Thursday, November 03, 2011

EdTrust Honors Four Schools with Ninth Annual Dispelling the Myth Award

Kudos to these four schools.  I visited the Icahn school and met its principal, Jeff Litt, and was very impressed:


EdTrust Honors Four Schools with Ninth Annual Dispelling the Myth Award
Public schools in Alabama, Michigan, Nevada and New York recognized for success in educating low-income and minority students to high levels

WASHINGTON (October 31, 2011) — Today, The Education Trust announced the 2011 winners of the Dispelling the Myth Award. The award, now in its ninth year, recognizes public schools closing the achievement gap and educating all of their students to high levels.

The 2011 award winners are:

·         Baylor-Woodson Elementary School, Inkster, Mich.

·         Calcedeaver Elementary School, Mount Vernon, Ala.

·         Halle Hewetson Elementary School, Las Vegas

·         Icahn Charter School 1, New York City

Icahn Charter School 1
New York City

Icahn Charter School 1 occupies two small buildings on a quiet South Bronx street, in the shadow of the massive Webster Homes public housing project. Inside the school, classrooms buzz with academic activity. While eighth-grade students discuss the Slave Codes, seventh-graders demand to know why tornadoes never threatened the Mayans, fifth-graders solve algebraic expressions and third-graders report on inventors.

Icahn 1 is the brainchild of founding principal Jeffrey Litt, now superintendent of the Icahn Charter School network of five schools. All Icahn schools use the Core Knowledge curriculum, which builds students' background knowledge through an emphasis on social studies, science and literature. "Core Knowledge is my religion," Litt says.

The outcome? In 2011, every single eighth-grader in Icahn 1 met state standards in mathematics, compared with just 60 percent of students in the state. In reading, 86 percent met standards, compared with 47 percent of all students — and only about 30 percent of African-American and Latino students — in the state.

The school's results come from hard work, high standards and a commitment to ensuring that every child masters a rich, coherent curriculum. Principal Daniel Garcia tells his teachers to make sure they help the student in their room who struggles most. "If you can make a difference with the child in greatest need," he says, "you'll make a difference for every child in that room."

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