By Jacqueline Ancess

Beating the chances tells the tale of ways lecturers, scholars, and leaders in 3 faculties go beyond stumbling blocks to overcome the chances of failure and attain amazing luck. the universities - a suburban vocational-technical university, an city institution for immigrant, new-English-language newcomers, and an city second-chance university for college students who've failed in different places - all function as groups of dedication. With available language, a number of examples, and wealthy anecdotes, Ancess describes how those faculties are equipped, how they use adult-student relationships to leverage excessive degrees of scholar functionality, how they enact instructing and studying for making that means, and the way they confront the hindrances they stumble upon. Ancess additionally discusses the systemic stipulations for maintaining and scaling up colleges akin to those 3.

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Extra resources for Beating the Odds: High Schools As Communities of Commitment (The Series on School Reform)

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The Staff Development Committee plans and oversees in-service professional development. The Faculty Personnel Committee oversees the selection of new staff members and administers the peer support and evaluation process. The Curriculum Committee coordinates the school’s development of curriculum, reviews each teaching team’s course offerings, course content, and instructional objectives to assure the overall coherence of the school’s instructional program, its correspondence to the state’s curriculum frameworks, and students’ access to the coursework 38 Beating the Odds necessary for graduation.

Throughout, teachers share their food without batting an eyelash. At their lockers, which line one wall of the office, students brag about teachers calling them at home late at night. Proudly, they swap stories of teachers teasing them. All of this is within earshot of UA’s codirector, Herb Mack, and teachers in the office. You can see in these interactions the easy access students have to teachers in their various roles of tutor, advisor, surrogate parent, counselor, confidante, and favored adult.

When individual attention is possible, when individuals matter, when people issues can drive decision-making, teachers can develop work that reflects the needs and interests of the school community members. Although each of the schools differs in size, each has found ways to be “small”—to be a humane, caring, personal community in which every student and teacher can be known; where everyone matters; 30 Beating the Odds where no one need be anonymous, invisible, alienated, or lost; and where communication can occur directly, immediately, and with far less complication than is typical in large and bureaucratic organizations.

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Beating the Odds: High Schools As Communities of Commitment by Jacqueline Ancess
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