The School Administrator

SA Cover October 2003

October 2003Expanding School OptionsTom Vander Ark on what's involved in transforming high schools


  • Expanding High School Options


    In hoping to personalize the educational experience for high schoolers, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has identified first steps for transforming existing schools and creating new ones. Tom Vander Ark, a former superintendent, oversees the foundation’s K-12 education work.

    Similar Reading: The Foundation’s Work

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  • Sustaining Small Rural High Schools

    by Craig Howley

    What can rural superintendents do to keep alive their small high schools? Begin with a pro-community mindset, says a lead researcher with the Appalachian Collaborative Center for Research, Assessment and Instruction.

    Similar Reading: Additional Resources

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  • Back From the Block—Or Not?


    Some high schools have abandoned the use of a block schedule, while many others continue to adopt this popular route to restructuring the school day. School leaders in both camps have strong views and rationale for their actions.

    Similar Reading: To Each School, Its Own Schedule

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  • Block Scheduling’s Missteps, Successes and Variables


    Two leading researchers on block scheduling say unclear goals, poor preparation and budget crises are at the root of decisions to abandon the block. In most instances, they argue, these alternatives to the traditional class schedule are an effective approach to teaching and learning.

    Similar Reading: Common Forms of Block Scheduling and Scheduling Additional Resources

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    JAMES E. SWEENEY by Jay Goldman

    Jim Sweeney grew up in rural northern New York and spent most of his career as a university professor in Iowa, but he clearly left his imprint as superintendent in California’s capital city school district over the past six years.

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    Punchback: Answering Critics

    Questioning the Time and Expense of In-Service by PETER J. NEGRONI

    Tell those on the outside who complain about the value of a district’s in-service days that nothing matters more to quality teaching in the classroom than professional development. The author is a vice president at the College Board and a former more
    Guest Columns

    No Room for Bargain Basement Schools by Gary A. Burton

    The superintendent in Wayland, Mass., finds great buys for merchandise when he shops at outlet stores, but he says nobody should tolerate a discount approach when it comes to supporting public education. You can’t compromise on some more

    Driving Local Tax Effort Through Stakeholder Focus by Denison Gallaudet

    Satisfied patrons will support you at the polls when you’re seeking their financial backing, says the superintendent in Richmond, Maine, an adherent to total quality management. He especially promotes the dimension of caring by more


    School leaders who’ve been appointed to new posts around the country and announced their retirements from full-time positions in recent months. The Sidelight shines on an Oklahoma superintendent who owns and operates a cattle more
    Tech Leadership

    The Balancing Act Between Services and Budget by JIM HIRSCH

    Budgeting prudently to provide for a school system’s technology needs in tough fiscal times requires you first to ask several questions that are spelled out by the associate superintendent for technology in Plano, more
    President’s Corner

    Acting Resolutely on Our Self-Perceptions by John R. Lawrence

    AASA’s president on the refinement of several bricks in the association’s more
    Executive Perspective

    Butchers or Tailors? by Paul D. Houston

    A commentary by AASA’s executive director on the folly of school reform that is built on nostalgic more
    Federal Dateline

    Holding Congress to a Promise by Mary Kusler

    AASA’s view of the ongoing evasion in Congress to fully fund its share of the Individuals with Disabilities Education more