Sunday, January 9, 2011
Ryan Wilson on poverty and other excuses
I don't know how often I've been touring a school and asked a teacher about their dismal test scores and they immediately come the raw prawn with me telling me that their students are poor, or still learning English as a second language, or have learning disabilities that leave them unable to meet or exceed on standardized tests at their grade level. They immediately expect me to just rack off and defer to their low opinion of their own students.
I like to think all the students can learn if properly motivated and if not most can be counseled to try another school where they might fit in better. In fact, according to No Child Left Behind in 2014 all the little ankle biters are going to be on level in reading and math, but that's not going to happen if we keep avoiding responsibility. The world is changing folks and there is very little hope of any children having a middle class lifestyle. If your child is hoping for a factory job, he's going to be left without a brass razoo. Now, the Walton family, Bill Gates, and other billionaires can't exactly do much to change that, but we can offer kids a path to successful futures through education reform.
I remember a certain North Carolina State basketball team that thought they too faced insurmountable odds against Houston's Phi Slamma Jamma and Hakeem Olajuwan back in the 1983 NCAA basketball championships. Fortunately, a tough as nails coach named Jim Valvano wouldn't accept excuses and he led NC State to history and to the title! Crikey!
How can we accept less from our teachers?