She required low-performing schools to implement rigorous programs that focus on literacy and math skills. She increased the amount of training teachers received and she removed weak principals and replaced them with those she deemed better equipped to improve student learning.This is not the Jamaica native's first award, either. She describes some of her plans to improve at-risk urban schools in this December 2006 interview. (That was before Vallas even came to New Orleans.)
State data shows the programs are working. For example, about 72 percent of the system’s students graduated on time in 2008
Speaking of the superintendent merry-go-round, Hall has been in her current position since 1999. For those of you keeping score:
Hall has been superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, serving 50,000 students, for 10 years, making her one of the longest-serving superintendents of an urban school district. She previously served as state district superintendent of Newark, N.J., Public Schools.At this point, I've read three different articles about her, and I've seen no debate about charter schools or experienced teachers vs. new teachers.
Hall is credited with transforming the 102-school system in Atlanta through a comprehensive reform agenda. Every elementary school in Atlanta made adequate yearly progress in 2008, and graduation rates at several high schools have risen sharply.
OH, and it looks like Hall oversees a system with 11 accredited high schools, 4 of which gained accreditation during her tenure as superintendent. (And their names are Carver, Booker T., Douglass - and one of them is located on McDonough Blvd....)
For any New Orleanians who are wondering what this "accreditation" business is I speak of, don't worry - not a single RSD or RSD charter school has accreditation - and none of them appear to have plans to apply for it any time soon. But, in case you're an education advocate who wants to see things like "qualified teachers," robust "curriculum," strong "school activities" and stuff like that, SACS provides a nifty primer on what accreditation is. Or, you could just ask folks at Ben Franklin, Lusher, OP Walker, Warren Easton, Edna Karr, McMain or any of the 60 accredited schools in the Archdiocese...
So, even though I hate comparing New Orleans to Atlanta, this is one area where the ATL is painting the floor with NOLA's ass. We ought to bring Hall down here for education conferences and Cowen's educational committee. She may never leave Atlanta, but maybe we can hire someone she mentored at how to do things right. We will have an opening sometime next year....