Tuesday, March 6, 2012

No, not that CSI...

Innovation and collaboration.
House Bill 2799, approved by the House on Monday afternoon, embraces those two elements to help turn around a handful of struggling public schools. The bill creates a five-year “Collaborative Schools for Innovation and Success” (CSIS) pilot program that encourages colleges of education to partner with underachieving elementary schools.
Up to six partnerships will be approved with half of those receiving grant dollars from the state. The applications must use research-based models of teaching that will close the opportunity gap and improve student learning. The ultimate goal is to test new and creative approaches to teaching in these schools where the traditional education model has struggled. 
CSIS also provides a great opportunity for teaching colleges to see firsthand how the student population has changed. It will help them retool their programs to meet the learning needs of today’s kids.
“CSIS builds upon the four pillars of education reform: quality teaching, strong community partnerships, a focus on student achievement, and measuring your results,” said Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, chair of the House Education committee.
While this idea isn’t necessarily a new concept, this will be the first program of its kind put in place by the state. The University of Washington’s Ackerley Partner School Network has seen success with its innovative approach to partnering with local schools. It’s that type of success the legislature is hoping to replicate with the CSIS pilot project and perhaps on a much larger scale down the road. 

To read this post in Spanish, click here.