CU-Boulder National Education Policy Center launches project to recognize top high schools

first_imgShare Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Categories:Education & OutreachNews Headlines Published: Oct. 2, 2014 A University of Colorado Boulder research center will recognize public schools for what they do to give all students the chance to succeed, rather than turning to test scores to determine school quality.The Schools of Opportunity project is now seeking applications from public high schools in Colorado and New York. Next year, the project will expand to include schools nationwide, recognizing schools that use research-based practices to close the opportunity gaps that result in unequal opportunities to learn, in school and beyond school.For example, although schools cannot directly integrate neighborhoods by race and class, they can do their best to integrate classrooms by race and class. And although it is difficult for schools to make neighborhoods or homes physically and emotionally safe, they can strive to ensure that students are physically and emotionally safe while they are in school.The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed in the CU-Boulder School of Education, designed the Schools of Opportunity project as a way to highlight the nation’s best schools and practices. The project is led by Professor Kevin Welner of the CU-Boulder School of Education, who directs the NEPC, and Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School in Rockville Centre, N.Y, who was the 2013 New York State High School Principal of the Year.Each state’s effort will also be assisted by a team of evaluators, including New York State Regent Betty Rosa and William Mathis, a former Vermont Superintendent of the Year and National Superintendent of the Year finalist. The Ford Foundation and the NEA Foundation have both provided funding assistance.“This project is about rewarding schools for doing the right things, even if they do not enroll the nation’s top students,” said Welner. “It’s also about highlighting the work of schools that are energetically closing the opportunity gap by engaging in research-based practices designed to make sure that all students have rich opportunities to succeed.”Burris, whose school has been consistently ranked high in popular lists of the nation’s top high schools, points out their limitations. “Current programs aimed at identifying the nation’s best high schools include many high-quality schools,” she said. “But the approach they use tends to reward schools that are affluent and/or those that enroll a selective group of students. It is time we recognize schools that do outstanding work with a wider range of students.”The Schools of Opportunity project will recognize schools based on 11 specific principles identified by experts in the 2013 book, Closing the Opportunity Gap published by Oxford University Press, which Welner edited along with Stanford University Professor Prudence Carter. The project will recognize schools that use these principles to help to close opportunity gaps in order to improve academic performance.“The first step in changing the conversation on school quality requires us to acknowledge that achievement gaps are a predictable and inevitable consequence of opportunity-to-learn gaps, which arise in large part because of factors outside of the control of schools,” Burris said. “However, even as schools are affected by larger societal forces, schools and educators can make decisions that either widen or close opportunity gaps.”The specific practices include effective student and faculty support systems, outreach to the community, health and psychological support, judicious and fair discipline policies, little or no tracking, and high-quality teacher induction and mentoring programs. All identified practices are listed on the Schools of Opportunity website athttp://opportunitygap.org.The project is grounded in two basic, interrelated truths. Opportunity gaps beyond the control of schools contribute to gaps in achievement. At the same time, excellent schools can help narrow achievement gaps by closing those opportunity gaps within the school’s control.“It’s because of the first truth,” Welner explained, “that excellent schools cannot be identified by just looking at outcomes. An awful school can have pretty good outcomes if its students are lucky enough to get rich opportunities to learn outside of school. And an outstanding school won’t necessarily have excellent scores if its students are disadvantaged by severe life challenges outside of school.“When schools and communities focus resources and efforts on closing the opportunity gaps, they should be recognized, supported and applauded,” he said. “They should also serve as models for those who wish to engage in true school improvement.”The Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog covered the announcement of the Schools of Opportunity project and plans to exclusively announce schools that receive recognition in the spring. Top schools will receive acknowledgement at awards ceremonies and in other venues as well. Today’s announcement in the Answer Sheet is posted at wapo.st/1nRf56r.The Schools of Opportunity recognition process is designed to allow applicants to explain how and why their school should be recognized, and the project will provide any assistance needed to help applicants easily complete and submit their information.Schools of Opportunity recognitions will be made at gold and silver levels, as well as a special recognition for top schools. Applications are welcomed until Nov. 15, with all nomination information and forms available online at http://opportunitygap.org.Contact: Kevin Welner, NEPC, [email protected] Carol Burris, Rockville Centre, [email protected] Peter Caughey, CU-Boulder media relations, [email protected] “This project is about rewarding schools for doing the right things, even if they do not enroll the nation’s top students,” said Professor Kevin Welner, director of the National Education Policy Center in the CU-Boulder School of Education. “It’s also about highlighting the work of schools that are energetically closing the opportunity gap by engaging in research-based practices designed to make sure that all students have rich opportunities to succeed.”last_img read more

