Overall graduation rate of less than 70% for Detroit High Schools (2006-2007)
Why is that?
Lack of Student Interest
Lack of relevance to goals
Lack of goal-setting by and for individual students (other than Special Needs Population)
Lack of parental involvement in a measurable way
Lack of an authentic learning environment
Inequitable AYP Standards
Inequitable student demographics
Inequitable control of student participation
Low Teacher Morale
Direct result of failures to meet AYPs
No control over curriculum development and delivery
Overwhelming burden to comply with inadequate standards of teaching—teaching to a test instead of teaching the student
Apathetic Administrative System
Board members with personal agendas that are not student-centered
Lack of true oversight and leadership
Administrators with top-heavy salaries that have proven to have no positive effect on the production of relevant education
Resolving the Issues
Focus on the student
Create a student-centered-inquiry based curriculum
Allow teachers autonomy in delivery of instruction
Reduce class sizes to “true teachable” levels
Reduce in-house student population to manageable levels without top-heavy administration
Focus on the Student
Determine what the student needs and wants to succeed beyond high school
Involve the students at every level of their education
Assist the students in creating plans that can be monitored from stage-to-stage of mastery other than through a grading system
Mandate Parental Involvement with a signed commitment
After discovering students’ needs, make learning relevant to what they plan to do
With the use of placement tools—determine where students are, where they want to be, and how soon they want to graduate—with their input
Encourage, challenge, mandate students to explore knowledge and learn to apply it
Allow teachers to teach—by whatever method that works—direct instruction, facilitator, etc.
Allow “out of the box” thinking and use of resources and materials
Allow teachers to modify instruction and placement of students as needed (movement of students from one phase to another within a standard school-year)
Reduce Class Sizes
For maximal production of effort—there should be no more than 25 students in any class
Research has shown—smaller classes can produce greater levels of understanding and retention rates in high schools
Reduce in-house Population
Reducing the number of students in a building effectively--
Reduces: conflicts, absenteeism, and strain on budgets (in some instances)
Enhances: Overall learning barometer, environmental concerns about safety, and graduation rates
Within the public school system, a pilot program can be established to validate the resolutions offered and to deter declining enrollment.
Creative, innovative, teacher team
Facility to house 150 students, plus support staff and teachers
Freedom to get the job done
Use of reporting systems
Yes, We Can!
Reverse the trend that is currently established
Challenge students, parents, teachers, and administrators to succeed—holding all accountable
Make a difference in the lives of students who live in the city of Detroit
Our students can be the CEOs of Industry and we can help them accomplish their goals!
About Mary M. Hall-Rayford
Current Ph.D. Student at Wayne State University, completing coursework by 5/2010 and Dissertation work by 5/2012.
MAT English Education—Wayne State University
BA Sociology—Wayne State University
Teaching experience includes 5 years with Detroit Public Schools, 2 years with Catholic Archdiocese, 2 years with public charters, and 2 years substitute teaching with Grosse Pointe Public Schools, and 2 years as a Teaching Assistant with Detroit Board of Education
Published Author—7 books in print, 2 in-process
Ordained Minister of the Gospel
Mother, Grandmother, wife, and lifelong student
Affiliations—Wayne State Writing Project—Coordinator and Workshop Presenter, Meadow Brook Writing Project –Fellow; MCTE—Co-editor for 4 years, Poet-in-Residence for Detroit Public Library for 2 years.
Founder/Exec. Dir—Children of Joy, Inc. Non-Profit Youth & Family Organization—10 years.
Sources Best High Schools Gold Medal List http://www.usnews.com/articles/education/high-schools/2008/12/04/best-high-schools-gold-medal-list.html Brown University Student-Centered High School http://www.alliance.brown.edu/pubs/perspectives/stdntctrhs.pdf Michigan Merit Curriculum High School Requirements www.michigan.gov/mde Teacher Power: Designing a Student-Centered School http://www.ed.gov/pubs/Voices/desstud.html What are learner-centered Schools? Memorial University of Newfoundland http://www.mun.ca/educ/faculty/mwatch/vol1/delaney2.html 2007-2008 Michigan Schools Report Card http://oeaa.state.mi.us/ayp/Index.asp