Teachers believe America's Choice Design is working - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Teachers believe America's Choice Design is working

February 7, 2003

Albany - It's a nationwide education program many Southwest Georgia schools are joining. The America's Choice School design is supposed to improve education. Is it helping students learn?

Radium Springs Middle School in Albany is one of 500 schools across the nation using America's Choice School Design standards. Math Teacher, Katie Hamilton, says, "Definitely seen changes in writing and thinking skills of children, writing has greatly improved."

One part of the design, coaches like Elnora Arrington and Viola Brooks, in the classroom. They are trained by education experts to watch over, help and evaluate teachers. The main goal is to make sure teachers are communicating with students. Hamilton says, "After thirty years, it doesn't bother me at all."

Other parts of the design, students do independent reading, reading aloud and reflecting on what they've read. Hamilton explains, "Children know when they come into classroom rituals and routines they follow. Everyone knows the daily set up. They know exactly what is expected of them. When a child knows what's expected of them you tend to get better results."

Principal Geraldine West Hudley also reads a book of the month to students during lunchtime. Hudley explains, "That is part of the intent that youngsters will begin to reflect and think about life lessons to be had from books that are selected."

America's Choice Georgia's Choice Design keeps extra eyes on teachers and students. Hamilton says she's enjoying the design, anything to help her students achieve more.

Students are required to read and write everyday in a source book. The Design team uses standards and gives a score to each grade level.

Since 1998, more than 500 schools in 15 states have implemented the America's Choice Design.

posted at 6:10PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com