Considering the condition of public education in the inner city, it’s time for a change for the better
The traditional way of instructional delivery and operation of an education—books, paper, pen, teacher, will not work in the 21 st Century without modifications.
According to the State of Michigan’s graduation records, Detroit has the lowest graduation rate in the State
Students in this system are “bored” because they either do not understand the information being provided or they have excelled beyond what is being provided and are not challenged.
AYP standards do not fit the reality for most students in the inner city. They started school behind the eight ball and few caught up to grade level. Students do not care about taking tests and therefore do not perform well. Then there is the inevitable lack of resources available to the inner city student—including money and exposure to information
Beating up on teachers because students don’t pass tests they don’t want to take eventually, takes its toll on the teachers. The system does have teachers who are highly qualified and most would love to have an opportunity to strut their ability, but they cannot do it with a pacing chart and unrealistic demands and expectations.
How many of the school board members care enough about our students to spend some time with them—in the school buildings? We do not need talking heads to solve the problems, we need people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and work with the students and teachers to make a difference. We do not need, administrators who make more than teachers and do less to make a difference in the education of a student.
There is a beacon of hope. If everyone makes a determined effort to…
Collaborative-learning and cooperative learning are key in the 21 st Century to get students ready for the real world.
The more students there are in a classroom, the greater the likelihood of personality conflicts and a decrease in time allowed for the teacher to instruct or guide students in reaching their potential.
Reduction in the total number of students in any building will also reduce expenses because vandalism is better controlled, familiarity with students becomes enhanced and everyone will know when they’re not in class, students will feel safer when they are not over-crowded, and if they are in school, they are more likely to graduate.
Limiting enrollment to 150—creates an elite system of educating a student; one in which many will want to join when they discover the benefits—teachers and students. However, this limited enrollment is key to the success of the mission.
For the current system—reallocation of resources will suffice. A team of teachers—those who can and will think outside the box—will need specific training and planning time. Initially, a closed elementary school should suffice.
The program will adhere to current reporting standards with the addition of student goals and parental involvement. Performance reporting relates to all involved.
If the goal of this system is to educate the district’s students, a change in mind-set is needed to see that we can make a difference and create an environment in which our students’ confidence, courage, and ability, will shine brightly.
What’s Wrong With the Traditional Way? <ul><li>Low Graduation Rates </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of Student Interest and Parental Involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Inequitable AYP Standards </li></ul><ul><li>Low Teacher Morale </li></ul><ul><li>Apathetic Administrative System </li></ul><ul><li>Irrelevant Testing </li></ul>
Low Graduation Rates <ul><li>Overall graduation rate of less than 70% for Detroit High Schools (2006-2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Why is that? </li></ul>
Lack of Student Interest <ul><li>Instructional Delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of relevance to goals </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of goal-setting by and for individual students (other than Special Needs Population) </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of parental involvement in a measurable way </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of an authentic learning environment </li></ul>
Inequitable AYP Standards <ul><li>Inequitable resources </li></ul><ul><li>Inequitable student demographics </li></ul><ul><li>Inequitable control of student participation </li></ul>
Low Teacher Morale <ul><li>Direct result of failures to meet AYPs </li></ul><ul><li>No control over curriculum development and delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Overwhelming burden to comply with inadequate standards of teaching—teaching to a test instead of teaching the student </li></ul>
Apathetic Administrative System <ul><li>Board members with personal agendas that are not student-centered </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of true oversight and leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Administrators with top-heavy salaries that have proven to have no positive effect on the production of relevant education </li></ul>
Resolving the Issues <ul><li>Focus on the student </li></ul><ul><li>Create a student-centered-inquiry based curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Allow teachers autonomy in delivery of instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce class sizes to “true teachable” levels </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce in-house student population to manageable levels without top-heavy administration </li></ul>
Focus on the Student <ul><li>Determine what the student needs and wants to succeed beyond high school </li></ul><ul><li>Involve the students at every level of their education </li></ul><ul><li>Assist the students in creating plans that can be monitored from stage-to-stage of mastery other than through a grading system </li></ul><ul><li>Mandate Parental Involvement with a signed commitment </li></ul>
Student-Centered Curriculum <ul><li>After discovering students’ needs, make learning relevant to what they plan to do </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage, challenge, mandate students to explore knowledge and learn to apply it </li></ul>
Teacher Autonomy <ul><li>Allow teachers to teach—by whatever method that works—direct instruction, facilitator, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Allow “out of the box” thinking and use of resources and materials </li></ul><ul><li>Allow teachers to modify instruction and placement of students as needed (movement of students from one phase to another within a standard school-year) </li></ul>
Reduce Class Sizes <ul><li>For maximal production of effort—there should be no more than 25 students in any class </li></ul><ul><li>Research has shown—smaller classes can produce greater levels of understanding and retention rates in high schools </li></ul>
Reduce in-house Population <ul><li>Reducing the number of students in a building effectively-- </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces: conflicts, absenteeism, and strain on budgets (in some instances) </li></ul><ul><li>Enhances: Overall learning barometer, environmental concerns about safety, and graduation rates </li></ul>
150 Club <ul><li>Within the public school system, a pilot program can be established to validate the resolutions offered and to deter declining enrollment. </li></ul>
What’s needed? <ul><li>Financial Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Creative, innovative, teacher team </li></ul><ul><li>Facility to house 150 students, plus support staff and teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom to get the job done </li></ul>
Evaluating Viability <ul><li>Use of reporting systems </li></ul><ul><li>--Attendance </li></ul><ul><li>--Accomplishments </li></ul><ul><li>--Test Scores </li></ul><ul><li>--Student Goals </li></ul><ul><li>--Parental Involvement </li></ul>
Yes, We Can! <ul><li>Reverse the trend that is currently established </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge students, parents, teachers, and administrators to succeed—holding all accountable </li></ul><ul><li>Make a difference in the lives of students who live in the city of Detroit </li></ul><ul><li>Our students can be the CEOs of Industry and we can help them accomplish their goals! </li></ul>
About Mary M. Hall-Rayford <ul><li>Current Ph.D. Student at Wayne State University, completing coursework by 5/2010 and Dissertation work by 5/2012. </li></ul><ul><li>MAT English Education—Wayne State University </li></ul><ul><li>BA Sociology—Wayne State University </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>Published Author—7 books in print, 2 in-process </li></ul><ul><li>Ordained Minister of the Gospel </li></ul><ul><li>Mother, Grandmother, wife, and lifelong student </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Founder/Exec. Dir—Children of Joy, Inc. Non-Profit Youth & Family Organization—10 years. </li></ul>
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