Hello, I’m Andrea Weaver and my topic for this class is to talk to you about Title I.
Title I is a difficult subject to pinpoint and say, “This is what Title I is…” The reason is because Title I’s definition is forever evolving. What we can say about Title I for sure is: It’s the largest federal aid program for our nation’s schools. It is the cornerstone of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Title I improves the academic achievement of the disadvantaged. This program was establish to help all children obtain a high-quality education and meet state standards. It’s focus is to help close the gap of affluent neighborhood schools and their counter part, poor community schools. It could also be said to help close the gap between the advantage students and the disadvantaged or the wealthy and the poor or even the English speaking and the non-English speaking students. There are many gaps and Title I tries to incorporate them all and close them. So, in a nut shell Title I is a federally funded program that attempts to close the learning gap between the advantage student and the at risk student.
Title I began in 1965 under the Presidential Administration of Lyndon B. Johnson. This program began as part of President Johnson’s “War on poverty” attack. It began as part of the Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Then it evolved under President Reagan’s Education Consolidation Improvement Act (ECIA). Next, under President Clinton Title I was strengthened to include parent-school community partnership. Finally, in 2001 under President Bush’s “No Child Left Behind Act” Title I took on the requirement of meaningful involvement of parents in school level planning, development and design of initiatives to improve student achievement supported by Title I funds which are federally based.
All students that are in a Title I school receive the benefits of federal money that comes to that school. Children in a Title I school are automatically qualified to receive assistants in reading and mathematics. It is not the circumstance or condition of a child or his/her family that qualifies a student to be in the Title I program. It is a school’s status that makes it a Title I school. If 75% of a school’s student body is on free and reduced lunch then that school is a Title I school.
Every Title I school must have certain things in place for the children it serves. They must hire highly qualified teachers. These are teachers that have passed the qualifications of the state that certifies that teacher as highly qualified. The school may hire paraprofessionals. These paraprofessionals meet the academic requirements of the state of Idaho, they must have a high school diploma and at least 2 years of college or pass the Praxis for paraprofessionals test. In addition to having highly qualified teachers, and paraprofessionals, in place, the school must hold annual meetings to inform parents about Title I participation and requirements. The school also must explore ways that parents can be involved in their child’s education.
You may be wondering who is impacted the most by the Title I program. Children, because with the individualized attention that a teacher or paraprofessional is able to give to the student should be adequate to scaffold the student to his/her ability to pass a state assessment. The school’s families, because part of being a Title I school the school must have many ways for the parents to be involved in their children’s education. There are not Title I children or families. There are just Title I schools.
How has this changed your view of teaching? It is important to know if a school that I am interviewing with is a Title I school. If it is a Title I school then there are federal monies to help with optimum curriculum achievement. It also means that there are particular goals that must be met for the school to stay established as a Title I school. I need to be sure that the requirements for me are outlined and understood. Lastly, I must be willing to accept the parameters involved with the expectations of fulfilling the teaching obligation for the yearly goals.
I believe that working in a Title one school can have many advantages such as having a say of how to use the federal money for the help of educating my students and having a certain degree of parental/community involvement. I can see that there are some disadvantages as well. I will have students that are challenging because of their socioeconomic status. I will need to learn techniques and teaching styles that are widely versatile to involve all my students into an active learning environment despite large gaps in their educational knowledge.
Title I currently affects teachers with a daily challenge of trying to close gaps in their classrooms among their students’ educational needs. Teachers right now have to deal with behavioral issues with some of their students, while other students have learning disabilities. In addition, teachers have to juggle time between lecture, independent work, and out of class programs. All the while the teacher is teaching standards and preparing the students to take and be successful on their state assessments. The future of teaching in a Title I school is not known since this is a federally funded program, the federal government can and will change the meaning and structure of this program as we have already seen from its history.
Are there any questions that you want me to try to answer?