People have pointed fingers at many different entities that would “justify” why the educational systems within Maryland and DC particularly have declined over the past ten years. On the May 15, 2011 show that aired on WOL 1450 am, EZ Street and panelists begin asking the questions that will hopefully birth the necessary solutions.
Get over it! Parents may be projecting their personal learning experiences onto their children without even realizing what that they are actually doing to their child’s psychological perspectives. Though a parent’s learning experience was traumatic- their learning experience of the child does not have to be that way at all. Often people come to the table with harbored resentment towards the authority figures that perhaps instilled a certain inferiority complex. As a matter of fact it is imperative that the parent’s presence is seen more often. Parents must be more active and invested in the learning experience of their own children.
1. Regularly attend Parent/Teacher conferences.
2. Drop the defense and listen to the teacher’s stance FIRST. Defending unseen behavior tells your student that they “can do no wrong”.
3. Formulate a behavioral plan for those times that student’s need consequences (e.g., take away privileges, increase household duties, etc.). NO CHILD IS PERFECT, nor is any adult.
4. Take the side of the teacher occasionally. Your child is not a saint 100% of the time and should be asked the question “SO WHAT DID YOU DO TO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS SITUATION?” This question begins the moral development of taking responsibility for one’s own actions.
Just stop it! Why are parents sabotaging their own children by planting resentments towards education? Education is not “acting white”. Stop saying that inaccurate, inappropriate stuff to kids. It was historically an implanted message by family members to keep us “controllable” within our families and within the confines of the family “station” within the community. Liberate yourselves from the ties that bound us from seeking more.
Fix it! The issues that occur in the households pour into the classrooms. Be mindful, aware and engaged in the development of a WHOLE CHILD. “What stays in this house stays in this house”, is not how it happens. Being annoyed, upset, angry, hungry and even uncomfortable can directly affect how a child is prepared to learn.
Effective Student Involvement
All students must come to school prepared to learn something. Bring a functioning writing utensil and paper to every class. The iPod, cell phone or other electronic gizmo is distracting the student from being able to function effectively.
1. Take notes and participate in the lessons.
2. DISCONNECT TO CONNECT: Get off of the cell phones during class.
3. Be mentally present in class.
4. Disrespecting peers and adults is not the way to communicate that you are having difficulty with the subject. Speak up and ask for help instead.
Full and fruitful teacher participation
Teachers and students are experiencing a lot of socio-economic and psycho social anguish. The personal issues can become magnified when interacting with many children/youth. Teachers have to not only manage their classes but also balance administration, parents, fellow teachers, and their home lives. Invariably the educational and general welfare of the students are critical to the success of each student.
In this era, children/youth are learning differently. Revising teaching strategies and fully cross examining the abundance of placement tests for students-is absolutely necessary. Children and youth are becoming more visual and less audio and therefore need different modalities of processing available to ensure retention of lessons.
Teachers, educators and educational administrators must know your students.
1. Be deliberate at gauging their accurate levels of learning.
2. Provide one-on-one whenever possible.
3. Use kind words.
4. Make lessons fun, engaging and interactive.
5. Experiential learning should outweigh the conventional lectures.
6. Model the behavior that you expect.
7. Set clear expectations for the class and enforce them consistently.
8. Lower your voice and repeat directions clearly.
9. Utilize every tool in the classroom to reach your students.
The overhead projector
The audio cassette recorder
And any new technology that’s out there. It changes regularly. Once student’s master it, something new emerges….stay in the loop.
Teachers that test well are provided the No Child Left Behind distinctive label “HIGHLY QUALIFIED”. No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the defunct educational legislation signed into being by George W. Bush- requires that Highly Qualified teachers lead instruction in classrooms. However, there is a lot to be said for the social and emotional intelligence of a master teacher-that cannot be tested unless observed in action. There are superior teachers who never obtain licensure because the test (PRAXIS I& II), is a hurdle.
It is critical for adults caring for children and youth to actually like them. It is necessary for the same adults to connect with students on some level. Most importantly- youth must be spoken to in a manner that commands respect while at the same time offers it. The balanced duality of this type of interaction will always attribute to a winning academic situation.
Real teachers are never frauds. Kids can see right through the act!
