You are the answer Lisa……You are the “What if”

“Arne Duncan asks “What if?” Here’s the response….”

Thanks Lisa Harrison; I am not a big fan of the present USDOE policies; however I think his question is a good and reasonable one. It appears that so far most people avoided his question in order to score political points; many were just offering the tired old union lines that really have nothing to do with children being academically successful. The answer to his question is probably very clear to you and Tiffany as the two of you are both positive products and teachers of the answer. The solution is to provide all children in the “under-performing” schools; with the high nurturing, high expectations, high efficacy, a large amount of “real learning time”; a large number of instructors who have a high level of content and instructional knowledge; resource and equipment rich learning environments; low teacher turnover rate, a rich & challenging curriculum; an exciting, rigorous and diverse (including the arts) academic course offerings, the absence of a high critical mass of inexperienced teachers; all of the things that are not suffered by those “high-performing” schools. And then to go further; the schools must purposely and strategically close the: “parent information-education gap” (because the truth is that we don’t get to create the parents we want) by providing the schools with an adequate level of social-counseling services; and offering those students a rich informal out of school learning experiences (don’t sit around and wait for the parents to take them to a play—take them to a play!). The problem is that neither Mr. Duncan nor his detractors are willing to make the high level of commitment that is needed on behalf of these communities that are saturated with “under-performing schools”; communities that are unable (or unwilling) to reward, or punish them politically, for not educating their children.