Making The Grade

ASPIRE Inspires Teens Into STEM
Louisiana / Making The Grade / Poverty / science / STEM / Video

ASPIRE Inspires Teens Into STEM

LSU-Shreveport students are helping inner-city teens connect with science and math with a hands-on, after-school program known as ASPIRE – for After School Program for Innovation and Respect for Education.

George Hall relies on school-wide lesson plans and behavior policies, not to mention constant striving for improvement. Photo by Dan Carsen.
Alabama / Audio / Making The Grade / Turnaround School Series

School Turnaround: From Disaster To National Leader

Imagine a school in a poor, crime-ridden neighborhood – discipline problems, dismal reputation, among the worst test scores in Alabama. That was Mobile’s George Hall Elementary in 2004. Now imagine a school known nationwide for innovative teaching and high performance.That’s George Hall Elementary now. In Part IV of our series on “Turnaround Schools,” we find out how they did it.

Can A School Go “F” To “B” In One Year?
Audio / Making The Grade / Mississippi / Turnaround School Series

Can A School Go “F” To “B” In One Year?

A once failing Delta magnet school made the largest test score gains of any school in Mississippi. Part III of our series on “Turnaround Schools” shows how and why.

Just one group of students whom staff walk home each day. Photo by Dan Carsen.
Alabama / Audio / Making The Grade / Turnaround School Series

School Turnaround: How Did George Hall Do It?

Sometimes, poorly run disadvantaged schools defy the statistics and turn themselves around. Sometimes, they can even rise so high they become national models for education in any neighborhood. In the conclusion of our series on “Turnaround Schools,” we pick up the story of an elementary school that did just that. How did it happen? It wasn’t easy, but persistence, teamwork, and a belief in the students won out.

American Graduate: Average Students Become High Achievers with the AVID Program
American Graduate / Classroom Technology / Making The Grade / Tennessee / Video

American Graduate: Average Students Become High Achievers with the AVID Program

Average high school students get a boost through AVID, a college-readiness system that focuses on helping students gain confidence about taking advanced classes and preparing for college.

Amy Luna, left, with third grade student Sarah Lawrence. "It's a good school," Lawrence says, "it's gonna take me to good places - like good colleges, and good places to work."
Audio / Making The Grade / Tennessee / Turnaround School Series

A Tennessee Elementary School Faces Two Types Of Turnaround

In three years, Inskip Elementary in East Tennessee went from a failing school to the state’s top ten list. But an attempt on the principal’s life would put the school’s turnaround to the test again. Part II in our series on “Turnaround Schools.”

Josey High School principal Ronald Wiggins helps students in Shannon Moore's chemistry class. Photo by Maura Walz.
Audio / Georgia / Making The Grade / Turnaround School Series

In Georgia, A Turnaround High School Looks To Sustain Its Progress

The first report in our series on “Turnaround Schools” comes from Georgia. Three years ago, a group of the lowest-performing schools in the state began receiving millions of dollars in federal money to fund an ambitious attempt to improve dramatically. As those schools enter their final school year receiving that money, we check in on one school’s progress.

Students in Sterchi's school library. Image courtesy of Sterchi Elementary.
Audio / Making The Grade / Tennessee / Turnaround School Series

A Gap-Closing Year

An elementary school in East Tennessee failed to meet performance measures in 2010. By the next year, they were well beyond the state average. Principal Cindy Bosse reveals how the school turned around their scores in a year.