Given the economic climate, administrators have had to make some serious decisions about what programs to keep and which ones to let go. They’ve had to dismiss excellent teachers who have less time invested into the systems and overload classes that were already overloaded. School administrators -have a hard and often thankless job that often produces a very high rate of turnover.
In Washington D.C., particularly retaining a superintendent or chancellor for more than three years has proven quite difficult within the last ten years. The high rate of turnover is the main contributor to the lack of established operational protocol within the quickly crumbling educational system. The ladder climbers have come and left without any concern for the half hearted attempts at creating band-aiding programs intended to stop the hemorrhaging from the last leader that left unexpectedly.
When seeking to improve an overall educational system. Administrators are advised to exact the following:
1. Seek to improve teacher’s salaries
2. Keep up with the learning trends
3. Be more open to different “teaching styles”;
4. Just as there are many different learning styles there are just as many teaching styles.
5. Budget constraints/cuts cannot be used as justification for reducing the quality of the academic experience.
Sports, art, technical skills and music programs are being cut because jurisdictions are grappling with financial constraints. This practice is crippling a student’s ability to release stress, develop and hone social skill development, and to attain a level of success in areas outside of academia.
6. Improve the overall conditions of the school.
7. Schools with no air condition and/or heating causes students to focus on their comfort level rather than their GPA…it’s that simple.
8. Antiquated technology will create antiquated practices. Students learning on tools that are already obsolete cannot possibly compete in an ever changing technological world.
9. The safety of everyone in the building, including teachers and staff-must be a priority.
10. Create an effective behavioral plan. Bullying, cyber bullying and physical assaults on school property should be handled with the harshest severity.
11. Revise policies that undermine authority. Students do not run the schools nor the homes for that matter and that message needs to be sent loud and clearly.
12. Actively explore other funding options without compromising ethics required by the school system and personal beliefs.
13. Provide the necessary resources to teachers and classrooms to ensure student success.
a. All classrooms should have at least two functional computers.
b. Teachers should not be expected to come out of pocket to provide the materials for lessons that the Superintendent has signed into mandatory curriculum.
Teachers are absolutely exhausted from having to constantly battle the purveyors of their success. Equip the educators with the tools they need to become highly effectual. If the teacher, parent, student, and/or community don’t meet the effort half way THEN push harder.
Less government governance
Mind your own business. Government has inserted itself into an entity that needed little.
Mandated tests are not producing better students. If anything it is causing more anxiety. Unfair testing out practices have students attending high school for four years only to be told that they can’t graduate because they didn’t pass the state exit exam.
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND-Needs major reform or to be rejected wholly. The law excludes many of the very students that it is supposed to assist. There are some viable support systems in place to accommodate the laws as well; however, when homeless mothers are arrested for sending their children to schools that are better than average one must question whether or not the law is actually working.
Requiring states to create their own standardized testing modules for which the student’s proficiency is “garnered” is proving to be an exercise in fraudulence. Many states are not reporting accurate information.
Many students are tested on information that they have not fully grasped. Many jurisdictions are not clear on whether to exclude or include the tests taken by Special Education students who have been “included” into classrooms. If the students are required by law to be included in the classroom during regular instruction, then should their tests be also factored into the overall results? Again this question causes quite a bit of debate that offers no real functional solution.
The issues that impact education within and around DC, Maryland and Virginia vary from state to state, though they are geographical neighbors. The disparities are quite evident and call to question how and why the systems function so counter.
Shopping is the analogy that comes to mind immediately. The same store will often carry different merchandise depending on the geographical location of the store. Higher quality products will often be found in stores located in wealthy areas and the lower quality product, poor customer service and the aesthetically displeasing store will be in the area that is located in the middle to low income areas. Perhaps this is not the best analogy but it serves as an effective correlation between the educational systems that are found within those same socio-economic areas.
Discrimination is no longer necessarily contingent upon skin color; however, whether or not one has green is categorically determining whether or not certain children and youth are able to obtain further education.
Beyond that pursuant to the report that was released stating that the city of Detroit, MI was 50% functionally illiterate
Documentary: Waiting on Superman
Books : “better than” Educational Reform
Detroit is 50% functionally illiterate! How does that happen?
The Educational Crisis no one is talking about: