School & District Management

Talent Development Middle Schools

October 04, 2000 1 min read

Key Practices:

See Also

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Finding Their Voices

Who:
The Center for Social Organization of Schools, an educational research and development center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The model is being implemented in about a dozen schools in Detroit, Memphis, Tenn., and Philadelphia. Schools applying to the program must gain the approval of at least 80 percent of their teaching staffs.

Contact:
Center for Social Organization of Schools
3003 N. Charles St., Suite 300
Baltimore, MD 21218-3888
(410) 516- 8829

Key Principles:

  • A rigorous, standards-based curriculum that calls for every student to study algebra, read and analyze great literature, perform hands-on science experiments, and interpret original historical documents by 8th grade.
  • Phase-in over three years.
  • Intensive teacher professional development in content areas.
  • Teacher professionalism.
  • Strong relationships between teachers and students.
  • Empowerment of students to make a difference in their communities.
  • Curriculum materials, particularly literature selections, that reflect diversity of students.
  • Flexible model that incorporates existing improvement plans, district academic requirements, or district-required texts.
  • Supplementary program providing 10 to 12 weeks of remedial instruction in mathematics and reading for students who need it.

Key Practices:

  • Up to 38 hours of teacher professional development in specific subjects, as well as weekly sessions with instructional coaches.
  • Additional training for exemplary teachers within the school so they can demonstrate lessons and help colleagues devise teaching strategies.
  • Mathematics curricula sponsored by the University of Chicago and the National Science Foundation, as well as a variety of science programs that meet national standards.
  • English/language arts curriculum based on a program called Student Team Literature, which encourages students to work in groups to read and analyze recommended books that are considered high-quality, age- appropriate, and culturally diverse.
  • Social studies curriculum based on Joy Hakim’s A History of US textbook series.

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