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"Schools of Choice" How One Public School District is Embracing Options

In our on-going desire to bring informative and thought provoking information to parents of school aged children, as well as the community at large, the North Bay Educational Foundation (NBEF) will share news, articles, case studies and announcements on this blog. Our hope is to stimulate conversation about improving education in our North Bay community, and to provide a forum to openly examine educational alternatives for our children.

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A recent Spokane Inlander article entitled Schools of Choice describes how the Spokane Public School District has implemented a vast array of educational options, including the move to Core Knowledge Curriculum in two elementary schools.

The Principal at Balboa Elementary, one of the schools to implement Core Knowledge, is quoted as saying, “The staff that piloted [Core Knowledge] has continually, since September, been coming in and showing me data around student learning. It is truly delivering deep content knowledge to kids starting in kindergarten."  She goes on to note, “Uniquely, Core Knowledge doesn't compartmentalize subject matters like most other curricula. … It's all completely integrated." 

The Principal at Longfellow Elementary, another school that implemented Core Knowledge, explains why they adopted this curriculum, "Eighty-three percent of our students are students of poverty. By fifth grade in high poverty schools, you often see a slip in reading scores. There's a switch, the vocabulary and the text complexity really ramps up. They don't have background knowledge or access to the vocabulary."

The article further explores the Spokane School District’s move to offer a vast array of educational options.  “The world of education is moving toward consistency.  No Child Left Behind, state standardized tests and the Common Core standards all represent the ways in which schools across the country are becoming more and more uniform. But on a local level, Spokane Public Schools is moving in the opposite direction.  Where districts across the state lined up to officially oppose allowing charters to exist at all, Spokane Public Schools rushed to become an authorizer:  The first charter school authorized in the state not only got approval from the district, the district assisted the school's creator every step of the way.”

"’Options’ is the catchphrase in Spokane schools.  Enthusiasm is building among teachers, administrators and parents for the new slew of options.”

To read the entire article, please click here.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Anne April 07, 2014 at 02:17 PM
Any news on Pivot Charter opening in Novato?
North Bay Educational Foundation April 08, 2014 at 12:06 AM
Hi Anne, Pivot has held a number of public informational meetings and has received strong interest from parents to date. Interested familes can contact Pivot Charter Schools via their website at http://www.pivotnorthbay.com/community-meeting-k-8-public-charter-school-option
Tina McMillan April 08, 2014 at 01:48 PM
It would be wonderful to see a K through 8, Core Knowledge charter option in Novato.

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