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MIFGASHIM  October 2010

MIFGASHIM October 2010

Subject:

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 142

From:

Lee Buckman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 7 Oct 2010 03:52:42 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (157 lines)

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 142

Contents:



1.  	National Child Abuse Prevention Week

2.  	Lessons in Planning and Allocations (Selis)

3.	Call for Papers:  Ravsak’s HaYidion

4.  	Valuable Judaic Websites

5.	Marshall Memo: What Makes Some Middle-Grade Schools More Effective?


~~~~~~~~~


1.  	National Child Abuse Prevention Week


October 17-24 is designated as National Jewish Child Abuse Prevention Week by the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, Inc. (JBAC), a non-profit organization founded in New York State in 2008. 

JBAC is a think tank and activist organization, and their activities include multi-disciplinary conferences, attended by professionals, community leaders, and all interested persons who possess a fervent wish to make a better world for our children.  JBAC seeks practical solutions to contemporary challenges.

For more information on National Child Abuse Prevention Week, see http://www.jewishadvocates.org/
 

~~~~~~~~~


2.  	Lessons in Planning and Allocations (Selis)


Lessons in Planning and Allocations from Parochial Schools 

The first time I met with the Planning and Allocations Committee of our local Jewish Federation, they asked me if I had any input for how they worked. I did. "We appreciate the funding," I assured them, "but what about your planning role? Our community has more schools competing for fewer students than a decade ago. This is not sustainable. Aside from setting allocation levels for the coming year, how will you help us restructure the landscape?" In short, whatever happened to the "P" in P&A?

A recent article in the New York Times (Cutbacks Part of Plan to Save Parochial Schools) reminds us of how important the communal planning feature is, and how it can and must drive allocations decisions. The Times reports that New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan is strategically closing schools to reduce overheads and centralize the provision of educational services. At the same time, he is diversifying funding arrangements. In the past, each individual parish supported its own local school. Archbishop Dolan's plan is for all 2.5 million "churchgoing Catholics" in the Diocese of New York to share responsibility for funding the education of its roughly 56,000 grade school (K-6) children.

Within the Jewish community, we should be watching this model very carefully to see what happens. Will schools with different cultures compact and enrollment stabilize? Will areas with differential access to wealth really share their resources? Could the American Jewish community accomplish roughly the same feat for our nearly 230,000 day school students? If so, it would certainly require a high degree of centralized planning, appropriate processes for redefining institutional structures and the capacity to distribute resources across multiple schools in a way that aligns with a broader national view of the role of day school education in supporting our Jewish future.

While it's much too early to determine whether Archbishop Dolan's plan will achieve its goals, he certainly has succeeded in an area where we, the Jewish community, have so far failed: He has brought big picture thinking, a clear vision and rational financial models to bear on a larger system of religiously affiliated schools. Far from "parochial," Dolan has put the "P" of planning back into Catholic "P & A."

So should we.
Rabbi Allen Selis, Ph.D. 
[log in to unmask]



~~~~~~~~~


3.	Call for Papers:  Ravsak’s HaYidion


HaYidion, RAVSAK's journal, invites articles for its Winter 2010 issue on Nurturing Faith.

Topics are open to an area of your interest and research; they must be relevant to Jewish day school education ages pre-K through high school. Articles are typically 1000-2000 words, written in non-academic style (no footnotes) and offering insight and suggestions to educators. Adaptation of material previously published in academic journals is acceptable. 

If interested, contact Elliott Rabin at [log in to unmask] Deadline for this issue is October 22nd.

Previous issues can be accessed at www.ravsak.org/hayidion


~~~~~~~~~


4.  	Valuable Judaic Websites

 
Gannopedia - Studying Jewishly with the Web.
http://fc.gannacademy.org/gannopedia/ganntools/index.html

 
G-dcast - See and hear the Torah in 55 episodes!
http://www.g-dcast.com/

"How to Do 11 Techy Things in the New School Year" - This is a great article for any SMARTBoard or Technology Teacher! http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2010/08/11-techy-things-for-teachers-to-try.html


Using Voicethread for Hebrew Reading Improvement http://techrav.blogspot.com/2010/05/using-voicethread-for-judaic-studies.html


The Bible Quiz - The, free, online Bible Quiz contains 3,150 multiple choice questions about the five Books of Moses.
http://www.bible-quiz.co.il/


~~~~~~~~~

5.	Marshall Memo: What Makes Some Middle-Grade Schools More Effective?

In this 78-page report from EdSource, Trish Williams of EdSource, Michael Kirst and Edward Haertel of Stanford University, and other researchers analyzed 303 California schools covering the middle grades (including 7-8, 6-8, K-8, and other configurations and both traditional public schools and charters) and found that a list of research-based factors fell into three tiers of impact on student achievement:

High predictive strength:

• An intense, school-wide focus on improving academic outcomes. This included the following:
-	There is a strong organizational press toward improving student outcomes, with superintendents, principals, and teachers emphasizing and being evaluated based in part on such improvements.
-	Educators have a future orientation toward developing curriculum and instruction that will prepare students for a rigorous high-school curriculum, not just for each year’s state tests.
-	Teachers work collectively as a team and individually in their classrooms on a shared mission to improve student outcomes and prepare students for success in high school.
-	There are measurable goals for improving district benchmark scores.
-	The principal regularly communicates to faculty the importance of high expectations for the achievement of all students.  
-	Instructional time in the classroom is protected from unnecessary interruptions. 
-	The school regularly communicates to students the importance of middle grade achievement to their future and of taking responsibility for their learning, and communicates to parents the importance of their role in setting high expectations for students’ academic success.
-	The school has requirements or contracts for parent participation.

Next-highest predictive strength:
• Coherent instruction and curricula are aligned with the state’s K-12 academic content standards in core subjects.

• There is extensive use of student assessment data to evaluate and improve instruction and student learning.

• A sense of urgency drives educators to quickly identify and intervene with students who are behind, have language barriers, or have learning issues.

• Evaluation and support help teachers continuously improve in a strong, cohesive professional culture.

• Principals provide strong leadership and drive schoolwide efforts to improve achievement.

• The superintendent’s leadership and district support help at all levels.

Less predictive strength:
• A positive, safe, engaging school environment

• School organization of time and instruction

• Attention to student transitions

“Gaining Ground in the Middle Grades: Why Some Schools Do Better” by Trish Williams, Michael Kirst, Edward Haertel, et al, EdSource, February 2010, 
http://www.edsource.org/middle-grades-study.html, spotted in Education Digest, October 2010 (Vol. 76, #2, p. 14-18). 

The Marshall Memo is a weekly digest of important research in K-12 education. Individual
subscriptions are $50 for the school year at http://www.marshallmemo.com.

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