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Innovative education model challenges teachers to adjust

 

by Benjamin Herold for Education Week

Another first-period engineering class has just been derailed by a series of small frustrations: Students strolling in late. Questions met with blank stares. Smartphones used for text messages instead of research.

Karthik Subburam, a five-year veteran in his first year teaching in the "inquiry-driven, project-based, technology-infused" style of Philadelphia's nationally acclaimed Science Leadership Academy, runs his fingers through his hair. "Sometimes, it's like pulling teeth," he says.

Six months into the school year, a controversial gamble by Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite to expand innovative school models has yielded progress. Science Leadership Academy has established a second campus that mirrors the quirky, intimate atmosphere of the original. At the new SLA@Beeber, students skateboard through the hallways past a teacher draped in Christmas lights, and no one bats an eye.

But inside classrooms, efforts to re-create SLA's instructional model have been uneven, highlighting the challenges faced by the growing number of districts seeking to open and replicate nontraditional, technology-oriented schools.

Last spring, Mr. Hite pushed through a five-year, $28 million plan to expand three programs, including SLA, a District-run magnet high school. In February, he won approval to invest millions more in three new outside-the-box high schools slated to open next fall.

Although he says the 131,000-student Philadelphia District needs $440 million just to provide a "bare minimum" level of service to schools next school year, the superintendent sees little choice: The competition from charter and suburban schools for the city's few remaining middle-class families is intense, he says, and the new Common Core state standards expect students to think critically, solve problems, and work collaboratively.

About This Series

"The Innovation Gamble" follows a city district resting its hopes on a tech-themed approach. This is the second of three parts.

Part One: Philadelphia Seeks Salvation in Lessons From Model School.

Video: Watch Christopher Lehmann discuss the motivation for Science Leadership Academy's switch from Mac laptops to Chromebooks.

Multimedia: Replicating a Model School: The People Behind the Effort

Additional Reading: Phila. Superintendent Plans to Open Unconventional Schools

There is also a broader battle to be won, says Christopher D. Lehmann, the charismatic founder and principal of SLA's flagship campus. The growth of new digital classroom technologies has opened a new front in an old debate about teaching and learning, and Mr. Lehmann, an unrepentant progressive, has staked out a clear position.

"Thousands of educators out there are trying to leverage these tools to let kids build, do, and create," he said. "If the only thing we allow them to be is an evolution of 'drill and kill,' then the failure of our imagination would be great."

But the hopes of both the superintendent and the principal rest on the shoulders of classroom teachers like Mr. Subburam, a former engineer being asked to completely overhaul his classroom practice.

In January, the affable 41-year-old began a new unit in which students were to learn about load-bearing structures by constructing model houses. Intended to last three weeks, the unit dragged deep into February.

"The concept was really cool when we had discussions during the summer time," Mr. Subburam said, "but implementing it is a different matter."

Building skills, mindsets

Across town is a clearer vision of what's possible.

Matthew N. VanKouwenberg has been teaching at Science Leadership Academy's flagship campus since it opened in 2006.

In early February, while the freshman engineering class at the new SLA@Beeber struggled to find its footing, Mr. VanKouwenberg's advanced engineering students were engaged in a unit on cybersecurity. Their ultimate task was to construct a radio transmitter capable of sending an encrypted message. To get there, Mr. VanKouwenberg guided the class through a series of smaller projects that built on each other, taking detours as needed to teach key concepts or address misunderstandings revealed by students as they worked.

On this day, the teens assembled in teams around the cluttered room, using paper plates and bowls, wires, magnets, tape, and an amplifier to build makeshift speakers. Their teacher eased into the background, eating yogurt and listening.

Seniors Seamus Kirby and Ethan Reese produced a speaker that played surprisingly crisp, clear music.

Mr. VanKouwenberg sidled up.

"What did you guys do that made it sound so much stronger?" he asked.

"We flipped the magnets," the boys responded.

Karthik Subburam works hard to get the attention of his students during a morning engineering class at Science Leadership Academy at Beeber in Philadelphia.
Karthik Subburam works hard to get the attention of his students during a morning engineering class at Science Leadership Academy at Beeber in Philadelphia. (Photo: Jessica Kourkounis/Education Week)

"Why?"

Shrugs.

"No, seriously, what benefit did you get from it?" Mr. VanKouwenberg persisted.

After an extended silence, he gave the students a friendly nudge.

"It looks like you've done a good job with your speaker," Mr. VanKouwenberg said. "Now, I want you to figure out why it works."

