« The Federalism Debate | Main | The Price of Leadership »

Great Expectations?

| 4 Comments

In this Education Week Commentary, Rona Wilensky, the principal of New Vista High School in Boulder, Colo., questions the proposals announced by the some of country's "education governors" to fix the nation's high schools. While most policymakers raise standards before supplying the means to meet them, Wilensky argues for a reversal of this trend: Give schools and educators the necessary resources before requiring them to implement reform.

Without first providing the support needed to meet raised standards, warns Wilensky, we are simply raising standards to an even more unattainable height for underprivileged students.

What do you think? Can raising state academic standards have the unintended effect of locking many underprivileged students out of future opportunities for which they would likely be qualified? Are higher academic expectations enough, or do political leaders need to focus more on improving resources and policies?

4 Comments

a river is polluted in the spring of it. And we try to clean it from the middle of it. Can you clean it. Never, ever.
You have to stop it in the spring.

Education starts when one is 2-3 years old. If you do not educated your child even before going to primary school at 6 years old, then any money you spend on education is waste of money. PRESCHOOL is extremely important. If one wishes to spend money on education they should spend first on PRESCHOOL. Rest is waste of money.
Muvaffak GOZAYDIN
Education Consultants
[email protected]

Expectations and funding go hand-in-hand. Often the lowest performing schools do not have the resources needed to meet expectations. For instance, if students are expected to become more technologically literate, but they have no or few computers or their server is rarely working or there are no smartboards, t.v.'s, and projectors. . . can the students being served by such a school gain knowledge in PowerPoint, Excel, advanced word processing, and other pertinent computer skills? In addition, do schools have technology personnel available to provide relevant ongoing training so that teachers can integrate technology into their classrooms?

I strongly feel that lawmakers must address individual teachers from a variety of schools and classroom situations to learn what the classroom professionals really want and need. This would allow for more of a "complete" as well as "effective" education plan for ALL students.

Expectations and funding go hand-in-hand. Often the lowest performing schools do not have the resources needed to meet expectations. For instance, if students are expected to become more technologically literate, but they have no or few computers or their server is rarely working or there are no smartboards, t.v.'s, and projectors. . . can the students being served by such a school gain knowledge in PowerPoint, Excel, advanced word processing, and other pertinent computer skills? In addition, do schools have technology personnel available to provide relevant ongoing training so that teachers can integrate technology into their classrooms?

I strongly feel that lawmakers must address individual teachers from a variety of schools and classroom situations to learn what the classroom professionals really want and need. This would allow for more of a "complete" as well as "effective" education plan for ALL students.

[email protected]
www.educationfourall.com
St. Louis, MO

rona wilensky is right, of course, but no one is especially interested in anything that requires funding. talk is cheap, especially in education policy. wilensky sees the bottom line unfairness of it all in practical and financial terms. again she is right. i doubt that she believes that anyone in authority will take her seriously.

i have another practical suggestion, but i’m unsure of the money and, of course, that makes all the difference, huh? i suggest that school systems refuse to implement NCLB. it’s bad policy to begin with, but it may not even make financial sense, either. someone will have to crunch the numbers for me, but here’s my question: is the federal money significant enough to warrant all this fuss? if it is, we may have no choice. but if federal money is not even covering the costs of NCLB and is, in fact, running a deficit here, as well as everywhere else in our economy, then why keep doing this? refuse the money and forget NCLB. it may even be cost-effective to do so.

a side comment about high school reform. research has shown that improvements can be made in lower grades but that high schools are generally resistant to raising achievement scores. the lack of improvement may have more to do with the testing itself. the tests in high school have more generalized readings that are far more dependent on eccentric vocabulary than the tests in lower grades. in this respect the testing companies are using older aptitude-style exams, especially in reading comprehension. go ahead, check out the exams. i did. the reasons that these tests have such a solid correlation with family income will be readily apparent. math scores don’t have the same level of discriminatory vocabulary, but access top the math courses needed for higher scores is a serious equity question because of tracking, whether enforced or self-selected. so, most of the measures of achievement are bogus from the get-go.

Comments are now closed for this post.

Advertisement

Recent Comments

  • BILL XANDER/RETIRED ENGLISH TEACHER: rona wilensky is right, of course, but no one is read more
  • C. Washington, M.Ed./Educator and EDUCATION 4 ALL, INC. CEO & Founder: Expectations and funding go hand-in-hand. Often the lowest performing schools read more
  • C. Washington, M.Ed./Educator and EDUCATION 4 ALL, INC. CEO & Founder: Expectations and funding go hand-in-hand. Often the lowest performing schools read more
  • mgozaydin education consultant: a river is polluted in the spring of it. read more

Archives

Categories

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here

Pages