Thursday, December 9, 2010

Perhaps It Isn't Rocket Science ...

Another international student test has the U.S. lagging well behind the leaders and a moon-shot away from the students of Shanghai, for example. I found this interesting article on the NYT's web site and thought readers here might enjoy.

Here is one of the summary statements from the article discussing Shanghai's extraordinary results on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests:

"The results also appeared to reflect the culture of education there, including greater emphasis on teacher training and more time on studying rather than extracurricular activities like sports."

Wow. That is so ... radical. Teacher training and more time studying ... hmmm, that is a newfangled idea! Perhaps DCSS instructional wizardry and legion of curriculum gurus should be "Shanghai-ed" and replaced with good old fashion expectations and work ...

Here is the full article and a link to the test results:

>Top Test Scores From Shanghai Stun Educators

>Test Results 

Reading deeper into the test results and analysis, you can find a report titled, "What Makes a School Successful?" Great question, right? We agonize over this question on this blog and I thought it worth a look ... here's a summary from the report's Forward:

"First, while most nations declare their commitment to education, the test comes when these commitments are weighed against others. How do they pay teachers compared to the way they pay other highly-skilled workers? How are education credentials weighed against other qualifications when people are being considered for jobs? Would you want your child to be a teacher? How much attention do the media pay to schools and schooling? Which matters more, a community’s standing in the sports leagues or its standing in the student academic achievement league tables? Are parents more likely to encourage their children to study longer and harder or to spend more time with their friends or in sports activities?

In the most successful education systems, the political and social leaders have persuaded their citizens to make the choices needed to show that they value education more than other things. But placing a high value on education will get a country only so far if the teachers, parents and citizens of that country believe that only some subset of the nation’s children can or need to achieve world class standards. This report shows clearly that education systems
built around the belief that students have different pre-ordained professional destinies to be met with different expectations in different school types tend to be fraught with large social disparities. In contrast, the best-performing education systems embrace the diversity in students’ capacities, interests and social background with individualised approaches to learning.

Second, high-performing education systems stand out with clear and ambitious standards that are shared across the system, focus on the acquisition of complex, higher-order thinking skills, and are aligned with high stakes gateways and instructional systems. In these education systems, everyone knows what is required to get a given qualification, in terms both of the content studied and the level of performance that has to be demonstrated to earn it. Students cannot go on to the next stage of their life – be it work or further education – unless they show that they are qualified to do so. They know what they have to do to realise their dream and they put in the work that is needed to achieve it.

Third, the quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers and principals, since student learning is ultimately the product of what goes on in classrooms. Corporations, professional partnerships and national governments all know that they have to pay attention to how the pool from which they recruit is established; how they recruit; the kind of initial training their recruits receive before they present themselves for employment; how they mentor new recruits and induct them into their service; what kind of continuing training they get; how their compensation is structured; how they reward their best performers and how they improve the performance of those who are struggling; and how they provide opportunities for the best performers to acquire more status and responsibility. Many of the world’s best-performing education systems have moved from bureaucratic “command and control” environments towards school systems in which the people at the frontline have much more control of the way resources are used, people are deployed, the work is organised and the way in which the work gets done. They provide considerable discretion to school heads and school faculties in determining how resources are allocated, a factor which the report shows to be closely related to school performance when combined with effective accountability systems. And they provide an environment in which teachers work together to frame what they believe to be good practice, conduct field-based research to confirm or disprove the approaches they develop,and then assess their colleagues by the degree to which they use practices proven effective in their classrooms.

Last but not least, the most impressive outcome of world-class education systems is perhaps that they deliver highquality learning consistently across the entire education system, such that every student benefits from excellent learning opportunities. To achieve this, they invest educational resources where they can make the greatest difference, they attract the most talented teachers into the most challenging classrooms, and they establish effective spending choices that prioritise the quality of teachers. These are, of course, not independently conceived and executed policies. They need to be aligned across all aspects of the system, they need to be coherent over sustained periods of time, and they need to be consistently implemented.

The path of reform can be fraught with political and practical obstacles. Moving away from administrative and bureaucratic control toward professional norms of control can be counterproductive if a nation does not yet have teachers and schools with the capacity to implement these policies and practices. Pushing authority down to lower levels can be as problematic if there is not agreement on what the students need to know and should be able to do. Recruiting high-quality teachers is not of much use if those who are recruited are so frustrated by what they perceive to be a mindless system of initial teacher education that they will not participate in it and turn to another profession. Thus a country’s success in making these transitions depends greatly on the degree to which it is successful in creating and executing plans that, at any given time, produce the maximum coherence in the system.

