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Need for Change in the American Educational System


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Need for Change in the American Educational System

  1. 1. OUR FAILING AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM AND THE NEED FOR REFORM<br />Franklin D. Jenkins, J.D.<br />University of Houston-Victoria Graduate Student<br />
  2. 2. The challenges that lie ahead for this country are many.<br />
  3. 3. Unemployment remains high while our economy continues to stagnate.<br />
  4. 4. Terrorism has evolved from a ground war into an informational war.<br />
  5. 5. And we face a shortage in fields such as healthcare, science and technology.<br />
  6. 6. These and many other problems rely upon our educational system to help correct them.<br />
  7. 7. The next generation of Americans will likely require a solid grounding in mathematics and science for their creativity to be maximized in a world increasingly dependent on technological advances for prosperity and security. As the majority of Americans do not earn a postsecondary degree, it is essential that students be given this solid grounding during the elementary and secondary years. <br />Kyle Zinth, Education Commission of the States, July 2008<br />
  8. 8. Are we doing the job?<br />
  9. 9. In 2000, Public Agenda's survey, Reality Check 2000, found that only 39% of employers thought that having a high school diploma meant that the student "has at least learned the basics." <br />
  10. 10. So how many have “learned the basics?”<br />
  11. 11. On the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress science test, 46 percent of 12th-graders scored "below basic.“<br /> On the NAEP math exam, 39 percent of 12th-graders scored below basic.<br />
  12. 12. According to the NEAP reading test, nearly 70 percent of all eighth-grade students read below grade level. <br />
  13. 13. The results of the last three NEAP exams in reading, math and history show that barely a third of 4th graders and 8th graders are proficient in these areas. <br />
  14. 14. According to an April 2008 NEAP report, only 33% of 8th graders and 24% of 12 graders can write proficiently.<br /> "Today's report shows 'no significant change' in the number of students writing at 'proficient' levels since 2002, and only small gains for students writing at the 'basic' level.” <br />
  15. 15. Of all students who earn their diplomas, only about half are academically prepared for the challenges of college and the workforce.<br />Alliance for Excellent Education<br />
  16. 16.
  17. 17. Incomes for those with a high school education or less have remained virtually unchanged from 1964 to 2006 (inflation-adjusted.)<br />Education and Economic Mobility, Ron Haskins, Brookings Institution<br />
  18. 18. It's not so much the "rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer." It’s the higher-educated are getting richer and the high school-educated are stagnant while the value of the dollar decreases.<br />
  19. 19. If you come from a poor family, you are more likely to drop out of high school. And if you drop out and stay out of high school, you are more likely to be poor.<br />NPR, 2006<br />
  20. 20. We are failing those who are often neglected by the educational system. How can our economy recover when we provide them a substandard education?<br />
  21. 21. Thirty percent of U.S. high school students do not graduate.<br />Alliance for Excellent Education<br />
  22. 22. 52 percent of African American males fail to earn a diploma.<br />Alliance for Excellent Education<br />
  23. 23. Each of the ten largest public high school districts in the country struggle to graduate even 60 percent of their students.<br />Alliance for Excellent Education<br />
  24. 24. Students in the bottom quartile of achievement are twenty times more likely to drop out of school than those at the top. <br />Alliance for Excellent Education<br />
  25. 25. Among eighth graders who reported to the 2000 U.S. Census that they spoke English with difficulty, only 49 percent went on to earn a diploma four years later.<br /><br />
  26. 26. Nearly 133,200 students did not graduate from Texas’ high schools in 2009; the lost lifetime earnings in Texas for that class of dropouts alone total more than $34.6 billion.<br />Alliance for Excellent Education<br />
  27. 27. Who are the teachers of our most vulnerable students?<br />
  28. 28. In schools where at least 75 percent of the students are from low-income households, there are three times as many out-of-field teachers teaching English and science as there are in wealthier schools. <br />Alliance for Excellent Education<br />
  29. 29. "There is a difference between good and bad teachers, a big difference, and children pay a steep price for unlucky assignments.” <br />Richard Whitmire, National Education Writers Association<br />
  30. 30. So what that look like statistically speaking?<br />
  31. 31. Texas High School Graduation Rates by Race (Class of 2006)<br />Editorial Projects in Education Research Center 2009 <br />
  32. 32. Do we even question our own graduation rate?<br />
  33. 33. For the Class of 2006, the Texas Education Agency reported an 80% high school graduation rate.<br /> The US Department of Education reported a 73% graduation rate for Texas.<br /> The Editorial Projects in Education Research Center estimates that the “true” graduation rate was 65%.<br />
  34. 34. Are we leaving our children behind in Texas?<br />
  35. 35. Texas Eighth-Grade Proficiency as Measured by Texas State Tests and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)<br />The average gap nationally between Texas and NAEP-reported reading scores is 39 percentage points.<br />The average gap nationally between Texas and NAEP-reported math scores is 30 percentage points.<br />
  36. 36. Which side of the gap are we on?<br />
  37. 37. The problems are not limited to Texas.<br />
  38. 38. According to the 2007 NEAP exams, just 19 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native eighth graders, 14 percent of Hispanic eighth graders, and 12 percent of African American eighth graders scored at or above proficient in reading, compared to 38 percent of white and 40 percent of Asian and Pacific Islander American eighth graders.<br />
  39. 39. “Each and every American citizen is entitled to have equal access to a high quality education” <br />Kevin Chavous<br />
  40. 40. An effective teacher has more impact on student performance than any other school-based factor. If African American students could be guaranteed teachers in the top 25 percent of their profession throughout high school, the gap between their test scores and those of white students would disappear. <br />Melinda Gates, February 2010<br />
