long supported its high schools as they endeavor to ensure quality educational outcomes for their students. New Hampshire’s citizens enjoy a relatively positive economic context—the lowest poverty rate in the nation, the fourth lowest unemployment rate, and the 7th highest per capita income. New Hampshire added over 65,000 new jobs between 1990 and 1996.

That said, New Hampshire’s stakeholders also recognize that the skills and knowledge needed to succeed are rapidly changing. Though graduation rates have increased throughout the 20th century, the high schools designed for the 20th century are not preparing students for success in the 21st. Over half of the jobs that New Hampshire added between 1990 and 1996 were for college-educated workers—and at least half of the projected new jobs in New Hampshire will also be for college graduates. Despite this reality, New Hampshire’s high school graduates are not as prepared for admission to college as they should be. Remediation rates among freshman entering college are significantly high. In addition, New Hampshire is 19th in the nation in the rate of postsecondary enrollments among high school graduations, thus relying on an in-migration of skilled workers to fill the most lucrative jobs.

High school graduates not planning to go to college immediately need more from their high school experience. As the American Diploma project states,

Successful preparation for both postsecondary education and employment requires learning the same rigorous English and mathematics content and skills. No longer do students planning to go to work after high school need a different and less rigorous curriculum than those planning to go to college.

No matter what the level of education that students complete, those with more education earn more than those with less. Yet, New Hampshire is 20th in the nation in its rate of high school completion. Even more telling, fifty-two percent of high school students feel only “somewhat prepared” to enter the workforce and twenty-two percent feel “unprepared,” while forty-five percent of employers feel students are only somewhat prepared and forty-five percent believe students are unprepared for work.

Awareness of these statistics coupled with an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement has spurred the New Hampshire impetus for creating a vision and a blueprint for high school improvement.

What Is Being Done?

The New Hampshire Department of Education convened a High School Leadership Team in 2004. With a small planning grant and technical assistance from the U.S. Department of Education, the leadership team developed a series of activities leading to the creation of a high school vision and blue print that can help to frame local high school improvement efforts. First among these activities was the engagement of education stakeholders.

The Leadership Team is comprised of a representative cross-section of New Hampshire stakeholders and advocates. Membership on the Leadership Team continues to expand as the effort gains momentum.”

The data and commentary compiled in this report will be used by the High School Leadership Team as they craft a vision statement for high schools in New Hampshire. The results of this report will also be shared with additional stakeholders at the March 2005 conference on Breaking Ranks II, which is being organized by the New Hampshire School Principals Association and the New Hampshire Department of Education.

Out of these many gatherings of concerned New Hampshire stakeholders, a vision for New Hampshire’s high schools is beginning to take shape. Future forums and reports will continue the process of clarification and engagement so that the resulting vision statement and initiatives can best support local efforts to improve high schools.

Continue reading by downloading the full report (PDF).

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Library image (cc) Jonathan

Arizona HS Renewal & Improvement Initiative

Arizona HS Renewal & Improvement Initiative

Reading Time: 4 minutes

[box class=”grey_box”]A needs assessment for the context of improving Arizona’s high schools, based on Regional Focus Groups on High School Renewal and prepared for the Arizona Department of Education and the Arizona High School Renewal and Improvement Initiative State Team.[/box]


Introduction

Arizona is poised to usher in exciting renewal activities in its high schools, activities that will help to ensure all students in Arizona achieve to high levels and graduate from high school ready for college, work, and success in life. A broad cross-section of school, community, and governmental leaders are looking at the performance of Arizona’s high school students and are studying ways to improve the goals, organization, and results of Arizona’s high schools.

There are many reasons why Arizonans believe high school renewal so critical. Most significant are hopes that more and more of Arizona’s high school students ultimately will graduate and that they will graduate proficient in Arizona’s content and performance standards. Only 76.4% of students starting high school in the fall of 1998 graduated by spring 2003. 33.6% of Arizona’s Hispanic students did not graduate in five years, 37% of Native American students did not graduate; and 29.8% African American did not graduate in five years. Further, there is not general consensus that each of those students who did graduate was well prepared for a competitive economy or post-secondary education.

In an effort to ensure all of Arizona’s high school students achieve to the standards, the Arizona State Legislature recently authorized an assessment and accountability system, which requires all students to pass Arizona’s Instrument for Measuring the Standards, or the AIMS test, in order to graduate. The class of 2006 is the first class that will be required to pass AIMS to graduate. In the spring 2004 administration (the first opportunity the class of 2006 had to take the test, which was when they were sophomores), 59% of that class who took AIMS without accommodations passed the reading portion, 62% passed the writing portion, and 39% passed the mathematics portion of the AIMS assessment. In the fall 2004 administration, students were retested in areas where they underperformed. 36% of the class who took the reading “retest” passed, 46% of 11th graders who took the writing retest passed, and 22% of the class who took the mathematics retest passed.

Statewide concern that all students pass the AIMS test is creating conditions for real renewal to occur in Arizona’s high schools. Arizonans across the board are eager for change—and they are ready for a legitimate group of stakeholders to provide leadership in identifying strategies for renewal that schools, school districts, and communities can join together to undertake.

To help provide that leadership, the Arizona Department of Education convened a statewide team to study the high school context in Arizona and to develop action plans for high school renewal. After their first full meeting in the summer of 2004, the State Team determined they needed to conduct a needs assessment of stakeholders from across the state in order to determine the unique Arizona context for improving high school. In response, the Arizona Department of Education and WestEd joined to organize four Regional Focus Groups on High School Renewal. The Focus Groups were held October 14 in Yuma, October 15 in Tucson, October 18 in Flagstaff, and October 19 in Phoenix. The Focus Groups were convened to advise the Arizona High School Renewal and Improvement Initiative State Team on:

  • What matters most to the many diverse stakeholders unique to Arizona;
  • What are the expectations for student performance within the schools and the
    broader community;
  • What students need in order to be successful in high school;
  • What ideas for renewal hold promise or are at peril; and
  • How ready the schools and communities are to take on high school renewal
    initiatives.

One hundred and eleven stakeholders took part in the focus groups, representing a diverse array of interests, including those of students, parents, teachers, principals, administrators, elected officials, business and industry, higher education, and middle level education; charter schools, alternative schools, and regular comprehensive high schools; and urban, suburban, and rural schools. These stakeholders joined together to advise the AZHSRI State Team on the development and implementation of action plans for high school renewal. (A listing of participants in each of the four focus groups is included as Appendix 2.)

Questions were posed to each focus group in order to elicit their priorities, analyses, and ideas. In general, focus group participants felt the process captured their comments and were satisfied the goals of the focus groups were met. (See Appendix 4 for detailed evaluative data from the focus groups.) This report will be forwarded to each participant for their individual review.

Researchers analyzed the results and prepared the following recommendations for the AZHSRII State Team and the Arizona Department of Education. The AZHSRII State Team will be meeting February 2, 2005, to review these recommendations and the various initiatives underway in Arizona around high school renewal. At that meeting, the State Team will begin to develop a series of action plans to encourage state and local improvement efforts.

It is anticipated that additional data will be gathered at focus groups in communities that were under-represented in the regional sessions. In particular, one focus group will be organized within the Native American community. There is hope that a second focus group will be convened of high school students who have either dropped out, are at risk of dropping out, or who are in alternative high school programs.

Continue reading by downloading the full PDF.

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