Rather than deliver content, SLA teachers are expected to help students develop the skills and mindsets necessary to formulate and pursue their own questions and ideas.

Technology helps: Teachers and students are issued their own laptops to use in school and at home, and software applications that facilitate independent research, content creation, and peer collaboration are widely used.

But SLA classrooms can also be decidedly low-tech, with cardboard and duct tape just as prevalent as digital tools. For Mr. Lehmann, educational technologies are a means to an end, rather than an end in themselves.

The school has attracted significant national attention. In January, the computer-manufacturing giant Dell announced a $625,000 grant to both SLA campuses. A portion of the money will be used to form a "Center of Excellence in Learning," through which Mr. Lehmann's approach is to be shared with educators around the country.

Daniel L. Schwartz, an education professor at Stanford University, said the growing interest in schools like Science Leadership Academy reflects a rising tension in the world of educational technology.

All decision-making at Science Leadership Academy is based on the school's five "core values," which are displayed prominently around the school. (Photo: Jessica Kourkounis/Education Week)

"There are two schools of thought," Mr. Schwartz said. "One is that [such technology] will increase efficiencies. The other is that it will be utterly transformative."

Mr. Lehmann has little patience for those in the former camp, especially the army of private vendors now offering adaptive-software programs and classroom apps built on the premise that customized lessons can help students more quickly master basic facts and procedural skills.

"I think how you use these tools in large part reflects what you believe about education," Mr. Lehmann said. "Making sure students get the mandatory content delivered on demand — that's not the bar we want to set. We want to unlock the world for kids."

Tinkering, reflecting

For some of the educators at SLA@Beeber, embracing that vision has come naturally.

Spanish teacher Max Rosen-Long was a student of Mr. Lehmann's back when the 43-year-old principal taught high school English at the project-oriented Beacon School in New York City. Art and technology teacher Mary Beth Hertz is a founder of EdCamp, a national network of educators who use Twitter and other informal means to share ideas about using educational technology to support participatory learning. And physics teacher Leroy Gray spent all of last year student-teaching at SLA's flagship campus.

Such experiences show in the classroom: Mr. Gray, for example, recently used the Christmas lights he had earlier worn through the hallways as the basis for a culminating project in which students were expected to create "electric art"—an object of personal significance that incorporated functioning circuits.

As their deadline approached, more than 30 teenagers gathered in the physics room during lunch, eating chips and wiring stuffed animals and sneakers as their teacher danced around to opera music.

Christopher Johnson, the veteran Philadelphia administrator who now heads SLA@Beeber, was thrilled.

"I'm seeing kids tinker. I'm seeing kids be creative. I'm seeing kids able to reflect on who they are," he said.

Like most teachers, though, Mr. Subburam had no prior history with inquiry-driven or project-based instruction. At Philadelphia's Germantown High, where he taught previously, the instructional model featured formulaic, seven-step lessons, and technology was used primarily for test preparation.

"We knew he wasn't going to hit a home run his first year," Mr. Johnson said.

Art and technology teacher Mary Beth Hertz, standing, helps SLA@Beeber students become familiar with their new Chromebooks, provided to the school as part of a grant from Dell, Inc. (Jessica Kourkounis/Education Week)

Midway through the unit on load-bearing structures, Mr. Subburam is struggling just to get on base. Nearly half his class has neglected to bring in building supplies for their model houses. His third cup of morning coffee is nearly empty. After delivering instructions for a classroom research activity, Mr. Subburam tries to answer questions from a half-dozen confused students, while the rest of the class grows impatient. The disruptive chatter is unrelenting.

"I don't want all the information to flow through me," the exasperated teacher finally tells his students. "But if you don't listen attentively, this new style doesn't work, and we'll just go back to me telling you what to do."

The Philadelphia District has never been good at bringing to scale the type of instruction found at SLA, said Jolley Bruce Christman, a former District administrator who co-founded an independent education research organization in the city.

For 30 years, Ms. Christman has watched as small bands of city teachers have attempted to incorporate inquiry-based instruction into their schools and classrooms. Almost inevitably, she said, "the tide washes over their efforts, and they get burned out."

The reasons are many: Colleges and universities don't prepare new teachers for that type of teaching. Students and parents are often uncomfortable with it. Administrators don't understand the philosophy. The District's contract with its teachers' union has made it hard to assemble sizable teams of like-minded educators. And relevant professional development is virtually nonexistent.

