Principal’s Hands-On Tack Transforms Sousa Middle but also Ruffles Feathers

July 6, 2010  |  

(Washington Post) — It was 8 a.m., and 21 teachers had gathered in the library of Sousa Middle School for the meeting that Principal Dwan Jordon has convened nearly every morning for two years, part of his crusade to improve one of the District’s worst public schools.

They pulled out laptops, set down their coffee and, in the language of education reform, began assessing where the quest stood:

“Reading was 61, 62 and 65, and we did it with Test B and C,” began Ronda Robinson, an instructional coach, reciting preliminary test scores. The numbers looked promising. Should the pattern hold when the final test results are released this month, Sousa’s changes will qualify as the kind of startling turnaround reformers are seeking in troubled schools across the country. But it was still May, and Jordon needed to keep raising a very low bar.

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