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Vermont F&W news: Grand Isle Family Fishing, bass season begins June 11

first_imgVermont Business Magazine The 16th annual Grand Isle Family Fishing Festival will be held on Saturday, June 11 and organizers are planning for an exciting day of fishing fun and trophy catches. Designed for young anglers and families, the festival offers basic fishing instruction and the opportunity for kids to catch big trout in the hatchery pond. While the event as a whole is for families, the hatchery pond will only be open to fishing for kids. No prior fishing experience is needed and Vermont Fish & Wildlife will be supplying fishing rods, reels and bait for use by participants. The festival will run from 9 am to 3 pm at the Ed Weed Fish Culture Station at 14 Bell Hill Road in Grand Isle. Registration will close at 2 pm, but the hatchery pond will remain open to fishing until 3 pm. “The Grand Isle Family Fishing Festival is a great way for kids and families to get outside, spend time together and enjoy the great sport of fishing in a fun and educational setting,” said Tom Chairvolotti, fish culture production supervisor with Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “It’s also the perfect opportunity for newcomers to learn the basics of fishing and have a chance to catch some really nice fish.” Anyone with questions about the festival can contact Chairvolotti at 802-372-3171. In addition to the Grand Isle Family Fishing Festival, Vermont’s Summer Free Fishing Day is also on June 11, as is the opening day of the regular Vermont bass fishing season. Vermont’s Free Summer Fishing Day gives both resident and nonresident anglers the opportunity to go fishing in Vermont for the day without a license. Bass Season Opens SaturdayVermont’s regular bass season, which opens each year on the second Saturday in June and extends through the last day of November, features some of the hottest bass fishing action anywhere in the northeast. Vermont’s regular bass fishing season is set to kick off on Saturday, June 11, marking the start of some of the hottest and most-renowned bass fishing in the northeast. “From big-water angling on lakes like Champlain, Bomoseen and Memphremagog, and the Connecticut River, to hundreds of smaller, untapped ponds and reservoirs, Vermont is loaded with great bass fishing for anglers of all ages,” said Shawn Good, fisheries biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife. Vermont’s regular bass season opens each year on the second Saturday in June and extends through the last day of November. However, outside of those dates, anglers can fish for bass on open water on a catch-and-release basis with artificial lures and flies only on waters that are not seasonally closed. “The bass fishing in Vermont is truly incredible, and one unique aspect compared to many other states is the sheer amount of quality, unpressured fish,” said Good. “Vermont is tough to beat for numbers of solid, two to four-pound bass that see very little fishing pressure, but anglers have the chance to connect with a true trophy in the six to eight-pound class as well.” Vermont’s bass fishing has received national notoriety in a variety of fishing publications in recent years, and bass-rich Lake Champlain has become a favorite of touring bass professionals. In 2014, World Fishing Network named Lake Champlain one of the seven best smallmouth bass lakes in North America. The renowned fishing media outlet went on to characterize Lake Champlain as “perhaps the best lake in all of North America for both quality largemouth and smallmouth bass.” Prominent professional tournament angler Kevin VanDam agrees. “What makes Lake Champlain unique is that you can catch fish – both smallmouth bass and largemouth bass alike – just about any way you want to,” said VanDam. “It’s an amazing fishery with diverse habitat throughout and large, healthy populations of many species of fish. Whether you’re an avid tournament angler or recreational fisherman, you’ll want to experience Lake Champlain fishing. It’s simply that good.” What’s more impressive is that Vermont hosts dozens of other lakes, ponds and rivers that rival Lake Champlain. “There’s no question that Champlain hosts a very special bass fishery, probably one of the best in the world,” said Good. “However, there’s countless other waterbodies throughout the state that can be just as good, if not better, simply because those bass populations don’t get much fishing pressure.” Bass fishing in Vermont is a fun outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by adults and kids alike, regardless of skill level, and can also be a great source of food for the table. “Bass fishing is a great way to get out and enjoy Vermont’s great outdoors and nothing beats a tasty meal of fresh, locally-caught fish,” Good said. Good noted that smaller, younger bass, which are also much more abundant, are generally better eating compared to bigger, older fish. Anglers heading out on the water to fish for bass this season should be sure to reference all fishing regulations, including harvest and size limits, applicable to the waters they are fishing. Vermont’s fishing regulations can be found in the 2016 Vermont Fish & Wildlife law digest available at district offices and authorized license dealers, or online at http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/fish(link is external).last_img read more

