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Collaboration Key to Meeting NCLB Mandates

Targeted assessments, collaboration, and professional development have helped schools needing improvement in the Grand Rapids, Michigan-area to make adequate yearly progress or get on the path toward meeting that goal.

Collaboration between school staff and community members has helped schools in the Grand Rapids, Michigan-area, to surpass some No Child Left Behind thresholds, according to an editorial in The Grand Rapids Press.

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Nine schools in Kent County and one in Ottawa, which had been tagged for needing improvement last year, made adequate yearly progress in 2004. Overhauls of curriculum, more focused teacher training, staff changes, and, in some cases, replacing administrators, all played a role in those gains. Schools also employed federally-funded tutors to work with children and their parents, to help with lessons, coach on study habits, and instruct families on how to make the home a good learning environment.

In Grand Rapids, school personnel have a specific plan for each of the 19 schools needing improvement. In addition, parents are being recruited to be in the schools and get involved. Teachers are working longer hours, including for added training. There also is a new emphasis on measuring students' progress, checking their needs, and adjusting teaching accordingly. In the past assessments may have been done yearly; now they are done monthly.

At the state level, the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) has been upgraded and improvements made in the state grading system.


Some of the information in this article comes from the U.S. Department of Education. To learn more about this article, you might read: