It can be done! Look what an elementary school in Kansas City, Kansas, did. A new principal, some staff changes, a new attitude, and a grant from SIG, the Schools Improvement Program–and a school that went from 45% of students in the warning area for reading to just 2% low scorers.
Kudos to everyone who made this happen: prinicpal, teachers and support staff, and parents. You made it happen!
To be honest, I do not understand why more schools did not take advantage of a change model. Sometimes, it takes moving only a few people to make a difference. Get rid of the chronic complainers who make little or no effort to change, and you are left with people who are willing to learn and make changes in their environment that places the students and their needs first. Too many schools that received SIG funds did so by attempting changes through other models. I would be interested to see what progress was made overall by SIG category. Maybe the information is forthcoming…
Below is a link to a Huffington Post education blog that poses what is probably one of our biggest educational problems: the achievement and retention of low-income (especially in inner-city areas) students. One of the blogger’s statements clearly addresses the need to treat this block of students as an entity, regardless of ethnicity or cultural background. A brief search on this issue uncovers a lot of commentary, but little in the way of research and support. All we see in research is the relationship between poverty and academic achievement, but too little on the whys of this gap. Are low-income students getting equity? Are alternative schools meeting students’ needs? Are we, as a nation, doing enough to address the daily hurdles these students must clear?