- Some Good Points, Some Not So Good -
Due to the extent of my retort to Superintendent Dwight D. Jones’ 36 page “Path to improving education in Nevada,” my blog will be in three separate parts.
First off, with Superintendent Jones’ visions I will affirm that there are points that are essential in improving education. I will also say that a great deal of this is the same old “we need to have better teachers” gibberish gift wrapped in a nicer parcel.
He began by using statistics that can be manipulated in any way shape or form. I previously performed a study and found out 98% of Americans felt that sentencing for criminals convicted of theft were entirely too harsh. Obviously, if I did not tell you that this study was completed at Indian Springs prison you would be stunned. The first data mentioned by Mr. Jones was:
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Nevada ranks 50th in high school graduation rate (as of June 2, 2010, NCES reports 51 percent of students who were high school freshmen in 2004-05 graduated on time). Declines in high school completion rates come at a time when states like Massachusetts are producing an increasing number of college-educated citizens (according to a 2010 report from NCES, by 2008,37.7 percent of 25-year olds in Massachusetts held a bachelor’s degree or higher as compared to 24.5 percent in Nevada).
Now initially you would consider our education system in Las Vegas as appalling, however information not taken into consideration are: Nevada is the most transient state in the U. S. and YES that IS a BIG DEAL, Nevada has more lofty paying employment positions for non-high school graduates than any other in the U.S., and we also have one of the highest divorce rates in the U. S. Like it or not all of these aspects are key components in what motivates students to achieve. I recognize it is much easier to fault the teachers, and to say we need higher quality teachers, although in actuality that plainly is not accurate. Also, replicate this over and over again provides students a smaller amount of motivation to achieve as well as an excuse not to.
Mr. Jones himself expressed the importance that personal responsibility played in his life, so why would he expect less of the students he apparently leads.
“I learned valuable lessons growingup on a farm in western Kansas. First, nothing comes easy; success takes hard work. Second, success begins with expectation. My parents set high expectations for me and my eight siblings.”
“I have seen how too many students – rich, poor, yellow, brown, black, or white – have suffered the long-term effects of substandard education. I know it is possible to ensure that all students succeed, regardless of race or socioeconomic status. I also know it is possible to eliminate achievement gaps and significantly improve achievement for all young people.”
How can anyone genuinely pronounce that it is feasible to ensure that everyone will thrive, and if they don’t, blame that fiasco to the schools? Not everyone will succeed and you will never eradicate achievement gaps. Are students capable of an advanced success rate? Yes. Are students capable of dwindling achievement gaps? Yes. However, when it does not transpire, students and parents must gaze into a mirror to detect the culprits in place of glaring at others. Yes, the schools have got to do a better job, predominantly in reference to discipline and respect, nevertheless 99.9% of teachers are excellent and the .1% that are substandard are not the rationale for why education is deteriorating.
Mr. Jones said that the costs of not educating all students well are significant. The economic costs are apparent in increased needs for unemployment and welfare, health and human services, and corrections.
Permit me to formulate a simple inquiry, “When a child is nurtured in a habitat where the parents have sat around, seldom functioning and collecting a check from the government, how is any teacher going to inspire them to transform?” They observe their parents on welfare doing anything they desire at any time they desire; they acquired no education and if that existence fascinates them, teachers comprise little capability to assist.
He also declared that, “America is still the land of opportunity, but for the first time young people are less likely than their parents to complete high school.” Perhaps it is time we terminate providing our youth with an explanation to fail. Perhaps it is time we let them know they can no longer blame the teacher for their failures.
- 2nd Part Tomorrow -
Teacher/Author “Teachers… It Ain’t Your Fault.”