Providing Quality Instruction in Alternative Settings: Not Only Must Districts Provide Every Student with a Quality, Standards-Based Core Curriculum, School Leaders Must Recognize That Students in Alternative Settings Need the Best Teachers the District Has to Offer. Here's How One District Does It
Anastos, Ernie, Leadership
Developing effective, standards-based practices that can be used by teachers serving students in alternative education settings--whether in learning centers, on independent study or in home and hospital settings--can be a daunting task. After all, not only are these the students for whom the traditional system has not worked, but these students meet with their teachers much less frequently and for less time than do their peers in comprehensive high schools. Indeed, alternative education has often been considered an inferior mode for student learning for those very reasons.
Will the addition of yet higher expectations, rigorous adherence to core content standards and new assessment mandates merely add to the likelihood that students in alternative education will fall further behind their peers? Or might such an approach finally provide the equity and access that has been traditionally overlooked in our attempt to serve all students who enter the alternative educational system?
One district committed to making sure that all kids will be able to measure up to the new state standards and assessments is the Sweetwater Union High School District in Chula Vista, which has undertaken the ambitious task of rewriting the core curriculum in math, science, English/language arts and social science.
The district's product is a series of rigorous academic courses deeply aligned to each content area's state standards, state mandated tests and to district end-of-course exams. This focus was developed in collaboration with teams of classroom teacher leaders who serve on district standards and assessment teams, with university partners and through community outreach.
All new course descriptions identify essential district content standards and objectives that teachers are …
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Publication information: Article title: Providing Quality Instruction in Alternative Settings: Not Only Must Districts Provide Every Student with a Quality, Standards-Based Core Curriculum, School Leaders Must Recognize That Students in Alternative Settings Need the Best Teachers the District Has to Offer. Here's How One District Does It. Contributors: Anastos, Ernie - Author. Magazine title: Leadership. Volume: 33. Issue: 2 Publication date: November-December 2003. Page number: 25+. © 2009 Association of California School Administrators. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.
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