Posts tagged "lab schools"
February 8, 2011
Of all of New York City’s current reform efforts, its “Innovation Zone” is one of the most ambitious. The project — designed to cultivate experiments in personalized instruction, online learning, staffing and school time design — expanded from 10 schools last year to 81 schools this year. City officials want to bring the program to an additional 400 schools over the next three years, at a projected cost of $50 million.
But aside from a lightning-fast visit to one iZone classroom on Chancellor Cathie Black’s first day on the job and a profile of a rowdy 60-student first grade class, not much is publicly known about what the project’s new school models look like or how they are working.
Some clues can be found in a working paper released last month by researchers at the University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Public Education. The paper speaks to the first question — what the iZone looks like — and raises questions to follow as the pilot grows out of its infancy. It also points out challenges the city will face as it tries to increase the number of laboratory schools for structural and technological innovation.
Robin Lake, Associate Director of the CRPE and co-author of the working paper, said that scale and ambition of New York City’s investment in large-scale experimentation may be unique in the nation and will offer lessons for districts around the country.
“[City officials] want to be on the leading edge of this, and I think they are for sure,” Lake said.
April 14, 2010
Chancellor Joel Klein is expanding a pilot program that takes the experiments city schools often conduct behind closed classroom doors and brings them to other schools.
Called Innovation Zone, or iZone, the program began this year in ten schools and will grow to include 81 schools next year. At its core is a heavy emphasis on expanding online learning, a major focus of Klein’s tenure at the Department of Education.
Of the iZone schools, more than half will adopt the “virtual school” model. This involves using online Advanced Placement classes and credit recovery courses or simply combining online work and face-to-face instruction. Six schools will alter their schedules to make the school day or year longer and 35 will begin using software that’s designed to change instruction based on how much a student struggles or excels.
One of the six schools that will change its schedule next year is P.S. 50, an elementary and junior high school in East Harlem. A spokeswoman for The After School Corporation said the organization is in talks with P.S. 50 to extend the school day to 6 p.m. (more…)