These are daunting challenges and thus devising effective education policies will become ever more difficult as schools need to prepare students to deal with more rapid change than ever before, for jobs that have not yet been created, to use technologies that have not yet been invented and to solve economic and social challenges that we do not yet know will arise. But those school systems that do well today, as well as those that have shown rapid improvement, demonstrate that it can be done. The world is indifferent to tradition and past reputations, unforgiving of frailty and complacency and ignorant of custom or practice. Success will go to those individuals and countries that are swift to adapt, slow to complain and open to change."

And here's a link to the full "What Makes a School Successful?" report:

http://browse.oecdbookshop.org/oecd/pdfs/browseit/9810101E.PDF

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is another interesting result from this report:

Results from PISA also suggest that giving parents and students a choice of schools (as indicated by whether schools compete for students) does not relate positively to equity in education if their choice is constrained
by financial or logistical considerations, such as additional tuition fees or transportation to and from schools.

Anonymous said...

Do you know why were at the bottom of the industrialized countries list?

Because education in this country is seen as a right and not a privilege.

Kids in those other countries pay some big bucks to go to those nice schools over there.

Their system of education is different as well. Which I actually prefer the British systems.

Before were all quick to say "We're Awful" Look at the variables that students in our country go through an compare it to them. I can guarantee that in Europe and other countries, Parental Involvement is high, they can kick out disruptive students and as well as those who are academically lagging behind. Can we kick out students who are failing multiple classes in public schools? No. I can guarantee however that in the "Public" schools of the UK, they can.
I can tell for a fact that Communist China puts a big emphasis on education and it shows, but parents have to pay for their kids to go to school.

I would love for students to have to apply to go to a secondary high school/vo-tech school. Imagine how great it would be to have kids who wanted to be electricians and instead of spending time in a class that isnt really going to help him.

Have students complete "core requirements" in 8-10 grade and when they hit 11-12th, they can apply to go a college traditional route with the course loads, or go to a vo-tech school and earn their diploma, but an actual trade they can use in life.

I love the ability for students to choose where they can go and I am a teacher. Those normally do not go together, but I am here for them and not myself.

Heather said...

I have to agree with last Anonymous - it's much better to teach kids something they want to do, or something they would actually use, rather than forcing them to learn things they don't give a damn about.

Cerebration said...

Absolutely fascinating report. Thanks for posting it, Kim. This statement in particular jumped out at me,

They provide considerable discretion to school heads and school faculties in determining how resources are allocated, a factor which the report shows to be closely related to school performance when combined with effective accountability systems. And they provide an environment in which teachers work together to frame what they believe to be good practice, conduct field-based research to confirm or disprove the approaches they develop,and then assess their colleagues by the degree to which they use practices proven effective in their classrooms.

Anonymous said...

In many countries, teachers have to teach less, but students learn with more depth. To me, this is the key to improving our education system.

Anonymous said...

"Have students complete "core requirements" in 8-10 grade and when they hit 11-12th, they can apply to go a college traditional route with the course loads, or go to a vo-tech school and earn their diploma, but an actual trade they can use in life."

I couldn't agree more--a true "common sense" approach.

Sandy Spruill said...

@ Anonymous 12:20 PM and Anonymous 7:33 AM

"Have students complete "core requirements" in 8-10 grade and when they hit 11-12th, they can apply to go a college traditional route with the course loads, or go to a vo-tech school and earn their diploma, but an actual trade they can use in life.

"I couldn't agree more--a true 'common sense' approach."


The two paths described above are not mutually exclusive. At Tech High Charter School in Atlanta Public Schools, many students do both. Having a trade skill enables them to pay their way through college doing something meaningful that allows them to earn a decent income, instead of just earning minimum wage flipping burgers.

Cerebration said...

Not sure where to share this - but wanted to get it out there -

Free iPads for non-verbal/minimally verbal individuals with Autism

FYI...The HollyRod Foundation is giving iPads to people diagnosed with autism who are non-verbal or minimally verbal. There is no age limit to apply - children and adults are eligible. Please visit the website below for more information.

