Getting to Excellent: How to Create Better Schools

Getting to Excellent: How to Create Better Schools

by Judith Langer
Pub. Date:
Teachers College Press

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Getting to Excellent: How to Create Better Schools

Getting to Excellent is for everyone -- educators, parents, civic leaders -- who want students to think sharply, like learning, and have the high literacy skills that will open the path to success in school, work, and life. Using data from her groundbreaking study of diverse middle and high schools, Judith Langer shows us what makes the difference between highly effective schools and typical, business-as-usual schools. The text includes checklists to help administrators, teachers, and others place their own schools on the continuum from "typical" to "excellent" to identify areas that need improvement.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807744727
Publisher: Teachers College Press
Publication date: 05/20/2004
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.36(d)

Table of Contents

1Successful Schools Follow a Different Drummer1
The National Focus2
What Else?3
2Tests Are Used to Enrich the Curriculum, Not to Narrow It8
Using Tests as an Opportunity10
Setting Broad Learning Goals12
Preparing for Tests14
Building Curriculum15
Spending Time and Money16
Excellent Schools: What's the Difference?17
3Investing in Professionalism Pays Off19
A Professional Community at School21
Professionalism Within and Beyond the School24
Making Things Happen25
Respect for Learning27
Professionalism in Schools That Work28
4The Academic Program Gets Frequent Tune-Ups30
The Academic Program Within the Department31
The Academic Program Within the Interdisciplinary Team33
Organizing What Gets Taught: The Big Picture34
Extra Help37
Academic Programs in Effective Schools: How They Work40
5Instruction Aims High and Is Responsive to Students42
Aiming High43
Teaching Students What to Do46
Teaching Skills48
Improved Instruction51
6Parents, Community, and Schools Work Together--Really53
School Management54
Children's School Lives57
School Offerings Within and Beyond the School59
The School as a Community Resource62
Caring Counts, Too63
7Good Schools Are Possible Everywhere: One Neighborhood, Two Schools65
The Neighborhood66
The Schools66
The Parents and Community68
Different Responses to Tests69
Different Notions of Professionalism71
Different Academic Programs72
Different Kinds of Instruction73
The Two Schools: A Re-View75
8The Road to Change77
What Teachers Can Do81
What School Administrators Can Do83
What Parents Can Do85
What Next?86
9Frequently Asked Questions89
Home Decisions90
Connecting with School95
Why Things Get Taught That Way99
Special Needs103
In Closing106
AppendixAbout the Study107
About the Author129

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