The partnership between West High and UW-Madison has always been important. For decades West teachers have mentored practicum and student teachers and benefited from professional development opportunities and grants through the UW School Network. This year West High School has partnered with UW-Madison in new ways. The West High Administrative Team has benefited from a partnership developed with the UW-Madison Center for Ethics and Education in launching Equity Retreats --time set aside for the team to study, think deeply, and consider ethical questions about how to best lead for more equitable outcomes for students. Paula McAvoy, Program Director the Center for Education and Ethics worked with Lynn Glueck, West's School Improvement / Professional Development Coordinator to develop a series of Equity Retreats focused on case studies that asked the team to wrestle through difficult ethical questions involving school culture, behavior management, and resource allocation. The team has continued the work by reading and studying UW Professor John Diamond's book, Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools. The most important outcome has been the reflection on the daily ethical decisions leaders must make and the development of guiding Equity Statements through work in the West SBLT.
Also this year, West will continue to learn about its Embedded Honors and Honors courses with help from UW. Last year, through the Partner School Network, a team of graduate students interviewed students and teachers to better understand the reasons for uneven participation of students in Embedded Honors and Honors courses, including Advanced Placement. Now teams of students from two UW graduate courses in two Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis courses taught by Dr. Laura Lang and Dr. John Diamond will be conducting more specific research, observing in classes and reviewing artifacts from Embedded Honors and Honors courses to ultimately help guide work teachers will do to improve consistency in levels of rigor as well as provide better access, participation, and success for a range of students.
A big thanks to our UW partners!
Submitted by Lynn Glueck, School Improvement Partner, firstname.lastname@example.org