Must meet the family income guidelines. Application deadline is December 31, 2010

Link for application: http://www.hollyrod.org/#/holiday-2010/4545650338

What are the eligibility requirements??

1. The individual you are applying for must have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum (as identified in diagnosis report).
2. Reside in the United States of America .
3. Be non-verbal or minimally verbal (as identified in speech pathology report).
4. Be in financial need: Gross income not to exceed $35,000 single income
family or $50,000 two-income family (as identified by documentation).
5. Have access to a computer and an iTunes account (some programs must be downloaded on a computer and transferred to the iPad due to size).
6. A professional on your team (i.e., speech pathologist, doctor, teacher) must be willing to take responsibility of the gift card that downloads the applications.

For more information please visit the foundation's website: www.hollyrod.org

Anonymous said...

Not sure where to post this, but a team of observers were in our school this week to see if we were using Marzano's instructional strategies. I overheard one team member say that she was from Seattle. I know that Beasley has latched onto Marzano, but what I'm wondering about is how much DCSS paid to have this team of observers come to our school (and maybe other schools) to do this. Does anyone know? If someone was flown in from Seattle and provided lodging for this, then this was an expensive observation visit. Any one have any info?

Cerebration said...

Interesting. Wonder what that's about. Maybe Seattle people are interested in seeing these techniques in action in order to replicate them?

In Googling, I did find a good website that gives examples of how to incorporate Marzano's techniques into the classroom using technology. It also helps explain the technique to those of us who are not teachers.

http://gets.gc.k12.va.us/VSTE/2008/

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 4:58
"If someone was flown in from Seattle and provided lodging for this, then this was an expensive observation visit. Any one have any info? "

The question is -Do you teach in a Title 1 school?

I'm willing to bet you do, and that Dr. Beasley asked Dr. Berry (Office of School Improvement over Title 1 funds expenditures) to allocate thousands to fly in these consultants. I'll also bet that Dr. Beasley knows these consultants from some conference or other meeting DCSS or Port Arthur Independent School District (his former school system) paid for him to go to. Dr. Beasley has been "one the circuit" himself as he goes into schools and evaluates school systems.

If Title 1 is paying to fly consultants into DCSS, is this better than those thousands being spent on direct instruction in small groups for struggling students.

Anonymous said...

@ Cerebration 6:16 pm
Please understand that DCSS has all of these software programs that Marzano recommends - Kidspiration and Inspiration (idea mapping software), PowerPoint, ActivBoard (rather than SmartBoard) for 1,500 teachers out of 6,500, Excel, website templates (every student has CommunityNet FirstClass - student email accounts which also allow them to create websites - as well as teachers have these accounts), and the Intranet space to create student portfolios. These are wonderful technology integration software programs for students that Marzano recommends.

However, there are only 2 computers per classroom of 30+ students. Furthermore, DCSS has 1 to 2 technology labs in the middle and high schools for 1,000+ students (and 1 per elementary school for 400 to 1,000 students) functionally allowing students less than 30 minutes per week of technology access.

If you run the numbers, you will see that even though DCSS spends millions of dollars in instructional technology software, there is little hardware access for students.

Why does MIS spend millions in software and then have little access to the software for students is the question taxpayers need to be asking.

http://gets.gc.k12.va.us/VSTE/2008/1simdiff.htm

http://gets.gc.k12.va.us/VSTE/2008/1simdiff.htm

...etc.

Now you can see why asking teachers if they incorporate Marzano into their lessons is a non sequitur.

Anonymous said...

I think I can clarify:

My understanding is that the ELECTED BOARD approved for Teachscape to provide some professional development in Dekalb County. Most of this actually involves Online Videos where teachers can see the strategies in action on the web at their own pace. The individuals you saw observing were administrators from ALL SCHOOLS in Dekalb county who were being trained on the strategies so that they can go back and redeliver to the faculty. I'm sure you can research the board item to see just how much it cost.

Anonymous said...

Several things. First, it isn't just what we pay teachers that is important. It is how we treat teachers. There are countries where teachers are held in very high esteem. Their day includes a significant amount of planning time. They do a better job because they have the time to plan for the needs of their students.

I have a sister-in-law who has a teaching degree from France. It doesn't transfer to the United States because technically, she did the first two years of her training in "high school." Are we keeping students in high school when they would be better off moving on to more specialized learning?

