February 2012 Update

February 2012

Executive Director’s Message

It is with great enthusiasm that we announce our 10th Anniversary as the Council for Educational Change. We have been able to accomplish so many things in our first decade. Taking the lessons learned from the 100 million dollar South Florida Annenberg Challenge and putting them into practice in schools throughout the state was no small feat. We have, however, been able to impact the lives of over 1,275,000 students in more than 750 schools. From the lessons learned of the Annenberg Challenge, we know that the key to improving the academic performance of the students is the school leader… the school Principal.

What we’ve also learned is that, when you make a difference in the leadership of the school, you make a difference in that community, and this domino effect changes lives. The focus of the Council has been to enhance Principal Leadership skills, engage the business community in education, and provide the tools and guidance to achieve the ultimate goal… to give every student the opportunity to succeed.

I take this moment to express my most sincere appreciation to all our donors, corporate sponsors, our partners, Board members and Council staff, for all of their dedication to the Council mission. For it is not one person alone that has made these past 10 years possible, it has been a team effort, a labor of love for the benefit of us all.

Thank you so much for allowing us to make a difference, for being a part of our journey. With your ongoing support we hope to double our efforts in our next decade to reach more than 2,500,000 students.

Most sincerely,
Dr. Elaine Liftin
President and Executive Director

Update on Council Programs…
PASS and Executive PASS:

On the Educational News Front
Having a good teacher in fourth grade makes a student 1.25% more likely to go to college as well as 1.25% less likely to get pregnant as a teenager. These startling statistics were published as part of an OP-ED article in the New York Times on January 11, 2012. Further, the author suggests that each of the students in this teacher’s class will earn an average of $25,000 more over a lifetime. This is $700,000 for an average sized class.

The article states that a recent study by economists at Harvard and Columbia Universities would advise parents and school administrators to do whatever they can to keep good teachers.  Further, they should do whatever is necessary to rid the schools of poor teachers.

With a national election upcoming, education in America should take center stage.

James Bright Elementary School's Literacy Leadership Team hosted the school's 2012 Spelling Bee.  The judges were Chief Overton from the Hialeah Police Department, Jose Dotres, Region Superintendent, Mr. Vega, community member; and Dr. Pat Dixon, PASS Coach.  The winner will compete at the district level.  The school has had finalists at the district level multiple times.

Dr. Richard Allington, University of Tennessee Education professor, and former President of the International Reading Association, inspired teachers at Gibsonton Elementary on January 17th with an excellent reading training. Principal Donna Marra is using the training and materials to continue the staff's discussions and work as they focus on reading achievement improvement.  The training was supported with PASS funds.  Sherry Clarke, PASS Coordinator represented CEC at the training.

Carter G. Woodson Elementary School of the Medical Arts students received a visit January 19th from the real D.W.!  As part of Woodson's Reading Campaign Celebrations, the real D. W., Kim Brown, sister of Marc Brown, creator of the Arthur books and the inspiration for his character, engaged the students in stories and activities.  PASS partnership funding helped support this reading campaign activity.  PASS business partners, Joannie Newton, Russell Newton, Helen Lane,and Muffet Corse along with PASS coach, Frances Gupton, also met with Principal Cheryl Quarles Gaston to discuss future initiatives.

Welcome to the new Executive PASS partnerships at:

  • Charles Drew Middle - Principal Annette Burks, business partner Henry Petithomme of Youth Power Movement and John Hancock Financial Services;
  • Seminole Elementary - Principal Lourdes Lopez, business partner Wendy Johnson of Miami Children’s Hospital;
  • Parkway Middle - Principal Elvira Ruiz and business partner Cristal Cole of Hialeah Hospital.

Council News…

Leader to Leader participant, Julian E. Gibbs, Principal of Henry E.S. Reeves Elementary has been named as the North Central Region Principal of the Year. We wish him the best as he competes for the title of Miami-Dade County Principal of the Year. The Leader to Leader program is funded by a grant from the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation.


Congratulations are in order for two Council schools in Hillsborough County. Assistant Principal Walter Balser of Leto High and Wayne Stinnard, a teacher at Cypress Creek Elementary, are two of the five finalists for the Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year Award.  Each year, the Hillsborough Education Foundation presents this award to the individual they believe best embodies the pioneering spirit of Ms. Ida Baker, the first African American appointed to be Deputy Superintendent in the Florida Department of Education. We wish them both the best of luck.

Council for Educational Change President and Executive Director, Dr. Elaine Liftin, has been appointed to the Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE) Steering Committee. The purpose of the committee is to make recommendations to the Florida Department of Education on how to frame, the purpose, design, and level of rigor on the new Florida Leadership Examination.

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay has announced that CEC Board of Trustees Chair, Gene Marshall, is working with the Foundation to assure a smooth transition until a new President and CEO is named. Gene is the Board Chair of the Council and was recently selected as a winner of the prestigious Local Hero Award by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.

Leader to Leader Principal Raymond Sands of Nathan B. Young Elementary announced that for the next three months, the school would be hosting its first annual Farmers Market. Each Wednesday from 2:00 until 5:30 pm, parents and community members will be able to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers. The Leadership Team is optimistic that these events will bring all the parents to the school.

Dates to Remember…
February 15 – Full Board Call

February 16 – 17 – FELE Steering Committee meeting

February 28 – 29 – FCAT Writes

Scott Lake Elementary is the site for an FLDOE pilot to provide the State with concrete feedback prior to a full roll-out of their newest initiative.  Principal Valerie Ward hosted the Reflect 360 Camera Training at the school. Present were two Regional Executive Directors for Differentiated Accountability, Dr. Pamela Craig and Dr. Gina Eyerman along with PASS Coach Dr. Patricia Dixon. A big thank you to Matthew Short of Teachscape for his clear and concise demonstration of the equipment.


A printable version of the Update is available for download below.

Council for Educational Change Board....Florida's Educational Think Tank
Gene E. Marshall, Chair • Dr. Elaine Liftin, President and Executive Director
Founder, Leonard Miller
Andrew L. Ansin* • Philip F. Blumberg • Hugh M. Brown* • Columba Bush* • Charles E. Cobb Jr.* • Irv Cohen • Scott A. Curtis • Dr. Akshay Desai
Edward W. Easton* • T. Willard Fair* • Edward T. Foote, II* • Karen Fryd • Dr. Robert W. Graham, III
Bill Habermeyer* • Steven T. Halverson* • Elsie Sterling Howard • Cyrus M. Jollivette • David S. Kenin Esq* • Jonathan I. Kislak*
Daniel W. Mahurin* • Beth G. Martinez* • Jeffrey Miller • Sue Miller • Robert A. Morris Jr.* • Robert Moss • Beau Parrillo • Fred F. Pezeshkan
Andrew S. Rosen • Peter S. Rummell* • Steven J. Saiontz • Michael Scheck* • Roger Slade • Elliott Stern* • Steven J. Uhlfelder
Keith T. Ward • Steven Wasserman • Lynne Wines • Dr. Paul Zimmerman • Robert A. Zinn     *Life Trustees
3265 Meridian Parkway Suite 130 Weston, FL 33331 phone: 954.727.9909 fax: 954.727.0990 www.changeeeducation.org


FEB 2012 Update.pdf166.2 KB