Avondale school wins $10K, might get $50K as national award finalist
PHOENIX — The Michael Anderson School in Avondale has received $10,000 after being selected as a finalist for the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching Founder’s Award, according to a press release.
The school, part of the Avondale Elementary School District, is under consideration with three other schools for a $50,000 grand prize that will be announced during a virtual conference in March.
The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching selects schools based on efforts to make instructional excellence the cornerstone of improvement, with a plan for professional learning focused on the needs of teachers and students.
“Michael Anderson School provides a positive learning environment where teachers and students are motivated to reach their highest potential,” Lowell Milken, National Institute for Excellence in Teaching founder, said in the release.
“I congratulate Principal Lori Goslar and her staff on their outstanding academic progress and unwavering commitment to make talented teachers the driving force for educational excellence.”
The Michael Anderson School is a partner of the institute, which aims to develop school improvement systems through teacher and leader development in addition to a rubric that defines effective teaching practices that correlate with student achievement.
The rubric guides faculty, identifies strengths and needs of both teachers and students as well as differentiates instruction to ensure education is moving forward.
Since implementing the organization’s program in 2011, the Michael Anderson School has more than doubled the percentage of students testing proficient in English language arts and math while also raising the state’s rating of the school from a C to a high B, according to the release.
“The structures of NIET and its rubrics serve as a timeless avenue that has built teaching, learning, and results,” Goslar said in the release. “We have continued to grow, anchored to the rubric in every way. It creates a pathway for teachers, students, and families.”
The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching works with 44 high-need schools across six districts in Arizona, according to the official website.
The organization also has a partnership with Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University to build a pipeline of well-trained teachers through the adoption of the teaching standards rubric at the university level.