Friday, September 25, 2009

Teaching quality: action in Jefferson County

He visits classrooms daily and provided immediate feedback to teachers to improve their instruction.

“We focus on each and every child,” he said. “We believe we have to be flexible enough to meet the needs of our kids, not that they have to be flexible to meet the requirements of our programs.”

Hensley and his staff members have also emphasized raising expectations — inspiring all students to think of college not as something they might do, but something they will do.

Ask any of Atkinson's 500 students which year they will be going to college, and they'll tell you instantly. It's as ingrained as learning to count or reciting their ABCs.
That's Principal Dewey Hensley, explaining the three-year push to move Atkinson Elementary up to NCLB expectations to the Courier-Journal. You can practically tick off the McKinsey report advice on raising teaching quality:
  • Strengthen every teacher with classroom-focused professional development and support.
  • Make teacher collaboration a constant.
  • Intervene quickly with any child who is struggling academically.
  • Provide leadership intense enough to change the school culture.
Measured by the transition index, Atkinson's 17-point improvement over the last two years is the 13th fastest in the state. The school's scores are still lower than most other elementaries, but the thing they're doing at Atkinson are the right things to change that, too.

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Hensley and his staff have a plan that I believe is independently developed and implemented. I have been watching their progress for three years and have been impressed with their drive and success. They are what it is all about. Every child in our district deserves this success story. Why are they not getting it? We are too busy making excuses!

    Congratulations to Mr. Hensley, staff, students and parents and volunteer tutors of Atkinson!

    JCPS Parent


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