A student from Northern Ireland stayed with my family one summer. She had just turned 15 and returned home to complete her last year of "high school." That year was spent preparing for the exams that would qualify her to go to university. It all depended on the scores she earned on those exams. Motivated? Absolutely!

I have a cousin who went to school in Greece. When the school determined that he was best suited to learn a trade (he was middle school age), my aunt put him in school in the United States. He never did go to college. He joined the Navy and learned a trade. For some students, this is the right decision.
Trade schools in Europe offer demanding programs that include math, science, and even foreign language. When you get done, you have real skills that you can use to go to work.

Last, we get the education that we are willing to pay for. Large classes, lack of planning time for teachers and behavior problems with students, all take away from what should be happening in the classroom. College isn't for everyone so we need to provide some other options. A good teacher can teach without all of the new technology, but she can't work miracles and that is what we are expecting in some situations.

Anonymous said...

I've read that teachers in China spend half the day in planning/professional development. That seems to be something that could possibly be of benefit here, but the governor-elect has just said there will be cuts to education, so we will likely lose teachers rather than add more.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little off-topic, but noticed that folks had been discussing Title I expenditures on training that somehow involves a lot of travel, lodging , and meals.

I saw from a flash on the screen from Monday's BOE meeting, when Audria Berry was presenting the agenda item requesting approval of 50K increases for various Title I services, a few budget items from last year that seemed, well, ridiculous. I can't promise that this is perfectly accurate because my eyes only saw the numbers for a moment, but they are plus or minus a few thousand.

In fiscal 2009-2010, DCSS spent Title I money on the following lodging and presumably meals:

Callaway - $283,000
Emory Inn and Conf. Center - $90,000
Marriott Evergreen - $72,000

Seriously? We're a county school system, not a nationwide corporate or government entity. Why on earth did DCSS spend close to a half million on LOCAL hotels and catering? And of course, this doesn't touch upon non-DeKalb travel, lodging, and meals.

Thank you very much DCSS. You could have spent that money putting support teachers, reading teachers, tutors into classrooms, thereby creating amazing student-teacher ratios where our students most need it. To be charitable and take the self-dealing, self-serving track record out of the picture, DCSS is, for the most part, a modern-day incarnation of the Keystone Kops. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

What a shame that Title 1 funds are used for everything BUT direct instruction for students. What is Audria Berry and the BOE thinking when proposing and approving using money for entertainment earned by having so many low income students? How in the world did she get to be head of the Office of School Improvement as less and less Title 1 schools make AYP.

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope Edler and Jester bring some sense to DCSS expenditures - particularly to Title 1.

Anonymous said...

Why would you be surprised? The $400,000 Hollywood trip primarily for non-teaching America's Choice came from Title 1 funds - proposed by Dr. Berry.

Anonymous said...

Berry needs to go!

One Fed Up Insider said...

Doesn't sound like Elder or Jester have any chance to make change in the school system...

http://www.championnewspaper.com/news/articles/704newly-elected-school-board-members-set-sights-on-fiscal-responsibility704.html

Pay close attention to what Dr. Walker says.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Walker is absolutely right. While I don't question the qualifications of these women, they represent 2 of the 5 votes needed to approve an expenditure. Being idealistic is great until you have to follow the rules, regulations, and policies that dictate how you do your job.

Zero based budgeting is an excellent idea in principle. In order to follow through with that, you must have both the staff resources and time to accomplish this. Who wants to spend more money on staff resources to implement this?

Anonymous said...

I think Dekalb County taxpayers would like to see zero based budgeting, whatever the cost. Trim the fat in Central Office and use the savings to pay for it. Quite simple, really.........

Cerebration said...

That's odd logic. We can't do zero-based budgeting because it takes too much staff effort? I'm kind of afraid to ask exactly how much time are staff members spending on the budget as it is now? It's $1.4 BILLION - I hope we have the proper staff in place to keep track of it!

ps - Anon - this is, as you say, ridiculous -

In fiscal 2009-2010, DCSS spent Title I money on the following lodging and presumably meals:

Callaway - $283,000
Emory Inn and Conf. Center - $90,000
Marriott Evergreen - $72,000


Add that to the Hollywood trip and the visits to the Ritz and the Bahamas and we have someone who perceives themselves a rock star. This is public money - not the razzle-dazzle entertainment world...

Anonymous said...

If Title 1 is paying to fly consultants into DCSS, is this better than those thousands being spent on direct instruction in small groups for struggling students.

