In Mission Possible: How the Secrets of the Success Academies Can Work in Any School, Eva Moskowitz
and Arin Lavinia discuss, through research, trial and error, how success can be obtained when schools shift their focus to improving the adults involved in education. Moskowitz's charter schools in Harlem have emerged as some of the top schools in New York City and she wants to share with all of us just how this came to be. Throughout the entire book, Moskowitz and Lavinia share various descriptions of how they keep students engaged and challenged, and their teachers informed, coached and supported. When teachers are supported with learning labs, coaching sessions, and rigorous curriculum, good things happen. Students are held to high standards, regardless of their background and parents are required to attend meetings and learning sessions and to fully support their child's educational needs.
As a former teacher in a school full of disadvantaged and English as a second language learners, I fully appreciate the stress on high expectations. All students have the ability to learn and should be challenged. I just loved how the idea of clear, critical thinking is encouraged most of all. Students are challenged and encouraged to think for themselves and come up with their own ideas with the support of their teacher. The accompanying CD allows us to step inside any given classroom to observe the subtle ways in which lessons are tweaked to perfection. Let's be clear here, people. Moskowitz and Lavinia are not selling the charter school system. They are merely sharing with us, the very ideals that led to their success. I certainly think we as parents, teachers and administrators, can learn from these leaders.
To learn more about Success Academies, join Eva Moskowitz on facebook or follow her on Twitter @MoskowitzEva. Use the hashtag, #readmissionpossible
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Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.