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Small High Schools: United States and the Republic of China Kirk Ankeney and Consuelo Manriquez.

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Presentation on theme: "Small High Schools: United States and the Republic of China Kirk Ankeney and Consuelo Manriquez."— Presentation transcript:

1 Small High Schools: United States and the Republic of China Kirk Ankeney and Consuelo Manriquez

2 Small High Schools in the United States Small high schools share a focus on three critical aspects: 1. More personalized instruction and interaction between students, teachers, and administrators; 2. Rigorous and relevant curriculum and instruction; 3. And professional development and collaboration among the staff (Darling- Hammond & Friedlaender, 2008). Zhao (2009) seized on the importance of personalizing education as one of the major changes needed in America’s schools (p. 182). It is interesting to note that research conducted in China, Taiwan, and Japan by Stevenson & Stigler (1992) revealed that the three aspects noted in the foregoing are characteristic of schooling in Asia, but that those systems seem able to succeed in larger classroom/school settings.

3 Small High Schools in the United States Studies conducted by Ancess (2008), and Copland & Boatright (2004), revealed the main elements found in successful small schools. “Education will not improve if schools get smaller and otherwise stay the same,” Ancess (2008, p. 50) rather, what is required are caring relationships, a unified school community, a strong safety net, and intellectually transformative experiences. Copland & Boatright (2004) cite the findings of a comprehensive study of Chicago’s small schools that concluded that students in small schools had higher grade- point averages and better attendance rates than their peers in larger urban schools.

4 San Diego High School Educational Complex On November 23, 2003, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded an $11 million grant to San Diego City Schools, in partnership with New American Schools. The purpose of the grant was to transform three large San Diego high schools into high into high-performing small learning communities. The grant supported strategies for redesigning the district's alternative education system, including the development of middle college high schools.

5 San Diego High School Educational Complex The two primary goals of the grant are to: Increase the number of college-ready SDCS high school graduates, particularly among low-income and minority populations Improve students' post-secondary options, whether college, technical training or the workplace

6 San Diego High School Educational Complex Breaking down large, impersonal high schools into small learning communities was one aspect of San Diego's high school renewal plan. Providing rigorous, challenging coursework Enhanced teacher and administrator leadership High-quality resources Increased parent and community involvement

7 San Diego High School Educational Complex At the beginning of the school year, San Diego High School was reorganized into six small high schools. Each of these schools opened with 500 or fewer students, and each had a particular theme or focus: 1. School of International Studies; 2. LEADS High School —Lead, Explore, Achieve, Discover & Serve; 3. CIMA—Communications, Investigations in a Multicultural Atmosphere; 4. School of Business; 5. MVPA--Media, Visual & Performing Arts; and, 6. SciTech High (School of Science and Technology).

8 San Diego High School Educational Complex Each school was situated in its own part of the school campus, hired new teachers, counselors, and administrators, and set out to enhance the degree of personalization in the school. The schools’ efforts in this regard reflected the design elements of the OUSD New Small Schools Initiative: constructing small learning environments; fostering continuous, long-term relationships between adults and students; and creating advisory systems that organize counseling, academic supports, and parent involvement (Darling-Hammond & Friedlaender, 2008).

9 San Diego High School Educational Complex 1. The mission of the School of International Studies is to engage, enlighten, and empower all students to live successfully in a global community; 2. LEADS set out to produce innovative, culturally aware, and insightful leaders of business, government, and nonprofit organizations; 3. CIMA provides a rich, culturally diverse learning environment for all aspects of communication, including technology, public speaking, marketing, event planning, film, journalism, and advertising; 4. The School of Business promises a full complement of Advanced Placement courses and an unparalleled level of “real world” business experience; 5. MVPA seeks to balance artistic development and rigorous academic coursework, and; 6. SciTech exists to create a classroom environment that engages students in academic

10 High School Education in the Republic of China Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China (China) in 1949, Chinese society has undergone a variety of changes in the social, economic, political, and cultural realms. In particular, the country has experienced progress in its educational system. During the past 50 years, basic education in China has gained incredible achievements; for instance, as noted by Zhao (2009), the country virtually eradicated illiteracy among its citizens (p. 69). Educational policies in China have been characterized by strategic moves, government planning, and major paradigm shifts. Educational change is linked to changes in the larger society. Some educators point to the considerable gain in literacy of the great masses of people, and the large expansion of the education system, as a role model and a key to China’s economic growth (Stevenson and Stigler, 2009); others, such as Zhao (2009) point to China “as an example of the wide range of negative consequences if excessive testing and standardization” (p. 63).

11 High School Education in the Republic of China The Ministry of Education is a central government agency under the State Council, responsible for China’s educational actions and language proficiency development work. Due to the adoption of key reforms policies like the Compulsory Education Law of the People's Republic of China, Guidelines for the Reform and Development of Education in China, and Action Plan for Educational Vitalization Facing the 21st Century, Chinese education has prospered. As a Los Angeles Times journalist stated, one of the main reasons China is likely to overtake the U.S. as the world's most important country in this century is that China puts more effort into building human capital than does the United States (p. A15).

12 High School Education in the Republic of China Education in the People's Republic of China is a state-run system of public education led by the Ministry of Education. Basic education in China consists of pre-school education, primary education and regular secondary education. Primary and secondary education requires twelve years to complete, divided into primary, junior secondary and senior secondary stages. The 9- year schooling in primary and junior secondary schools pertains to compulsory education. Since the implementation of the "Compulsory Education Law of the People's Republic of China" in 1986, the 9-year compulsory education has made significant change in the education of thousands of Chinese students.

13 High School Education in the Republic of China There are many reasons why China has made major leaps in education. One is that China has placed cultural respect for education. It is part of the Confucian legacy, that not only the government but the families as well contribute to help out schools. Stevenson & Stigler (1992) noted the support for elementary school students in Japan, Taiwan, and China, and found that support preferable to many American families (p. 69, 126).

14 High School Education in the Republic of China A journalist visiting China recalls visiting schools and observed several things. First, he noticed the treatment for teachers on China. Kristof stated: “ Teachers are respected and compensated far better, financially and emotionally, in China than in America. In addition, the level of math taught even in peasant schools is similar to that in my kids' own excellent schools in the New York area. My kids' school system doesn't offer foreign languages until the seventh grade. These Chinese peasants begin English studies in either first grade or third grade, depending on the school (p.A16)” After years of studying the school system, Stevenson & Stigler (1992) found that education in Chinese families is a priority, far more than that in the United States. Throughout their education years Chinese students face several key examinations.

15 Round Table Questions What are the recent trends in high school student achievement in China? How frequently are summative and formative assessments given to high school students? Are these data shared with parents and the community? What are the average size of a high school and the average class size in China?

16 Round Table Questions How do Chinese schools ensure that rigorous and relevant curriculum is taught to all students? Is there articulated connection between middle schools and high schools (vertical teaming)? How are teachers trained in order to enter the profession, and how is staff development conducted for high school teachers?


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