District looks to build schools, shrink achievement gap
Original post made on Dec 28, 2012
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 28, 2012, 9:10 AM
on Dec 28, 2012 at 10:46 am
> The Oakland-based Education Trust West, backed by funders including
> the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates
> Foundation, said Palo Alto compares poorly with other large school
> districts on metrics such as "size of achievement gap" between
> white students and black and Hispanic students.
The problem with any not-for-profit Education booster, like Ed Trust, is that they are free to push any agenda that they would like, and have no obligation to provide the truth to the taxpaying public.
Parents are a huge part of the education delivery modelyet it's hard to find any evidence of that fact in the agenda pushed by the Ed Trust West (for instance), which seems to want government schools to be the sole source of "education", and the "well being of children". The role of parents seems to have been virtually erased from this point-of-view.
Life-long learning/education is not something that 180-day a year/6-hour a day schools can instill in a nation's children like their parents can. From the day of a child's birth, his mother, and father, are far more committed to his success than the employees of a government school system.
The following is another look at the API scores of several school districts in the neighborhood of the PAUSD:
Another Look At PAUSD Student Performance Data:
> She reported significant gains in both math and
> English for black and Hispanic students.
The API data obtained from the State Department of Education presents a somewhat different view of student performance of African/American students in the PAUSD (see link above) than that described in the Weekly article. Nationally, both African/American and Hispanic students have been showing steady, but slow, growth in their standardized test scores over the years. The same seems true in the PAUSD. However, the growth rates for each group is not something to "crow" about. The data shows that it will take up to sixteen years for the African/American test results to reach API=800 (Proficient), and forty-three years to reach 900 (Advanced). Hispanic achievement is more hopeful, with the statewide target score of API=800 being attainable within a couple of years.
Students without fully committed parents very frequently demonstrate lower academic achievement than those with fully committed parents. The schools need to create an education delivery model that acknowledges this fact, and seeks to support those parents without the same academic preparation as those who did manage 4-8 years of higher education. This additional support can be provided via distance learning, which should be delivered statewide, via the State Department of Education. Local education agencies should be able to augment these basic skills/training programs, as they see fit. With the advent of $100/device tablet/PCs that have audio/video capability, there is no reason that every conceivable sort of "education" should not be available to every grade levelincluding parents. Additionally, video conferencing should now make it easy for teaching staff to actually talk/visit with parents that might not be able to easily make a trip to the school site for needed conferences.
The number of students currently in the so-called "achievement gap" is not very large, in number. No reason the PAUSD could not experiment with these new, inexpensive, technologies to see if the students who have historically been seen as "underachieving" might not benefit from having access to on-line education.
on Dec 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm
Is "fully committed parent" determined by the "4-8 years of higher education" or is it supposed to be determined by the color of my skin or where my parents came from?
This attitude really feels like I am back on the plantation.
Perhaps the focus should be on the actual value of my children's teachers. What can they do in terms of while they have my kids at school? What happens when they teach it and my kids don't get it. Will I need to go to a parenting class because my parents didn't send me off to 4 years of undergraduate partying followed by a few years of make-up or grad school? How do we measure the effectiveness of the teacher and then compensate him or her fairly?
on Dec 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm
Asian immigrants do fine in American schools so do many Black immigrants from Jamaica.
They make their kids fluent in English and they follow the teachers advice.
They support nuclear families and American mainstream values.
If the parents are not aligned with American values and/or the parents are not fluent and literate in English then there is little or nothing " remedial" schools can do.
Trade schools are a much better solution