The Rodel Foundation of Arizona has announced 24 finalists for the 2016 Rodel Exemplary Teacher award. These teachers, representing the best of Arizona, were selected for their outstanding student achievement in high-need schools, effective classroom practices, and their potential to be outstanding mentors to future teachers.
The vision of the Rodel Foundation of Arizona is to improve Arizona’s public education system so that it is widely recognized as one of the best in the country by 2020.
Rodel has been awarded one of the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation’s Math Professional Development Initiative grants, bringing Math 20/20 to seven rural Arizona school districts. Each of the districts will receive grade-level-wide professional development in mathematics for their teachers and school leaders starting in the 2015-16 school year and continuing through the 2017-18 school year.
You may have seen headlines today about the repeal of the Common Core in Arizona; however, our friends at Expect More Arizona, an education advocacy group, have clarified what today’s State Board of Education vote means for our educators, students, and parents statewide. They shared the following statement with us and with their media contacts:…
A new partnership with the Yuma County School Superintendent and the Arizona Community Foundation of Yuma is leading to the expansion of the Rodel Teacher Initiative to include recognition of Rodel Exemplary Teacher mentors and Promising Student Teacher mentees in Yuma County. The Rodel Teacher Initiative has previously named Exemplary Teachers from Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, and Coconino Counties.
Think Training Doesn’t Help Teachers? Think Again!
Dismal reports on the state of our education system are nothing new. A recent story, however, set off alarm bells not only in the education media but also hit the Wall Street Journal. The findings in the report by TNTP, formerly the New Teacher Project, were shocking…it concluded that while school districts spend an average of $18,000 per teacher annually on professional development, only three out of 10 teachers among the 10,000 surveyed saw substantial improvement in their practice and two out of 10 teachers actually saw their performance decline. Clearly, it’s time to stop wasting time and money on ineffective professional development, but does any of it work? A 2013 report by the Center for Public Education cites research concluding that effective professional development is based on the following principles:
- The content must be subject and grade level specific and of sufficient duration to allow time for teachers to learn a new strategy and grapple with how to implement it
- Teachers must be supported during the implementation stage to handle the specific challenges of changing classroom practice
- Teachers’ exposure to a concept should not be passive, they should actively engage and participate in making sense of new practice
- Modeling is a highly effective way to introduce and help teachers understand a new practice
Here’s some good news, Rodel’s Math 20/20 professional development initiative hits all of these targets and adds other important research-based components to ensure systemic change and sustainability. Our goal is to provide teachers with a deep understanding of the math they are teaching. We all know the old maxim; you can’t teach what you don’t understand. We aim to be the exception and provide professional development that actually works!
Bonds and Overrides…
What’s the Difference?
This election, there are 28 Valley school districts asking voters to approve funding for expenses like new schools, teacher and staff raises and basic operations.
If you’ve ever wondered why so many Arizona schools ask for help with passing a bond or override, this video is for you. Click the screen to hear just how important bonds and overrides are to Arizona education.