The U.S. Department of Defense recently awarded the STEMPREP Project, based in Simmons, a $2.6 million grant to support its goal of increasing the number of minorities in STEM fields. STEMPREP recruits bright, science-minded minority middle school students for the two-summer classroom phase of the STEMPREP project, then provides high school students with summer opportunities at research labs. Read more.
Michael Harris, associate professor, Department of Education Policy and Leadership, has been named director of the Center for Teaching Excellence. He starts his new position August 1 and continues to teach in Simmons. Harris succeeds Beth Thornberg, senior associate dean for academic affairs, Dedman School of Law.
Michael McLendon, Simmons’ Endowed Centennial Chair and Associate Dean, provides brief analysis on the political struggle at UT involving regents, the chancellor, and president. To read McLendon’s comments in the HoustonChronicle series, click here and here.
Lee Alvoid and Les Black, clinical associate professors in Simmons’ Department of Education Policy and Leadership, co-wrote The Changing Role of the Principal: How High-Achieving Districts Are Recalibrating School Leadership, a report that delineates how school leadership has changed, especially with increased expectations for instructional improvement and teacher development.
The report, released by the Center for American Progress, also incorporates six case studies of school districts that have changed proactively to support principals.
Alvoid and Black examine Gwinnette County Public Schools in Georgia; Denver Public Schools in Denver, CO; District of Columbia Public Schools in Washington D.C.; Charlotte-Mecklenburg in Charlotte, NC; Uplift Education in Dallas, TX; and Northeast Leadership Academy at North Carolina State University.
These schools have re-structured their positions so principals can focus strategically on coaching and instructional feedback, customized professional development, more streamlined job duties and ways to partner with universities and nonprofits.