Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Education notebook: Salem educators setting off for Finland to study up on high test score tactics
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A group of six Salem City Schools officials plans to travel to Finland this fall to see how the European nation's schools produce high test scores.
Superintendent Alan Seibert will be joined by school board Vice Chairman David Preston; Joe Coleman, the division's director of assessment and principal at G.W. Carver Elementary School; Principal Diane Rose from East Salem Elementary School; Principal Forest Jones from Andrew Lewis Middle School; and Debbie Carroll, associate principal at West Salem Elementary School.
"I think it's a great opportunity to see one of the world leaders in education," Preston stated in a news release issued Tuesday. "Hopefully, we'll be able to take this information, step back and honestly look at what we can do to improve our business and school models in Salem."
This will be the superintendent's second international trip in three years. He traveled to India in 2009 with other state education officials to learn how India's economy related to Virginia's.
Seibert's travel expenses will be covered by the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, according to Salem spokesman Mike Stevens.
He said an anonymous donor will spend $8,725 for the other Salem school officials to take the 10-day trip, part of which will coincide with the division's Thanksgiving break.
"Salem has a long history of providing the very best opportunities for its children," Seibert stated in the news release. "The generosity and vision of a Salem business leader, who is committed to ensuring that our schools remain world class by sponsoring this opportunity, is greatly appreciated."
The Salem delegation, along with other education officials from Virginia, will visit the University of Helsinki and several other schools. The trip will focus on Finland's performance in the "Programme for International Student Assessment."