Natasha J Barnes to Lead Cinderella at Palladium

first_img It’s not Britney, b***h! After rumors that Britney Spears would take on the title role in the holiday production of Cinderella at the London Palladium, it’s been announced that Natasha J Barnes is the one who will actually step into the glass slippers. Suzie Chard and Wendy Sommerville are set to play The Wicked Stepsisters and complete the casting for the pantomime, which is scheduled to play a limited engagement December 10 through January 15, officially opening on December 14.Barnes is currently understudying and performing (quite a bit) the role of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl at the Savoy Theatre, which previously opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Chard’s more recent theater credits include Soho Cinders for Soho Theatre. Sommerville’s West End appearances include Billy Elliot The Musical.Directed by Michael Harrison and co-directed and choreographed by Andrew Wright, Cinderella, the most enchanting rags-to-riches fairy tale of them all, will grace the stage of the West End’s most famous theater this Christmas as pantomime returns to the London Palladium for the first time in nearly three decades.The trio join the previously announced Paul O’Grady as The Wicked Stepmother, Julian Clary as Dandini, Amanda Holden as The Fairy Godmother, Lee Mead as Prince Charming, Paul Zerdin as Buttons, Nigel Havers as Lord Chamberlain and Count Arthur Strong as Baron Hardup. Natasha J Barnes(Courtesy of Premier Comms) View Commentslast_img read more

Vermont among top performers on national math assessment

first_imgSource: Vermont DOE. 10.14.2009# END # Only one state outperformed Vermont in eighth-grade math and only two states outperformed Vermont in fourth-grade math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), according to results released by the US Department of Education today.Highlights for Vermont results include:· Vermont students were only outperformed by students in New Hampshire and Massachusetts on the fourth-grade exam.· Vermont students were only outperformed by students in Massachusetts on the eighth-grade exam.· Vermont was one of only five states or jurisdictions to show growth in scores in both grade levels, and all three New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) participants were included in that group of five (Vermont, Rhode Island and New Hampshire). The other two were Nevada and the District of Columbia.“What is really impressive about these results is that the three NECAP states were already star performers,” said Commissioner of Education Armando Vilaseca. “It is easy to show growth when you are on the lower end, but for these well-performing states to continue to show growth is notable.”Vermont has shown steady gains on NAEP in both fourth and eighth grade math since 2003. Fifty-one percent of Vermont grade four students achieved the rating of “at or above proficient” compared to 38 percent of fourth-graders nationally. Forty-three percent of Vermont grade eight students achieved the rating of “at or above Proficient” compared to 33 percent of eighth-graders nationally.Poverty-based achievement gaps are still a concern. The gap between students eligible for the free/reduced priced lunch program and their peers is formidable (19 points in grade four and 23 points in grade eight).“While it is incredibly exciting that Vermont students perform so well compared to other states and continue to post gains on NAEP, it is disappointing that our low-income population did not improve to our expectations this year,” said NAEP Coordinator Susan Hayes. “We must determine how to address the stubborn achievement gap that persists between disadvantaged youngsters and their wealthier peers.”Vermont students took the exam during the months of January, February and March of this year. As part of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), all states must participate in NAEP assessments in reading and mathematics at grades four and eight every other year. National and state-to-state comparisons are based on data from public schools only. Results for individual schools or students are not reported. For Vermont’s NAEP results, visit: http://education.vermont.gov/new/html/pgm_assessment/data.html#naep(link is external).  For a complete set of national results, visit http://www.nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard(link is external).For more information, contact Susan Hayes at (802) 828-5892 or susan.hayes@state.vt.us(link sends e-mail) or Jill Remick at (802) 828-3154 or jill.remick@state.vt.us(link sends e-mail).last_img read more