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New study finds nearly half of American Muslim doctors feel scrutinized on the job

first_imgWhile many studies have examined the impact of bias based on race, gender or sexual orientation, religious discrimination in the health care workplace has received little research attention. A new study funded by the John Templeton Foundation and conducted at the University of Chicago finds that for Muslim Americans, even those in one the nation’s most highly regarded professions, encounter a less-than-inclusive and welcoming work environment during their career.In a national survey of 255 Muslim American physicians published online this month by the journal AJOB Empirical Bioethics, researchers found that nearly half of respondents felt greater scrutiny at work compared to their peers. Nearly one in four said workplace religious discrimination had taken place sometimes – or more – often during their career. The same percentage of Muslim American physicians believe they have been passed over for career advancement due to their religion. The likelihood of religious discrimination over one’s career was greater among the respondents who consider their religion to be a very important part of their lives.Notably, the study found that neither indications of religious practice (such as a more frequent habit of performing ritual prayer) nor religious appearance (such as wearing a beard or hijab, a headscarf worn by some Muslim women) was associated with perceived religious discrimination at the health care workplace. LinkedIn Email “This national survey of American Muslim physicians provides some encouraging findings regarding the extent to which Muslim religious identity attracts negative workplace experiences, but also some findings that merit concern,” said study author Aasim Padela, MD, MSc assistant professor of medicine and director of the Initiative on Islam and Medicine at the University of Chicago. “It’s further evidence that the acknowledgement of the religious identity of one’s co-workers should be an added focus within workforce diversity efforts that today focus primarily on reducing discrimination directed at racial, ethnic, gender and sexual orientation identities.”This study is the first to examine the relationships between religiosity of American Muslim physicians and workplace discrimination. American Muslims from diverse backgrounds make up about 5 percent of U.S. physicians. With this survey, researchers aimed to uncover any adverse impacts on career satisfaction or job turnover in the health care context given the current political climate and ongoing accounts of Muslim stereotyping in the general population. Recent reports, including a Pew Research Center survey and a Zogby national poll, found Muslims to be the most negatively viewed religious group in America.The findings of this study, researchers say, suggest that data-driven programs are needed to eliminate religion-directed discrimination in the health care workplace.“Achieving an inclusive and diverse workforce requires policies that cultivate respect and accommodation for the religious identity of physicians of minority religions,” said Padela. “American Muslim doctors provide a valued service to this country. If they can’t feel comfortable being who they are in their workplace, we may marginalize them to practice medicine in some locales and not others, and also may create a ceiling on their upward career trajectory or even limit their openness about their identity.“When these things happen, these accomplished, respected members of our society lose some of their ability to serve as positive role models in their own religious communities and more broadly within American society; we restrict their ability to ultimately counter negative stereotypes and create a positive narrative of Muslims in America.”Padela is also a faculty member of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago Medicine. A former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar and Templeton Faculty Scholar, he is internationally recognized for his work on Islamic bioethics and for his empirical research on how religious beliefs, values and identities impact the health care decisions of American Muslims and practice of Muslim clinicians. In 2012, he received the Ibn Sina Award from the Compassionate Care Network of Chicago for his contributions to the field of Islamic medical ethics. Sharecenter_img Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Pinterestlast_img read more

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Blowing in the wind

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletterslast_img read more

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