Block Scheduling Helps to Improve Test Scores: Detroit News

Many low-performing Michigan schools have instituted radical changes to improve student test scores, and it seems to be working, according a report released today by the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Education Policy, according to an article in today’s Detroit News. Click here for the article.

An excerpt:

Gladys Stoner, principal of Cerveny Middle School in Detroit, said she used multiple strategies to transform her school. She replaced 60 percent of her staff this year and implemented block scheduling and a new “house” system in the school, where students and teachers are grouped by grade.

Replacing and interviewing staff was a lot of work, but Stoner said it was worth it.

“They are here because they want to be here,” she said. “They know the direction we’re moving in, and we’re all on the same page working together.”

Preliminary data show that Cerveny met Adequate Yearly Progress goals this year, she said. In seventh grade English Language Arts, scores jumped from 29 percent to 55 percent passing.

Megan Myers, a new Cerveny English teacher, said students were apprehensive about the changes at the beginning of the year and didn’t want to do homework.

Now, several students daily ask her to stay after school to do class projects, Myers said.

“We changed not only the test scores but the way they look at education and the value they get from it,” she said.

I have to add some commentary here…in my opinion, block scheduling does more harm than good. Maybe it is working well in Michigan, but in North Carolina, I don’t feel it is working. Traditional scheduling provides more educational value than blocks. It is very hard on students to sit for 90 minutes and it provides a challenge for teachers to plan for an extended period. But it seems to be working in Michigan.

What do you think?

E.C. đŸ™‚


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