Unique naming contest looms!!!

Still lacking a sterling accomplishment worthy of giving heft to your obit? I sympathize. But the great column by Jay Mathews I blogged on yesterday gives us all a come-from-behind opportunity.

As Eduwonk readers know, something truly significant is playing out in the charter school movement, with the “elite” charter groups separating themselves from the mom and pop charters that for years have barely risen above the pack of traditional schools. Not long ago, Mr. Eduwonk and I wrote about it here (subscription required) in Ed Week.

I call them elites, but that sounds like a country club where they make you wear ties and jackets to Sunday dinners in August. Calling them paternalistic is even worse.

Here’s Jay struggling with the dilemma:

“Here are some other names I made up, mostly out of desperation: tough-love schools, teacher-driven schools, challenge schools, strong-principal schools, achievement-focus schools. In his book, Whitman occasionally calls them the no-excuses school, a reference to Samuel Casey Carter’s 2001 book, “No Excuses: Lessons from 21 High-Performing, High-Poverty Schools.” I suppose we could use Carter’s subtitle and call them the HPHP schools, or the HP squared schools. My wife, an editor expert in turning complex thoughts into short headlines, had an idea I like: high-intensity schools.”

So I propose an Eduwonk-sponsored naming contest, with the winner revealed publicly on Eduwonk. Think about all those Uncommon Schools, Green Dots, Achievement Firsts, KIPPs and send your term of art to me.

–Guestblogger Richard Whitmire

4 Replies to “Unique naming contest looms!!!”

  1. How about the “gap reversers”, since these are the few schools that are actually able to deliver achievement scores BETTER THAN those in white/Asian suburbs? “Gapbusters” is in the same vein, but catchier.

  2. In regards to this quote, “the “elite” charter groups separating themselves from the mom and pop charters that for years have barely risen above the pack of traditional schools. ”

    While I agree that many of the mom and pop schools are not that successful (Uphams Corner, for instance), I’m interested in hearing more in the press/blogosphere about the “mom-and-pop” charters that are hanging in there with the elites (Uncommon, KIPP, etc).

    Here in Boston and in nearby cities, there are a number of schools that are independent of those organizations and are very successful. A few that I can think of…

    1) MATCH (of GGW fame) seems to have no alliance with an “elite” system.

    2) Community Day (Lawrence) has been performing very well for years.

    3) Edward W. Brooke (where I teach), though founded by Brett Peiser of Uncommon Schools in the pre-USI days, has gone off in its own direction and has been making increasingly more impressive showings every year. Just wait until we have 3rd grade results in one year.

    4) Excel Academy has shown outstanding results of late.

    (I’d argue that Boston Collegiate, Roxbury Prep, Academy of the Pacific Rim, Boston Prep all have connections to USI. At this point, I think BCCS and RoxPrep have associate memberships, not sure about APR and Boston Prep).

  3. I’d go with either “Accelerator Schools” or “Growth Schools” – they’re basically making it possible for kids to move faster than in other schools so they can catch up to grade level and move beyond it.

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