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New Models of Education: A Tale of Two Schools

• Jess Langhaim

A Tale of Two Schools…

Last month, Governor Bush and members of the Foundation for Excellence in Education had the opportunity to visit two sensational schools: Nizoni Elementary School in New Mexico and Advanced Technologies Academy (A-Tech) in Nevada.

One school a rural Navajo elementary school, the other an urban Las Vegas high school.

One with an audience of students and their families in a packed cafeteria, the other with an auditorium full of juniors and seniors.

One focused on literacy, the other on digital learning and technology.

One event included a Navajo basket dance and Governor Susana Martinez’s announcement of the translation of literacy and Advanced Placement materials into the Navajo language of Diné. The other incorporated a school tour with exciting technology highlights including a 3-D printer and concluded with a panel on digital learning that included policy makers and an A-Tech Senior.

One celebrated student growth that led to improvements in reading scores which in turn helped improve the Nizhoni Elementary School letter grade from an “F” in 2012 to a “B” in 2013. The other highlighted the Digital Learning Report Card release on which Nevada’s grade was the most improved in the nation—moving from a “D” in 2012 to a “B” in 2013.

These may seem like very different school visits, and they were, but the strong common threads between the two schools are their efforts to:

  • Equip students and teachers with better tools,
  • Bring transparency to school accountability, and
  • Place the command focus on student learning.

These schools have kept their standards high and measured success in a transparent way. We congratulate them and celebrate their achievement.

To learn more about these school visits click here:

About the author

Jess Langhaim

Jess is the National Advocacy Director for the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Prior to joining the Foundation, Jess worked for a political consulting firm in Nevada on local, state and national campaigns. Prior to that, Jess worked for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Romney for President 2008, the Florida House of Representatives and the Legislative Affairs office of Governor Jeb Bush. Jess is a graduate of Florida State University. In addition to helping coordinate nationwide advocacy efforts, Jess’s portfolio of states includes: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC and West Virginia.