Thursday, May 3, 2012

100% Graduation in Baltimore

College and Career Readiness

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Baltimore, Maryland, has done it--100% graduation and 100% passing rates on every standardized test. They didn't do it by lowering the standards, and they didn't fire every teacher and replace them with "experts." But what they did do was to provide more opportunities for the students and focused professional development for teachers.

This video is not about PD 360. It's not about School Improvement Network. It's about students who succeeded and teachers who knew they could. (You can see the video on YouTube here.)

The Seedling

As a quiet little seedling
      Lay within its darksome bed,
To itself it fell a-talking,
      And this is what it said:

"I am not so very robust,
     But I'll do the best I can;"
And the seedling from that moment
     Its work of life began.

So it pushed a little leaflet
     Up into the light of day,
To examine the surroundings
      And show the rest the way.

The leaflet liked the prospect,
      So it called its brother, Stem;
Then two other leaflets heard it,
      And quickly followed them.

To be sure, the haste and hurry
     Made the seedling sweat and pant;
But almost before it knew it
     It found itself a plant.

The sunshine poured upon it,
     And the clouds they gave a shower;
And the little plant kept growing
     Till it found itself a flower.

Little folks, be like the seedling,
     Always do the best you can;
Every child must share life's labor
      Just as well as every man.

And the sun and showers will help you
     Through the lonesome, struggling hours,
Till you raise to light and beauty
     Virtue's fair, unfading flowers.

Paul Laurence Dunbar

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