Teacher-Led School Innovates With Student Regrouping
Detroit’s troubled school system remains in emergency management, its enrollment dwindling and its labor-management relations contentious. Yet in spite of those challenges, a school there is making a bid to innovate with many of the formal structures that have long guided not just teachers’ roles, but also how students are organized in classes.
At Palmer Park Preparatory Academy , teachers are gradually assuming administrative duties to become the city’s first teacher-led school. An extended day, part of the district’s reform policy, gives the staff time every afternoon to compare teaching strategies. And finally, a new, pilot schedule for 7th and 8th graders lets teachers regroup the middle school students in different English/language arts and math classes frequently, based on the students’ performance and how quickly they are learning new material.
The changes are the K-8 school’s attempt to get concrete about the much-touted but often vague concept of “differentiated instruction” for students, especially for those who have struggled to grasp key concepts and...
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