There is too much supposition and idle rumors on this site. There is no evidence that anyone was flown in to observe. I am from Seattle but I have lived here 10 years.

Anonymous said...

"I am from Seattle but I have lived here 10 years. "

LOL. Do you know everyone who comes to Atlanta from Seattle?

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 9:44

"If Title 1 is paying to fly consultants into DCSS, is this better than those thousands being spent on direct instruction in small groups for struggling students."

Why pay teachers to instruct those pesky students? Consultants flying in are always a lot more fun. Is this a real question?

Anonymous said...

Why is Peachtree Middle getting new computers today???? The school is only 5 years old. HMS got new computers after 17 years with the old one. Then it was only the the teachers that got them.
Also , HMS only got the computers when parents figured out that the teachers could not eSIS at school.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the current BOE members want to make any changes in the status quo so Edler and Jester will have their hands full. Granted they are only two votes, but boy are they smart when it comes to finances. They will ask the hard questions and take the time to crunch the numbers. It will be more and more difficult to get away with rubber stamping the expenditures that have nothing to do with improving student achievement when you have members asking these questions about fiscal responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Part of the STEM grant Peachtree received.

Cerebration said...

Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if we have brought in consultants to evaluate teaching and curriculum. I'm not saying it's a bad idea -- as long as we get viable, useful feedback from leaders in a successful school system.

Beasley is very familiar with these kinds of consults - he participated in one for Johnny Brown in Texas - less than a month later it was announced Beasley was selected by Brown as head of " deputy superintendent for curriculum". Maybe we'll be getting a new staff member soon too!(?)

PAISD Under A Microscope During Curriculum Audit

PAISD welcomes two new administrators

Cerebration said...

Yes, the Peachtree computers are part of a special grant. We discussed this on a recent post:

Technology: A 2020 Vision

Title II-D Enhancing Education Through Technology Cost Center - Each school was awarded about 75 iTouch 8GB, charging stations, mic/headphones, Turning Point Student Response System (like they're using in the charrettes), 7 teacher netbooks (laptops) 15 student netbooks, IAB and Access Point.

Columbia HS
Miller Grove HS
Dunwoody HS
Southwest DeKalb HS
McNair HS

They were also awarded several scholarships for grant-writing seminars from GA Tech and others.

In addition, Avondale HS was awarded 64 laptops, carts, projectors, 2 digital cameras, 32 headphones, surge protectors, software, professional development, KSU Learning and money for infrastructure costs.

Same for Avondale Middle - only 32 laptops, plus most of the above and 32 desktop computers and 32 TI calculators.

Cedar Grove HS - same stuff - 32 laptops, 32 desktops, etc.. 2 digital cameras...

Cedar Grove MS - 32 laptops, 32 desktops, TI calculators

Dunwoody HS - 32 laptops, high def video, 2 digital cameras, headphones, 32TI Calculators, 32 desktops

Chamblee MS - 64 laptops, 32 Ti calculators, headphones, etc...

DSA - 64 laptops, high def video, projector, audio, 2 digital cameras, 32 headphones, interactive board, 32 Ti calculators, etc.

Peachtree MS - same middle school pkgs... 32 laptops, etc, 32 desktops, etc, 32 TI calculators, 50 professional development packages.

Anonymous said...

Why is it the older schools in DeKalb County are the ones that always seem to be left out?

So sorry that I missed the first post, but, did you notice all the "newer" schools in the county were the ones with the grants.

Anonymous said...

@ Cerebration
"Beasley is very familiar with these kinds of consults - he participated in one for Johnny Brown in Texas - less than a month later it was announced Beasley was selected by Brown as head of " deputy superintendent for curriculum". "

I thought Brown brought Beasley in as a consultant because he wanted to position him for the position of head of Curriculum and Instruction. I have always had a concern about the head of Curriculum and Instruction having only 3 1/2 years of actual teaching experience (Dr. Beasely taught 3 1/2 years as a math teacher in Birmingham) in the mid 90s. He is very far removed from the day to day responsibilities of the classroom and has no idea how much the paperwork and requirements from NCLB are impacting teachers. If Dr. Beasley understood this, he would be streamlining many of the information processes by using technology that actually works, insisting that Central Office personnel and Instructional Coaches restrict paperwork requirements to a minimum, and using software programs that cross reference information. For example, different departments in DCSS ask teachers for the same information over and over and over because they don't cross reference the information and communicate with one another. This is a huge drain on teachers' planning and instructional time. In addition, much of the information they ask teachers for is accessible or should be accessible in the DCSS database, thus precluding the need to take up valuable teaching and planning time. Lastly, Dr. Beasley needs to insist that the Information Technology - e.g. eSis and SchoolNet - work the way it's supposed to work in order to made data analysis productive for teachers.