  41. 41. It’s not just a minority problem, or a poor problem. It’s a system-problem.<br />
  42. 42. Beginning teachers are more likely to be assigned lower-performing students, given no professional support, feedback, or mentoring.<br />
  43. 43. When teachers hear nothing but accusations about their work, their morale suffers, which in turn affects their performance in the classroom.<br />Walt Gardner<br />
  44. 44. What happens when new teachers do not receive support from administration or their colleagues?<br />
  45. 45. According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, 14% of new teachers leave after their first year.<br />33% leave within three years.<br /> Nearly 50% leave by the end of their fifth year of teaching.<br />
  46. 46. We are falling behind the rest of the world…<br />
  47. 47. If the United States wants to compete in the worldwide market again, “... it would have to adopt internationally benchmarked standards for educating its students and its workers, because only countries with highly skilled workforces could successfully compete in that market.”<br />Barbara Thompson, Education Commission of the States, April 2009<br />
  48. 48. The 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) report revealed that students in a number of developed countries and economic competitors were outperforming U.S. students, particularly in the percentage of students excelling in science.<br />
  49. 49. American students scored lower than 23 other industrialized countries in mathematics and lower than 16 others in scientific literacy on a 2006 assessment.<br />Center for Education Reform<br />
  50. 50. This has implications for our national security.<br />
  51. 51. “A significant part of the workforce in the (nuclear) national laboratories and production facilities are at or near retirement age.” <br />There simply are not enough students going into STEM fields to fill the void.<br />Department of Defense<br />
  52. 52. Do we really care?<br />
  53. 53. While increasing numbers of Americans support education reforms, they still believe the problems are largely in someone else's community. <br />Center for Education Reform<br />
  54. 54. Too many Americans give their schools high marks. In a recent survey, 46 percent gave their local schools an A or B, while only 5 percent would fail their schools. <br />Center for Education Reform<br />
  55. 55. But there is always hope…if we all work together.<br />
  56. 56. The link between schools where teachers assume responsibility for reform and the success of school reform is well established. <br />Beachum & Dentith, 2004; Darling-Hammond, 1997; McLaughlin, 1990<br />
  57. 57. All school districts should provide ongoing professional development for teachers and facilitate the development of a community of professionals in schools.<br />Kevin Chavous<br />Educators must be helped to educate themselves and to create communities of professionals. <br />
  58. 58. Johnson, S. M. (1990). Redesigning Teachers' Work. <br />“Education reform cannot be unilaterally imposed on teachers and schools. Teachers must endorse new roles and responsibilities, and be provided time and resources to implement reforms. Schools depend on cooperation and interdependence among staff members, so plans for comprehensive change must be consistent with existing norms. There also must be supportive conditions such as leadership among teachers and administrators, labor-management cooperation, and willingness on the part of administrators to cede some of their authority to teachers.”<br />
  59. 59. Getting together in teams does not just happen. Collaborative planning and decision making depend on making opportunities for people to meet together.<br />
  60. 60. Communities. . .provide opportunities for teachers to think, talk, read, and write about their daily work, including its larger social, cultural, and political contexts in planned and intentional ways.<br /><br />
  61. 61. Over time, many communities that support teacher learning develop their own histories and, in a certain sense, their own culture. . .<br /><br />
  62. 62. Do your conversations with colleagues center on how best to meet the needs of students? Or on who was eliminated last night on American Idol?<br />
  63. 63. The changes that teachers talk about are more than superficial or "cameo" roles (Bernauer 1999). They are involved in real work that leads to professional growth and improvement in student learning. <br />
  64. 64. Teachers who are actively engaged in learning are more likely to engage students in learning (Fullan, Bennett, and Rolheiser-Bennett 1990). <br /> Development of teacher skills is the kind of long-term investment in improvement that Hargreaves & Fink (2003) refer to as one of the ways to build for sustainable school improvement. <br />
  65. 65. And we must become highly effective teachers.<br />
  66. 66. Linc. Fisch<br />Highly effective teachers care. <br />Highly effective teachers share. <br />Highly effective teachers learn. <br />Highly effective teachers create. <br />Highly effective teachers believe. <br />Highly effective teachers dream. <br />Highly effective teachers enjoy. <br />
  67. 67.
  68. 68. Michael Fullan suggests that "teachers' capacities to deal with change, learn from it, and help students learn from it will be critical for the future development of societies"<br />
  69. 69. So what should our schools look like?<br />
  70. 70.
  71. 71. Schools should be inquiry-driven and focus on creating 21st century citizens. Technology must serve pedagogy, not the other way around, and enable students to research, create, communicate and collaborate. Learning can - and must - be networked.<br />Andy Carvin<br />
  72. 72. Michigan State University education professor Yong Zhao <br />"The American education system now is driven ... to push us toward standardization, centralization, and embodying test scores, which actually I think is moving American education away from the future."<br />
  73. 73. Michigan State University education professor Yong Zhao <br />"The global economy requires niche talents, requires people to become artists, become creators, become musicians, become innovators, become people who are passionate about their work."<br />
  74. 74. “Every child can learn, and all kids deserve great schools. The status quo isn’t getting it done, so we need to work together and find new ways to help kids achieve.” <br />Rachele Downs<br />