Mr. Lehmann believes the antidote is strong support systems that teachers like Mr. Subburam can easily plug into.

At SLA, such infrastructure begins with five "core values" that underpin all decisionmaking. Classrooms are united across subjects by shared themes and "essential questions." Every teacher uses a common structure for planning units, a common rubric for grading projects, and common digital tools. Two hours every week are devoted to schoolwide collaborative planning. A student-advisory structure builds avenues for informal conversations and sharing.

Teachers are also given individualized supports. Mr. Subburam's roster, for example, allows for extensive time to observe Mr. VanKouwenberg's class at SLA's flagship campus.

Early struggles for teachers new to the approach are natural and predictable, Mr. Lehmann said. What's important, he maintained, is an "upward trajectory."

Students work on designing and building a model home during an engineering class at Science Leadership Academy at Beeber in Philadelphia. (Photo: Jessica Kourkounis/Education Week)

Small-group progress

Midway through his unit on load-bearing structures, Mr. Subburam experiences a breakthrough.

His classroom still feels a bit chaotic, but now it's because students are scattered across the room in small teams, immersed in the construction of their model houses. Rather than seek to re-establish himself as the focal point of the classroom, Mr. Subburam encourages the groups to interact with each other.

The wildly varying house designs—one looks like a giant cardboard birdhouse sitting atop a single beam, another sits on a foundation of empty water bottles, and a third appears to be a geodesic dome constructed out of straws—provoke an enthusiastic round of discussion.

"It was awesome," Mr. Subburam said later. "We were learning things together."

For Superintendent Hite, such moments offer rare vindication in an otherwise trying year.

During a January visit to Mr. Subburam's classroom, Mr. Hite — who taught in his native Virginia — delighted in grilling students on the rationale and research behind their design approaches.

"This is exactly what we want our children to experience," he said. "Instead of 1,000 things that teachers must get through in 180 days, it's deep learning that occurs over and over again."

Becoming a believer

Mr. Hite believes the Common Core — Pennsylvania is one of 46 states, plus the District of Columbia, to adopt the new standards — is opening the door for such teaching and learning. But Philadelphia has a long way to go, he says.

Money is a big barrier: Even as he lobbies for the hundreds of millions of dollars he will need next year, Mr. Hite is still scrambling to find $14 million to balance this year's books.

Stalled contract negotiations with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers are also a stumbling block. In addition to huge wage concessions, Mr. Hite is seeking major work-rule changes that he argues would allow more time for collaborative staff planning, freedom to restructure the school day, and room to give incentives to teachers who "help grow and develop other teachers." All three changes would help make more schools like SLA possible, the superintendent says.

Helping the District's central office "get out of its own way" — by forgoing top-down, centralized professional development, for example — has also proved difficult, he says.

All are factors that help explain why many observers are skeptical that large urban districts will ever succeed at bringing innovative school models to scale. Even at SLA@Beeber, with its philanthropic support and handpicked student enrollment composed of top performers, such work has been painstakingly difficult.

But as Mr. Subburam's engineering unit nears its conclusion, such concerns take a back seat to the day-to-day rigors of teaching and learning.

A group of students gathers around a table, eager to see whether their classmates' model house will withstand the "simulated natural disasters" that their teacher has concocted. The teens are loud. Scraps of cardboard litter the floor. One group's model house tips over when confronted with a gentle breeze.

Then the teacher places a five-pound bag of pennies on the roof of a student-built house. It's a test of the structure's ability to bear a heavy load. The top floors sway slightly under the pressure, but most of the weight is transferred down to the solid foundation. The students high-five each other, elated that their skyscraper-inspired strategy worked. Mr. Subburam — who over the summer felt he had "hit the lottery" by landing a job at SLA, but now just hopes to make it through his first year in one piece — smiles.

"It's really hard to teach this way," he said after the class. "You just have to believe it's going to pay off in the end."

Coverage of "deeper learning" that will prepare students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a rapidly changing world is supported in part by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, at www.hewlett.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.


This is a reprint of an article that originally appeared at Education Week.

