What Will “Real” School Reform Require?
1. Meaningful school reform has to occur incrementally. It requires time. Effective schools build a school culture from the ground up. The entire staff and parents create a school culture that everyone buys into. Such a school has coherence; it “makes sense” to staff and parents alike. It takes a minimum of three years to create a school culture, which includes time for the principal to get rid of ineffective teachers. A school’s culture can not be imposed from the outside.
2. The staff, with input from parents, must collaborate to identify problems and to create a vision for the kind of school that will work best for its students. The same people should identify the barriers that make it difficult to implement this vision and begin removing these barriers. The barriers should not come from the federal or state government or the district administration or school board.
3. In communities with intergenerational poverty, we need enhanced early childhood programs. Here’s one that is research based and that appears to be a step up from Head Start. If you don’t understand why we need to address poverty, read about the PISA report.
From Tennessee comes real research about the effectiveness of Pre-K programs. Very positive. Pay attention. We’re looking at real research here.
4. What else do we need? Comment below and I’ll add it to the list.