Dr. Patricia Hinchey, professor of education at Penn State Worthington Scranton, has been named to a team of educators key to a pilot project intended to honor schools which have taken research-based steps to improve education, especially for students disadvantaged by poverty.
The pilot project seeks to honor schools in New York and Colorado and current plans call for the project to be launched on a national basis in the future. The project was introduced at the annual Fellows meeting of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), held at the Center's home at the University of Colorado, Boulder in September.
The project, titled Schools of Opportunity, is an effort to recognize those schools implementing a menu of recommendations from a recent book titled "Closing the Opportunity Gap: What America Must Do To Give Every Child an Even Chance."
Those recommendations include: creating and maintaining healthy school culture; broadening and enriching school curriculum; providing more and better learning time during the school year and summer; ending disparities in learning opportunities by eliminating ability grouping and tracking; using a variety of assessments designed to respond to student needs; reassessing student discipline policies; supporting teachers as professionals; providing adequate resources for safe and well-maintained school environments; addressing key health issues; building on the strengths of language minority students and correctly identifying their needs; and expanding access to the Internet and libraries, while using technologies wisely.
Schools in the two pilot states are being invited to submit self-nominations. After preliminary screening of nominations, members of state teams will conduct site visits with the ultimate goal of not only recognizing schools for their efforts but also of collecting and widely disseminating information on school successes based on strategies that run counter to current national reform policies.
Dr. Hinchey will be conducting site visits in New York state.
Further details on the project are available from the Schools of Opportunity website, http://schoolsofopportunity01.businesscatalyst.com/index.html .