June 2014 Update

June 2014

On the Educational NEWS Front
In 2010, Florida International University began a partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools with a grant from the Children’s Aid Society. By 2011, JP Morgan Chase added $1 million with the goals of improving teaching and learning, enhancing parental and community engagement, and creating an environment conducive to student success that promotes pathways to post-secondary education.  The partnership began at Miami Northwestern Senior High and will spread to middle schools in its feeder pattern.

Thus far that partnership has achieved a number of positive outcomes at Miami Northwestern including:

  • receiving an “A” grade, up from a D/F
  • increasing percentage of students with a 3.0 GPA or better from 15% to 45%
  • moving Graduation Rate from 64% to 80%
  • increasing number of students accepted to post-secondary education by 10%
  • improving the percentage of students reading on grade level from 19% to 30%
  • increasing percentage of students in the lowest 25% making learning gains from 48% to 63%
  • increasing percentage of students performing on grade level in biology from 52% to 70%
  • increasing percentage of students performing on grade level in math from 33% to 53%
  • arranging visits to the FIU campus for more than 1,000 students in their feeder pattern
  • developing skills in finance for over 150 students through their Financial Literacy and Bull Investment Fund
  • tripling the number of college credit courses offered to students
  • quadrupling the number of students participating in college credit courses
  • creating an aquaponics and organic garden which has been integrated into the curriculum as a part of the STEM program and healthy living; and as part of the service learning at the school.


  • Lori Hartglass, Governance Committee Chair for the Council for Educational Change, won the Daily Business Top Dealmakers of the Year Award in the area of Real Estate Finance. She shaped and partnered in the development of a huge South Florida residential construction loan deal with Wells Fargo. She is a partner at the Arnstein and Lehr Fort Lauderdale law office.
  • Vanady Daniels, a former participant in the Council’s Leader to Leader project had her book review published in Childhood Education: Journal of the Association for Childhood Education International.  Her review was of the book entitled, LEADERS OF LEARNING: How District, School, and Classroom Leaders Improve Student Achievement, authored by Dr. Richard Dufour and Dr. Robert J. Marzano.
  • On June 11, the participants in year two of the Commissioner’s Leadership Academy attended the final session and graduation. Each participant had three assignments as part of the program. The first was to enhance the leadership capacity of the staff at their school so that in case the principal was out of the building, the strategies that worked were a part of the school’s culture, and the school would continue to run smoothly. The second was to mentor a colleague principal in his/her district who had been identified by the Superintendent. Finally, as part of their Cohort, they were to be a part of designing and delivering one of the four Achieving Performance Excellence (APEX) Forums that were conducted around the state. Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart and Brian Dassler, Deputy Chancellor for Educator Quality,  participated in the event which was held in Tampa. The Council’s Leadership Academies are sponsored by Carnival Cruise Lines, Florida Blue, and Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc.

 Update on Council Programs...

PASS© and Executive PASS©

Publix Super Markets Charities and Raymond James Financial are statewide sponsors of Partnership to Advance School Success (PASS)

