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Cincinnati Schools Creates Programs to Improve Teaching and Learning
Teacher Advancement Program
Three Cincinnati Schools have volunteered to take part in a new program next school year that is aimed to improve the school’s instructional strategies and increase professional development. The aim of the program is to illustrate the connection between effective teaching and the student’s academic performance. The Cincinnati Schools involved in the pilot program are John P. Parker School in Madisonville, South Avondale School in Avondale and Whittier School in Price Hill. These schools cover kindergarten to eighth grade. These schools were chosen over other Cincinnati Schools due to each school’s rankings within the federal No Child Left Behind Act and their potential for growth. The Teacher Advancement Program is a research based school reform program that is designed to retain the best teachers in the profession in the schools. The Teacher Advancement Program was created in 1999 by the Milken Family Foundation. A major goal of the Teacher Advancement Program is to reverse the tendency of gifted young teachers leaving schools for other work by turning teaching into a worthwhile career choice. Teacher Advancement Program is endorsed by the Ohio Department of Education as a new restructuring program and by Cincinnati Schools’ teachers’ union, the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers. Teacher Advancement Program focuses on four areas of teacher development and student achievement:
• Ongoing, applied professional growth — Teachers are given time each week during the school day to work with teachers in the same grades or subjects to match instructional practices to student needs.
• Multiple career paths — Each school offers mentors and master lead teachers to meet regularly with teachers to plan and reflect on instruction.
• Instructionally focused accountability — Teachers will focus on student data to
improve instruction and on feedback from observations by the mentors, master teachers and principals.
• Incentive pay — Following negotiations with the CFT and CPS, incentive pay for teachers could be added for student achievement, professional growth and/or instructional growth.
Cincinnati Schools Set Five Year Plan
Cincinnati Schools have initiated a five year progress plan beginning this coming school year. The plan known as Building Futures: Every Student… Every School… Every Day has been recently approved by the Cincinnati Schools Education Broad. The plan aims to be students centered and sets high performance objectives. The plan wants to foster stronger links to families and community members with Cincinnati Schools and increase professional development among the teachers, staff and administrators. The plan also sets clear accountability measures. The plan was developed based on input from individuals and groups representing parents, community members, school staff, students, elected officials, business leaders, civil-rights organizations, faith-based associations, and others. This plan is divided into ten strategic areas. The plan sets improvement goals for all ten of these areas:
1. All pre K-12 students meet or exceed high academic standards.
2. All students graduate and are prepared for postsecondary education, successful careers and productive citizenship.
3. Schools have autonomy and effective governance, and are held accountable for results.
4. Schools are safe, supportive and family friendly.
5. The district supports schools and is accountable for results.
6. The district employs a highly qualified, diverse workforce that engages in continuous improvement through ongoing, high-quality professional development.
7. The district implements a systemic leadership development program.
8. State-of-the-art school facilities are designed to support student learning in a standards-based environment and are constructed meeting diversity-participation goals.
9. The district and schools are fiscally responsible and allocate resources equitably to support student learning.
10. Community partnerships strengthen the connection between schools and neighborhoods while supporting student learning and family engagement.
About the Author: Stacy Andell is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. Stacy has a nose for research and writes stimulating news and views on school issues. For more on Cincinnati schools visit http://www.schoolsk-12.com/Ohio/Cincinnati/index.html