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Comments (31)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2014 4:16 pm
"At the new SLA@Beeber, students skateboard through the hallways past a teacher draped in Christmas lights, and no one bats an eye." I would like to see that happen in any other school and someone claim that the teachers and staff are not doing their jobs,that someone else won't start a fight or better yet that someone else won't file a suit for saftey and or endangerment. Being able to ride a skate board through the halls is no predictor of success on standardized tests ........but then we will see about that when testing is done....oh right, what about the test supervisors who come to check that everyone is complying by the rules for testing?...is skateboarding through the halls do-able? Linda K.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2014 4:44 pm
"On this day, the teens assembled in teams around the cluttered room, using paper plates and bowls, wires, magnets, tape, and an amplifier to build makeshift speakers. Their teacher eased into the background, eating yogurt and listening.".....now had that been some other teacher it would have been written as a possible 204 for eating and not standing and instructing. Linda K.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2014 4:16 pm
"As their deadline approached, more than 30 teenagers gathered in the physics room during lunch, eating chips and wiring stuffed animals and sneakers as their teacher danced around to opera music. Christopher Johnson, the veteran Philadelphia administrator who now heads SLA@Beeber, was thrilled." Sadly so many other good teachers at other schools are stuck with scripts they must read in that the teaching degree that they earned is not deem good enough to teach what the kids need to know when they need to know it........ I sincerly hope that all goes well on the standardized tests for all of the kid in the SDP including the ones at Sci Leadership Acad. Linda K.
Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2014 7:41 pm
SLA is highly selective magnet school. Students are enrolled unless they already have high test scores. They also have a far more socially / politically connected parents. Just look at the money they are able to raise - from grants but also parents.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2014 4:02 pm
"Stalled contract negotiations with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers are also a stumbling block. In addition to huge wage concessions, Mr. Hite is seeking major work-rule changes that he argues would allow more time for collaborative staff planning, freedom to restructure the school day, and room to give incentives to teachers who "help grow and develop other teachers." All three changes would help make more schools like SLA possible, the superintendent says." Hope that means expressive arts teachers get to meet with the grade groups so that TRUE collaboration can happen vs. the expressive arts teachers being "prep coverages" so the "real teachers" can collaborate during the preparation time awarded to all with a teaching degree. Linda K.
Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2014 7:15 pm
SLA teachers have weekly common planning time for 3 hours every Wednesday (students are sent to the Franklin Institute in 9th grade). What if all schools sent our students "out" and we have 3 hours of time to plan?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 15, 2014 7:24 pm
as kid in the SDP it was called early dismissal Wednesdays.....we left at 1 or 2 PM and the teachers stayed. Linda K.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 15, 2014 11:59 am
Linda, I hear your points about "prep coverages." Personally, I find the term "Prep Teachers" to be demeaning and unprofessional. As you, Linda, have stated, the so-called "Prep Teachers" teach a subject. The so-called "Prep Teachers" are my colleagues. To call colleagues "Prep Teachers" implies that they are babysitters while I have my prep time. I always make an effort to call teachers of specialist subjects "Specialist Teachers," not "Prep Teachers." The term "Specialist Teachers" recognizes that these teachers are specialists in a subject. Yes, the "Specialist Teachers" allow me to have my preparatory time, but they also provide my students with instruction in subjects such as art, music, and science, which are all important subjects for a well-rounded education. When I started this year, the classroom assistants and students in my classroom would refer to specialist classes as "art prep" or "music prep." I made the point of changing this practice. First of all, students do not go to prep, teachers go to prep. Students go to a special subject class which is taught by a Specialist Teacher. Specialist Teachers are colleagues and deserve to be recognized for the fact that they teach a subject and help provide students with a well-rounded education. (And yes, I also appreciate the Specialist Teachers very much because I need my prep time.) I challenge all of my colleagues who working in the District to start using the language of "Specialist Teachers" and "special/specialist class" instead of "Prep Teachers" and "prep class." EGS
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 15, 2014 7:16 pm
on behalf of the troops, we thank you for your support.....best to you Linda K.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2014 5:14 pm
"SLA@Beeber, with its philanthropic support and handpicked student enrollment composed of top performers, such work has been painstakingly difficult." Ahh the phrase that pays..HAND PICKED and still it is recognized that there will be difficulties...so as for the rest of the SDP will they all get to hand pick students or do they just have to take whoever lives in boundaries and work miracles without the philanthropic support? Linda K.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 12, 2014 6:15 pm
Linda K-----------------------Slow down or a stroke will be coming your way. All thinking people know what's necessary to achieve equity. Printing silly, fluffy pieces like this one, pays the bills but that's all. Think how the Beeber students feel knowing that a few feet above them, kids are given opportunities far better than the Beeber kids could EVER hope to have. Sam's article yesterday is exactly what's going on.
Submitted by Samuel Reed III on March 12, 2014 6:47 pm

Joe K. 

