Friday, August 03, 2012

Mission Possible Stagnation in our Schools #readmissionpossible @MoskowitzEva

When looking at our education system, especially here in Atlanta, most people immediately look at our teachers. They see teachers who have stopped raising the bar for their students. Teachers that have very low morale, who have stopped enjoying their jobs, are a symptom of a broken system. We teach to the test and when the students don't pass, they take the easy way to fixing the problem. If you look at other countries, the US is far behind sixteen other countries in math and reading. What are we doing wrong? Why are our teachers (and schools) failing our children?

"In a world where prosperity is almost entirely driven by brains, not brawn, we are losing the education race." Mission Possible

The bar for our children is set low so that the poorest performing student can jump it. Expectations for a class is set by what is expected by the community the students are coming from. If the community is poor, they expect the children to be poor and perform low. What explains the affluent? What would happen if we raised the bar for ALL of the children and taught to the smartest? Who says the lowest can't have the bar raised and actually accomplish MORE if we only expect it and let them know they CAN do better? Rather than saying "you won't do well", what if we said "we know you're better than that"?

Could it be if we reteach our teachers to expect the most out of all of the students (and themselves) that they would again show pride in their work? Would they be able to improve our student's performance if we give them the tools to rebuild what our children know, so that they have the skills to learn? What if we actually taught them CRITICAL THINKING?

If we parents can be more involved in our child's education. If we challenge an administrator to give the teacher the tools they need to help not just teach, but CHANGE, a child. If the teacher can take pride in their work, take the student and hold onto them, show them how to THINK about a problem and how to solve it quickly. If we challenge the teachers to raise the bar for themselves, thus raising the bar for the children. If we're all willing to be accountable for the system, we may stand a chance to compete in a world that's out educating our children.

I read the book "Mission Possible, How the Secrets of the Success Academies can work in any school" by Eva Moskowitz and Arin Lavinia. It shows a breakdown of the questions I asked and how they have been addressed by a series of charter schools in Harlem and other areas. Mission Possible shows that given the right tools, training and structure, teachers CAN change the way our children learn. Adminstrators that are involved in how the teachers teach can make a difference in the way teachers work with their students. It shows that we really CAN turn things around. The authors even demonstrate how they've implemented the changes for their faculty and staff and how it works with their children. It is a wonderful point to jump from in making a change.

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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