Alaska, Finland, Lunch, and Montessori

Education expert, Samuel Abrams described what he saw at Denali Montessori School:

Students at all levels, from kindergarten to grade 6, were actively engaged in learning in small groups as their teachers circulated as guides.
You can read the rest of his praise of the school in the article, here.

Abrams is a scholar at Columbia University's Teacher's College and a national expert on schools in Finland.  Did you hear they're pretty good?

In his report on schools in Anchorage, he commented on everything from science class sizes to the food in the lunchrooms.  Oh, does what you eat matter? ;-)

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2011/12/25/2233759/education-expert-offers-views.html#storylink=cpy



Dinner table fodder for the holidays: SAT or NOT

You know you'll see some nieces and nephews over the holidays who are in the midst of their college admissions process.  At dinner, as them about taking the SAT.

Here's a warm up from the Washington Post, "When an adult took standardized tests forced on kids" (note: it was schoolboard member Rick Roach from District 3 in Orange County, Florida).

For the heavy stuff, dive into this opinion page debate at NYT: "Why does the SAT endure?"


David Hambrick, associate professor of psychology at Michigan State:
This debate is ultimately about intelligence and its modifiability — and the question of whether it is fair to use people’s scores on what is essentially an intelligence test to make decisions that profoundly affect their lives. If that makes us all uncomfortable, that’s just too bad.
Paul Siemens, director at Advantage Testing:
University-level entrance exams are not intended as intelligence tests, and for good reason: to the extent it can be measured, intelligence is a limited predictor of academic success at that level. Colleges aren’t simply looking to enroll the smartest students; rather they are seeking mature, talented, well-rounded, motivated, service-oriented and accomplished students of every background.
Jane Shaw, president at John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy:
Test-preparation companies can raise students’ SAT scores by improving their test-taking skills and filling in some educational gaps. But students can accomplish the same thing using aids available from the College Board and others at little or no cost — taking practice tests, building vocabulary and reviewing basic algebra and geometry. Mostly, test-prep companies provide the discipline to help students do what they could do on their own.


Renovations Start This Week...

This week, the preparations have begun for our renovation work on the high school building at 1102 Autrey.

We'll try to keep a little flow of images coming through this blog so you don't have to don a hardhat to see what's going on.

In this image you can see a cluttered hallway.  Soon to be no more (the clutter and the hallway).  

What's that light streaming in through the window at the end?  That's the future.


What happens to all those 9th graders?

After a great turn out the week before at our open house, last week we refocused on the to-do list!  A couple in-town conferences on technology and college readiness gave us lots to think about.

December 6th was the first annual College Readiness Summit at Rice University, hosted by the school's Center for College Readiness.  Over 200 counselors, administrators, and teachers attended the daylong event.

What happens to all those 9th graders in high schools around the country?  Around Texas?  Enjoy this little graphic at right for some answers (click to enlarge).

So what knowledge and skills does a student need to have so he can be successful in college?  Your thoughts?

Lots more to read here.


High School Building Plans

{From this week's Weekly Post}

Tuesday, November 29, Post Oak hosted a high school open house at the Glassell Studio School. The event introduced the high school to prospective students and their families while at the same time updating current families on the development of the new division. We’re pleased that the Glassell School, as one of our Museum District partners, hosted the event. This demonstrates the multi-dimensional nature of these partnerships, and communicates a clear message about the high school program.

Those who attended know that it was a standing-room-only event with people filling the aisles and looking on from the balcony. Nearly 100 people attended, with over half from outside the Post Oak community. It was a fantastic event continuing the excitement and interest in the expansion of The Post Oak School. During the course of the evening, participants heard about the purchase of two more properties at the intersection of Autrey Street and Montrose Boulevard.

[Included here] is a site plan showing how we will be developing that block in the next six months. In addition to the soon- to-be renovated building at 1102 Autrey Street, we have purchased the property next door at 1108 Autrey Street.

This lot will be cleared, landscaped, and kept as green space. This month, we are also finalizing our purchase of the corner lot at 4614 Montrose Boulevard. The vacant building will be razed and the lot will be prepared for more green space and for parking. Financing for the
purchase of these properties is being initially handled through long-term loans that will be offset by fundraising through our upcoming capital campaign.

We’re happy to have been so successful to find and acquire property that is located in the Museum District and which will meet the needs of the high school as it grows. This continues to be an exciting time at Post Oak. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks!

-James Moudry, High School Director