You know I am the ever optimist! Let's not forget their still amazing kids and amazing things going on for the kids at Beeber. The question is how do we create the more opportunities for both kids at Beeber Middle School and SLA@Beeber to be engaged and empathetic 21st century learners. But Joe K. your point is well taking...

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 12, 2014 6:55 pm
Sam---Like EGS, you're lucky you're so nice. It's NOT a knock on the Beeber kids nor a knock on the SLA Kids. It is though a POX on all adults who actively or even submissively work against the best interests of ALL the kids but you already know that.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 13, 2014 12:27 am
Smile....sorry, got caught up thinking after today's half day review of what to do for standardized testing and the silly things that I had to hear about the whole process. Linda K.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2014 5:25 pm
What ever happened to muckraking journalists who look out for the common good and wouldn't have thought about writing a puff piece (skateboarding in the hallways as a sign of good education...really??) to promote the corporate scam being perpetrated on the public education system of this country,
Submitted by Samuel Reed III on March 12, 2014 5:10 pm

I would like to commend Mr Subburam, for allowing readers to get an intimate view of his classroom practice and for being transparent about the challenges of creating both engaging and empathetic classroom spaces. At times I call it organized chaos ( there is order in disorder).

Mr. Subburam, next year you should have SLA Beeber students join Beeber Middle School students in participating in the Global Cardboard Challenge. We tinkered and created Odyssey inspired  Greek Gods and Goddess Cardboard games and statues. We made lots of mess, had lots of fun and learn some content knowledge(reading, writing and thinking) along the way...

 

