Bob Herbert said it best, “Present-day obsessions with firing teachers, attacking unions, and creating charter schools have done little to improve outcomes for disadvantaged students of color.” Add to that list renaming, reconfiguring, and remodeling schools and we still achieve nothing but failure.
Herbert and others suggest placing low income students in middle class school environments since studies show that these children outperform their counterparts. However, this change in environment makes a difference only because there is a change in the level of expectation within the environment.
Let’s try something different!
Significance, competence, power, and virtue, the four elements of self-confidence do not hold monetary value yet are priceless when added to the system of education for children.
Significance; when a child is passed from grade to grade, knowing they have not achieved mastery in the curriculum, education becomes insignificant and therefore, they are insignificant.
Competence; when a child is passed from grade to grade without achieving competence, lack of knowledge and understanding makes them feel incompetent.
Power; when a child is passed from grade to grade, having no control over their learning and therefore their world, they adopt a feeling of powerlessness.
Value; when a child is passed from grade to grade, knowing they do not know, education has no value and, being uneducated, they have no value.
Having high expectations for the educational success of children does not take millions of dollars, a suburban neighborhood, or middle income parents. Having high expectations requires the belief that all children deserve our best in showing them their best.
Year round school, lower class sizes, looping, teaching to mastery, and above all truly believing that every child can achieve, these are the reforms that will create educational success for all children regardless of their parents’ socio-economic status.
These concepts are without monetary value. They don’t need grant funding or tax dollars to initiate. They require loving, caring, knowledgeable, understanding, adults with a great deal of self-esteem to teach children that they are good, able to control their world competently, and that they are, valuable.
Join the Movement to Save Our Children!