Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It was the best of times...It was the worst of times

My thoughts on what is the “the worst of times” in today's educational system.
Our educational world in the USA seems to only be focused on standardized testing and academic achievement.  We only want higher test scores and we are willing to sacrifice anything (even research based best learning practices) to achieve these results.  Teachers are feeling pressure and burn out to get students to perform and are losing out on developing the WHOLE child. 

In addition, our students are coming from homes without their basic needs being met.  The gap of students who enter kindergarten is ever widening with students reading high above grade level and others who can’t recognize their own name.  The experiences and backgrounds of student is diverse and ever changing.
Teachers have a demanding job with less resources, support and funding.  They are stretched to the limit and constantly being asked to do more with less.
My thoughts on what is the “the best of times” in today's educational system
Our educational system is constantly reaching out to all learners to best meet their individual need.   We have high quality dedicated teachers in the profession working in the students’ best interest.  We truly impact our world by helping our students develop and create the skills necessary to lead and generate new ideas in our world. 

Technology has created new opportunities and ways to meet student needs and interests.  Teachers are able to connect via blogs as well as other internet resources making teaching a collaborative and shared effort with a wide support system.
We have more research and available resources to lead us into making better learning choices for our students. 

The chapter, Introducing The Best of Times, by Marzano reflects on the worst of times and best of times in our educational system.  Marzano shares the research that states schools can do little to impact academic achievement over student background.  Numerous studies over the last fifty years all share the lack in quality public education and the ability for schools to impact learning.  Despite these finding, Marzano shares his ideas and ways in which the data could be interpreted to support out public school systems and the efforts educators have on student achievement.  I think Marzano would agree with me that schools will succeed if their teaching is based on current research and best practices.  Our efforts and time should be spent on researching what is best for our students and, in my opinion; we should be spending less time going over test scores.  Another idea Marzano brought to my attentions was the idea that an “effectively organized school system” will have the most impact on student achievement.  It is imperative that our administration and teachers feel that work well together and are in a collaborative environment.  Dysfunction within the system can take away from student potential.  

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