Tag Archives: choice in education

Vol.#81: Nuggets of Wisdom from #NCTIES

Two days of networking, presenting, and learning. I’ve tried to capture a few #NCTIES nuggets wisdom into this one location.

The session resource page: has resources, presentation slides, and more.

I felt there were the following central recurring ideas around the¬† “Make IT Personal” theme:
personalize learning
technology personalizes instruction
make personal connections with students
 .
A few other gems I didn’t want you to miss when digging through the resource page…
  • Steven Anderson (@web20classroom) shares all session notes & his presentation slides here >
    • One of his cool quotes:¬† “Learning is very social. If no one had ever shared anything with anyone ever, no one would know anything now.”

Life of an Educator: 10 images to share at your next faculty meeting. via Justin Tarte

This video was shared in one session. Loved it…

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Vol.#22: The Dark Side of Choosing School Choice

Freedom-of-choice-a22077920During the time I was visiting these four schools and writing these posts, this article was released about Wake County dropping the choice plan. However, when I entered my address in the Student Assignment page today, I still got a total of 16 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, and 9 high schools in varying Base, Calendar, and Magnet options for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year. This still looks far from resolved, however.

So…what does all this mean? After visiting an array of options as both a teacher and a parent, what is my final analysis? I have two responses to these two questions, one for each of my two roles.

As a parent… Continue reading Vol.#22: The Dark Side of Choosing School Choice

Vol.#21: Wake NC State STEM Early College High School

This is the final of four schools from the discussion started in¬†Volume #17¬†about the County’s various options for parents.¬†

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Our group of forty-four 2013  Kenan Fellows is pretty amazing, but even in this elite company I zeroed in on wanting to visit Carrie Horton immediately. Her school, Wake NC State University STEM Early College High School, as the lengthy title implies, is committed to instruction in STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Ms. Horton, like myself, is an English Language Arts teacher. Also like me (probably more so) she is tech-savvy and innovative.

Image Credit: WRAL @ http://wraltechwire.com/business/tech_wire/biotech/blog/7521546/?s=255
Image Credit: WRAL

So, I get the “T”. I’m totally on board with the “T”. But, what about those three other letters?¬†Science, Engineering, and Math… in an English class? What does that¬†look¬†like?¬†I simply had to know.¬†Full disclosure: I wondered how she couldn’t possibly help but be a second class citizen as an ELA teacher in a STEM¬†school.

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My first glance could have confirmed my suspicions. Continue reading Vol.#21: Wake NC State STEM Early College High School

Vol.#20: Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy


In¬†Volume #17¬†I discussed my County’s various options for parents, such as magnet and application schools.¬†This is the third school in a series of four that I’ve visited and am discussing in the context of school choice in my County.

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In the eleven years I’ve known Paul Cancellieri,¬†three of which we were on the same interdisciplinary team, I’ve never known another educator with such universal appeal. “Mr. C” is the teacher every student wants to have and the colleague from whom every teacher has much to learn. If a teacher were a doctor, Paul is the world-renowned surgeon teaching the top¬†Attendings (tech-saavy teachers)¬†and Chiefs of Surgery (administration) the best practices to pass along to the resident physicians.¬†Or at least he should be, whenever his time permits it.

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Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy is a public school application option for Wake County parents. Currently in its inaugural school year,¬† Continue reading Vol.#20: Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy

Vol.#18: Enloe High School

In my last post I discussed my County’s various options for parents. My year round school’s track outs¬†provide an opportunity to visit the several types of public schools while they are in session. ¬†This is the first of the schools I will discuss in a series of four.

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I visited my esteemed colleague and fellow 2013 Kenan Fellow¬†Priscilla Chappell¬†at ¬†one of the magnet options:¬†Enloe High School. She has an ease and rapport with her students that is obvious immediately upon seeing her interaction with them. A theme emerges if you peruse her¬†online reviews;¬†while not considered “easy”, she consistently has top marks for being helpful and clear. (This, in my opinion, should be the goal of all teachers.) It’s no wonder she was a¬†Teacher of the Year semifinalist for Wake County in 2011, which any teacher in Wake can tell you is no minor accomplishment.

Enloe Hall

So, onto what makes Enloe…Enloe. Continue reading Vol.#18: Enloe High School

Vol.#17: A Choice Education

“My neighbor’s kid has been in Wake County schools for six years, and his school has changed six times. He has no childhood friends. Why does the county do that?”

I have no answer for this stranger who, upon learning I am a public school teacher for WCPSS, demands it. His tone is curious with only a hint of accusing. He knows I personally did not set any policies, but he’s grappling for a logical reason. Some counter argument which I cannot provide.¬†This county is¬†infamous known for the sometimes contentious board meetings¬†and how it repeatedly rearranges student reassignment. Though the news has explained they are touting choice and address-based models and assuring students will be “grandfathered in”, it does not always seem to coincide with the stories from some parents like this one speaking to me now.

Actually, as a parent I know little about it as well. I am fortunate that the county accommodated my request to have my son at the year-round elementary school that is adjacent to and feeds into the middle school where I teach. There’s even a bus that runs to and from the school to bring him from and deliver him to my school. Therefore, I missed much of the agonizing analysis many parents experience.

Image Credit:http://artschools.com/resources/how-to-choose-an-art-school
Image Credit:
http://artschools.com/resources/how-to-choose-an-art-school

This past week, letters went home to parents about the 2013-14 school year assignment and their choices. I sent them home to my homeroom, as well as received one from my son’s teacher. I decided to go to the Wake County Student Enrollment & Assignment page myself. There’s lots of information on choices and many, many magnet programs. Curious, I entered my own address into the¬†page provided to look up base schools we’re assigned. Continue reading Vol.#17: A Choice Education