Dr. Beasely simply doesn't have enough classroom experience in this educational environment to understand the critical need of the Central Office personnel to work smarter, harness technology, and offload demands from the classroom teacher.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else concerned that since Ms. Tyson became interim superintendent, BOE meeting notes have ceased to be posted on the DCSS BOE meeting website? DCSS BOE meeting notes are required by law, and they have been posted on the DCSS BOE website since 2003. It takes less than a minute to upload them. The last minutes posted were July 19, 2010 BOE meeting.

Where is the transparency Ms. Tyson is talking about? I emailed my BOE members asking why the meeting notes are no longer posted. I would advise you to email your BOE member(s) as well as Ms. Tyson to ask why the meeting notes are no longer posted. Cerebration has a link that sends an email to all BOE members on the front page of DeKalb Watch on the right hand side menu bar - look under The Lottery image - the links are:
CLICK HERE to Email the new Superintendent, Ramona Tysona
and..
CLICK HERE to Email the entire DCSS Board of Education

Anonymous said...

@10:57 if Beasley knew anything about learning and instruction. He would turn the Title 1 coaches into reading and math teachers who devoted all of there time to giving small groups of children quality instruction.

Beasley is part of the current friends and family problem in DCSS. We need new blood.

Anonymous said...

What makes a school successful. There's a simple answer that the politicians, public and press love to ignore: POVERTY. It's quite easy to see if you look at the PISA scores.
Here's a quotation from Stephen Krashen's blog:
"data available now tells us that poverty, as usual, had a huge impact on PISA reading test scores for American students. American students in schools with less than 10% of students on free and reduced lunch averaged 551, higher than the overall average of any OECD country. Those in schools with 10 to 25% of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch averaged 527, which was behind only Korea and Finland.
In contrast, American students in schools with 75% of more of children in poverty averaged 446, second to last among the 34 OECD countries.
This makes sense. Among other things, high poverty means less access to books at school, at home and in the community (e.g Krashen, 2004, The Power of Reading). Less access means less reading, and less reading means lower performance on tests such as the PISA."

read more from Krashen at his new blog: http://www.schoolsmatter.info/

Cerebration said...

That's a very good blog that I have referenced and linked to many times. In fact, it's listed under our "Favorite Links" on the side panel of the home page.

Poverty is an enormous piece of the puzzle. We state on this blog all of the time that the pressure on teachers to "fix" our schools is never going to be effective. So much of what ails our schools are societal issues and until we have partnerships with business, parks, local government, non-profits and judicial entities, we will never bring our schools to the place we want them to be.

Teachers cannot save the world. They need everyone's help and support.

Ella Smith said...

They provide considerable discretion to school heads and school faculties in determining how resources are allocated, a factor which the report shows to be closely related to school performance when combined with effective accountability systems. And they provide an environment in which teachers work together to frame what they believe to be good practice, conduct field-based research to confirm or disprove the approaches they develop,and then assess their colleagues by the degree to which they use practices proven effective in their classrooms.

This struck home to me as this is exactly what we are required to do in Fulton County in PLC meetings. We must meet as subject area teachers and discuss best practices. We give unit tests to every class of a subject in a school and compare them and see what works best. For instance, in Biology we actually compare whose students do the best and whose students do the worst on tests in a department who teach Biology. Teachers have changed how they teach. They do much more repetitition because students tend not to study in today's society. Teachers have had to change how they teach to meet the needs of the students so achievement occurs. I have watched this happen and some teachers are not willing to change to try to achieve the needs of students so learning can occur. They expect the students and parents to change instead of making changes in the way they teach. These teachers are not being very successful or they are failing many students along the way. Some teachers believe in throwing the information out and then students have to learn the information on their own by studying at home. The problem is that today many students just do not do this so the failure rate appears to have risen and the achievement level has risen.

Ella Smith said...

I am sorry. The achievement level has fallen. I meant the opposite of what I wrote. I am sorry about that.