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Author: Subject: Baltimore Talent Development High School
scholar
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[*] Post 328038 posted on 30-3-2008 at 20:23 Reply With Quote
Baltimore Talent Development High School



I've been watching a TV program featuring Jeffrey Robinson, principal of that school. He worked to reduce the drop-out rate in the area.

Some American high schools, including especially inner-city public schools, have a drop-out rate of about 50%. Mr. Robinson talked about the efforts he made to improve that situation.

He said he's made a LOT of visits to student's homes. If they don't come to school, he makes an effort to go after them and to find out what the problem is.

He tries to awaken desire in the students. He (a black man) said that years ago, black students had desire, but there were no opportunities. He says now there are opportunities, but there is a lack of desire. He likes for each student to make a connection with someone at the school whom they know cares about them. Some ways that's shown: teachers will try to help the students get employment when they need it. Sometimes, they'll personally pay a student to do some work for them. The principal says he has bought shirts for students--"I don't want them coming to school looking raggedy."

When he hires teachers, he tries to find a certain attitude. He doesn't want teachers who teach as a job; he wants teachers who teach because they understand it to be their calling. He also likes to hire teachers who have engaged in competitive sports. He feels the lessons learned therein--team-work, striving for excellence, perseverance--are good for teaching.

He makes a point of taking students on field trips to good universities, especially freshmen. He likes the young people to get a taste of life at higher education, and to think, "If I work hard enough, I can be here too, some day." (It may be the first time they've really thought about further education, and a goal puts each class into a certain perspective.)

I found it refreshing that the improvements were tested, not theoretical, and they did not focus on insisting on more money to spend.

What do you value, in motivating students? What are some of the things that work in your school experiences?
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[*] Post 328039 posted on 30-3-2008 at 20:26 Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by scholar

He makes a point of taking students on field trips to good universities, especially freshmen. He likes the young people to get a taste of life at higher education, and to think, "If I work hard enough, I can be here too, some day." (It may be the first time they've really thought about further education, and a goal puts each class into a certain perspective.)


The Aim Higher programme here does much the same.

There's a whole field of literature out there on this subject... the search term you want for the UK is "raising aspirations".
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[*] Post 328102 posted on 31-3-2008 at 13:33 Reply With Quote


He sounds like a bl***y good principal, I'd be surprised if the parents who care about their kids education aren't beating a path to his door saying "take my kid"! From my experience here, and that, only as a parent, the education system here could use his principals and those of the "Aim Higher" programme.
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