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2014 6:43 pm
Philadelphia School Partnership just loves this article: PSP @PhilaSchoolPart From @BenjaminBHerold series on SLA@Beeber: Innovative education model challenges teachers to adjust http://ow.ly/uwo1r #phled
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on March 12, 2014 7:22 pm
You guys just make me laugh and laugh. Of course Chris Lehman and SLA are absolutely right. That is what teachers have been saying throughout the last decade -- Stop the drill and kill and the test preparation curriculum which was imposed on the district by the Vallas and Ackerman regimes and the test and punish lunacy that has infected and destroyed our community. That is what teachers were saying all over the country for years and years. Teachers were just doing what they were told and many many of our finest teachers and principals walked out of the district in frustration with what they were forced to do. Thank God we still have many who choose to stay. Neither Inquiry learning nor project based learning is anything new at all. It was the norm in every school I ever worked in or visited up until the state takeover of our schools. University City High School was built in the early 1970's to be an open classroom setting housing the independent study program. The only idea new in education is technology itself. It is wonderful that we are headed back to the future. Now if we could only move out of the 19th century and into the 21st century in our notions of school governance and leadership we might be doing something really innovative. But instead the SRC and the governor et al are taking us backwards more than 50 years. Dr. Hite and Paul Kihn. Why don't you collaboratively develop an innovative school governance model which brings us into the 21st century? You have a copy of my book -- read it. There are several different 21st century democratic models you can use. All of which I learned while working in our district with some really great teachers and principals who really were innovative leaders. Then I studied and researched what the best leaders do in both the private and public sectors. Open honest, inclusive, collaborative, collegial, and ultimately democratic governance and leadership works best. It always has an always will. So let's just morph into the 21st century -- and provide every school with everything they need to be effective schools. The problem is not the teachers. It is the system they are forced to teach in.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2014 8:14 pm
Rich, it's easier to blame us for all of society's ills instead. The two of them are hear to hand over the spoils to their corporate overlords. They are not interested in bettering educational opportunities, it seems it is really the Broad Institute way or the highway. The more they can use the instruments of PSSA and NCLB, and the guise of school choice (charters), to belittle teachers in the public sector, the better.
Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2014 7:54 pm
If Hite walked into a neighborhood high school, we would get told about the headsets, hats, etc. - students obviously don't have to wear a uniform. Uniforms are relegated to neighborhood high schools. Why? (Joe, don't answer...:)
Submitted by Morrie Peters (not verified) on March 13, 2014 9:44 am
Technology is a panacea. Machines do not think creatively or spontaneously. They do not innovate. They do not teach. In fact they are forms of artificial intelligence. Hite is an artificial leader and so it would stand to reason that this moron would be so enamored by the use of anything that would make his corporate overlords money. My immediate thought after hearing the "leader" of a 200,000 student school District say that graduate school and continual learning is meaningless- with regard to the growth of a teacher- is that this person bears a striking physical resemblance to Gollum, the character created by J.R. Tolkien. The weird part is he speaks in circles and platitudes. Here are some examples: school is important but not for teachers, we hired a bunch of useless people at exorbitant salaries but we are broke, charters now cost the citizens an extra one billion dollars a year but we are going to open two new ones...uhhh, two more...uhhh, three more...uhhh, I'm sorry Mr. Gleason, is it Ok if I say this to the press... I am beginning to become more and more suspicious of both Education Week and the editorial decisions that are being made. One example- why does Herold state that the PSD is 131,000 student district when in fact that tax dollars are used to educate 200,00 students? We are headed for a crisis in this country that will make the Great Depression look like a walk in the park. Conservatives are dressed up as Progressives and real Progressives are marginalized. We have learned nothing from the financial crises of 2007-2009. Corporate greed, corrupt and naive politicians and, as evidenced by this piece and many others in Ed Week and others, the complete abrogation of the Fourth Estate leads any rational person to conclude that it is time to get out of this country while they getting is good.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 15, 2014 12:23 pm
In September of 2013, EdWeek published an article with the ridiculous title of "Philadelphia Seeks Salvation in Lessons From Model School": http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/09/25/05techschool_ep.h33.html. Seriously, "seeks salvation"?! That kind of title is insulting to those of us who work in the schools which take ALL CHILDREN! SLA can be "innovative" because of the hand-picked, highly-motivated student population. Parents of SLA students have money and can fundraise. I wonder if teachers at SLA have to buy their own cases of copy paper. How many students with Emotional Disturbance, Intellelectual Disability, Autism, and Multiple Disabilities attend SLA? Inquiry-based instruction has a place, especially in science. However, it's no panacea. "Lead the Way: The Case for Fully Guided Instruction" is an article from AFT's American Educator which explains that there is a lot more evidence for the efficacy of fully-guided instruction than partially-guided instruction: http://www.aft.org/pdfs/americaneducator/spring2012/ae_spring2012.pdf
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 15, 2014 2:24 pm
I agree 100% I am sick of hearing how schools such as SLA as doing such wonderful jobs and are so innovated. Of course they are with their hand picked and approved students. Let's see just how effective these geniuses at SLA are in a neighborhood school classroom with 16 Special Ed kids, 6 ELL, 4 chronic non-attenders and 4 students who are in school solely to raise hell and cut class, in their class (one of five) of 33 students!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 11, 2014 8:27 am
I believe Sla beeber is a wonderful school. Like every school it has it's flaws. I feel as though dissing the school is a harsh way of talking about the school. What if this where your child's school being disrespected and put down? Science Leadership Academy @beeber is a high performance school always has been. Also take into consideration that this is a new school. You have to start from the bottom and work your way up.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 11, 2014 9:01 am
I feel as if most of you don't have a clue of what you are all talking about sure you are all upset about schools closing and this school getting to open but I for one that attends this school I think this school was my one chance to have an education that I can understand. Coming from a terrible school getting bullied all the time every teenager at this school though it may not seem like it all the time is kind and caring and I can feel comfortable here. Also teenagers skating through the hallways I think everyone would like to be in a school where kids can express themselves and were a teacher can show there students that there not just robots and show they do things like sing and dance opera. I just think that you might need a real experience at the school to be able to say things like this.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 11, 2014 10:58 am
I love sla @beeber I think that people just hate man they have no fact to support their hatting like chill
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 11, 2014 6:13 pm
why do you love SLA Beeber? Linda K.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 11, 2014 10:31 am
I think that sla is a beautiful school, man they are hating
Submitted by Anna Q (not verified) on April 11, 2014 11:05 am
I belive this is one of the worst schools in the district it outs up a front that it is a special admission school and well all they do is ask dumb questions im sure they dont bat an eye at grades which is probably why half the school is failing algebra this school thinks its so good and its no theres no rules and half the teachers just show up to get paid were if you ask a question they never give you a real answer they are lousy along with the school and ive heard from students that they hate it for many reasons theres no activities besisdes two sports so if they think there getting into a good college with no extra cirrcular activites theyre wrong and i dounderstand its a new school but that doesnt give it any reason to be a complete piece of trash
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 25, 2014 1:25 pm
angry much?? guess ur kid dint get in
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 25, 2014 1:02 pm
angry much?? guess ur kid din't get in!!

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