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Dispelling the Myth Awards
DISPELLING THE MYTH AWARDS
With our Dispelling the Myth Awards, The Education Trust recognizes schools around the country that demonstrate the power educators have to help their students. The schools we honor each year serve significant numbers of low-income students or students of color, and they have student achievement results that put them near the top of their states — not just in one subject or for one year but across subjects, grades, and years. These schools are doing the right thing for kids: providing a rich, coherent curriculum and making it interesting and engaging for their students. In the process, they are making themselves the kinds of places where teachers want to teach.
Students at George Hall Elementary School,
Mobile, Ala., 2009 DTM awardee.
That is not to say these schools are perfect; they are real institutions grappling with real problems. But one of their strengths is that educators in these schools are willing to point out areas of weakness. In fact, these clear-eyed assessments are part of what propels the schools forward and makes them worthy of recognition.
We highlight these schools as a way of honoring not just the educators in their buildings, but all the thoughtful, dedicated, and hard-working educators throughout the country who are striving to improve education for all children. Their success dispels the damaging myth that schools can do very little to help students overcome the barriers of poverty and discrimination.
Student at Calcedeaver Elementary School,
Mt. Vernon, Ala., 2011 DTM awardee.
Sharing Lessons from Those Who Are Getting It Done
At the Ed Trust, we believe strongly that it is not enough to honor the work of educators; we must also learn from them and share that information broadly.
With that in mind, we have spent years studying Dispelling the Myth Award winners and a few other rapidly improving, high-poverty schools. This effort has led to a trilogy of books: It's Being Done: Academic Success in Unexpected Schools (2007), which lays out the common characteristics of these schools; HOW It's Being Done: Urgent Lessons from Unexpected Schools (2009), which describes the five common practices they share; and Getting It Done: Leading Academic Success in Unexpected Schools (2011), which examines the role of school leaders in the success of their schools. These books, all published by Harvard Education Press, are helping the education field understand how schools need to change in order to help all their students learn to high levels — even those burdened by poverty and discrimination.
We also believe that educators benefit from hearing directly from their colleagues. That’s why we not only bring the current year’s Dispelling the Myth honorees to our national conference, but also some of our past award recipients. They come to share the strategies and practices they use daily in their schools. Several of them also participate in a webinar series conducted by Ed Trust with support from The Wallace Foundation. Each school has addressed big challenges and each has something to teach the rest of us.
Student at Halle Hewetson Elementary School,
Las Vegas, Nev., 2011 DTM awardee.
DISPELLING THE MYTH AWARD-WINNING SCHOOLS
2011 DTM Award Winners
Baylor-Woodson Elementary School, Inkster, Mich.
Calcedeaver Elementary School, Mt. Vernon, Ala.
Halle Hewetson Elementary School, Las Vegas, Nev.
Icahn Charter School 1, Bronx, N.Y.
2010 DTM Award Winners
Griegos Elementary School, Albuquerque, N.M.
Jack Britt High School, Fayetteville, N.C.
Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School, New Orleans, La.
Morningside Elementary School, Brownsville, Texas
2008 DTM Award Winners
Graham Road Elementary School, Falls Church, Va.
Norfork Elementary School, Norfork, Ark.
Roxbury Preparatory Charter School, Roxbury, Mass.
Wells Elementary School, Steubenville, Ohio
2006 DTM Award Winners
East Millsboro Elementary School, Millsboro, Del.
Imperial High School, Imperial, Calif.
M. Hall Stanton Elementary School, Philadelphia, Pa.
Port Chester Middle School, Port Chester, N.Y.
2005 DTM Award Winners
Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary School, St. Paul, Minn.
Elmont Memorial High School, Elmont, N.Y.
Frankford Elementary School, Frankford, Del.
University Park Campus School, Worcester, Mass.
Ed Trust books on school leadership and improvement:
And check out our leadership webinar series to hear directly from great principals on issues that matter:
- 2013 Series: Building a Profession: Helping Principals Become the Lever of Change (ongoing)
- 2011-12 Series: Great Principals Talk about Getting it Done
- 2010-11 Series: Principals on School Improvement, Collaboration, and Student Achievement