  • Almost 100 people gathered at Miami Northwestern Senior High for the Semi-Annual Executive PASS Networking Session on May 13th. These principals and their business partners shared amazing success stories. They also had an opportunity to view the new Council for Educational Change video. Art Noreiga of the Miami Parking Authority, who is a partner with Miami Northwestern, provided a full breakfast for the participants. Dr. Pablo Ortiz, Associate Superintendent of the Educational Transformation Office, along with Administrative Directors, Yaset Fernandez and Arnold Montgomery, brought greetings and participated in the session.  After the meeting, Dr. Maria Lovett, from Florida International University, conducted a tour of the school’s aquaponics lab.
  • The Pinellas County School District Executive PASS schools have had a productive year. The business leaders, principals, and district staff met at the Stavros Center and shared many outstanding activities initiated this year.  Superintendent Dr. Michael Grego, Council for Educational Change President and Executive Director Dr. Elaine Liftin, Associate Superintendent Lori Matway and Council Board Chair Charles B. Blumenkamp shared remarks and offered thanks to all involved in Executive PASS.
  • PASS CEO Ron Diner of Raymond James Financial hosted approximately 45 students from Mt. Vernon Elementary for a tour at their offices. The students were participants in the school’s tutoring and mentoring program and were invited to have lunch and spend time with their tutor/mentor at work. Peggy Pearson, Principal at Mt. Vernon, said that the children had such a wonderful time, that many other students have asked how they could become a part of the Raymond James group for next school year.
  • On Friday May 9, 2014, 125 teachers and staff of Campbell Park Elementary enjoyed “teachers and staff” appreciation week at the Tampa Bay Rays vs. the Cleveland Indians baseball game. The tickets were compliments of the Tampa Bay Rays. Emery Ivery, President of United Way Suncoast and the school’s PASS partner, was instrumental in reaching out to the Rays to make this a great event for all that attended. As part of Teacher Appreciation Week, the United Way, in collaboration with Wal-Mart surprised the teachers and staff by unveiling an “Extreme Makeover” of their lounge.  It only took two days from start to finish to create a relaxing environment. The lounge resembles a living room with its new futons, lamps, wall sconces, rug, flat screen TV, and of course a brand new paint job.

Lawyers’ Alliance…

David Podein, an associate from the law offices of David B. Haber, P.A. took a group of Henry M. Flagler Elementary students on a tour of the courts, where the students observed criminal arraignment proceedings and various pre-trial motions by the Assistant State Prosecutor and the Assistant Public Defender. Honorable Judge Andrea Wolfson also led a question and answer session with the students and gave an overview of the judicial process. The school’s Executive PASS partner, Carlos Temperan of John Hancock Financial Network was also in attendance.

The Council Effect…

Many principals and teachers involved in Council activities over the last few years will remember the booklets on classroom management and differentiated instruction by Dr. Billie F. Birnie, a consultant and long-time member of the Council family. The booklets have recently been updated and combined into a single publication, the first in a series entitled Wrinkles in Teaching, published by Rowman and Littlefield and available from Amazon.

This review by Dr. Elaine Liftin appears on the book’s cover: “This Guide presents very practical and meaningful strategies for teachers, as well as school leaders. Billie Birnie’s style of communication and the delivery of content information were very engaging. It was as if she were sitting beside me as my personal mentor. I could hear her sharing best practices and ideas to help me become a successful practitioner.

“Overcoming the challenge of Classroom Management is the first step to achieving positive results with students. The importance of partnership and positive relationships between teachers and students was beautifully illustrated through the modeling and examples cited. They were based on actual experiences. The concept summary, and list of resources provided reinforced the development of a culture of caring and high expectations in the classroom.

“The Introduction to Differentiated Instruction offered a menu of ideas for meeting the individual needs of all students. I loved the example of enlisting the help of the students to keep all of their friends “on the boat”. The Differentiated Instruction checklist: determining where you are, (assessing your skill level); specifying what it looks like; and planning how you can effectively implement it with your students, was very practical.

“I believe that this Guide will be a valuable tool for preparing new teachers and supporting currently assigned teachers. My recommendation is that it should be included as a prerequisite and/or resource in the orientation package for all educators.”

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

Council for Educational Change Board....Florida's Educational Think Tank
Charles B. Blumenkamp, 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* • Edward W. Easton*
T. Willard Fair* • Maribel Ferrer • 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* • Richard Manners
Gene E. Marshall • Beth G. Martinez* • Jeffrey Miller • Sue Miller • Robert A. Morris Jr.* • Robert Moss • Anabel I. Nemrow • Beau Parrillo
Fred Pezeshkan • Andrew S. Rosen • Peter S. Rummell* • Steven J. Saiontz • Michael Scheck* • Roger Slade • Elliott Stern* • Steven J. Uhlfelder
Keith T. Ward • Steven Wasserman • Joe G. Weaver • 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
JUN 2014 Update.pdf257.8 KB