No Child: Forced us to face children we shortchanged but focused on wrong data

nochild (Medium)My former AJC colleague and ex GaDOE spokesman Dana Tofig sent me this piece on the pros and cons of No Child Left Behind by school chief Joshua P. Starr, for whom Dana now works in Montgomery County, Md.

Here is the piece by Starr:

As a school superintendent, I’m glad to see that President Barack Obama has launched a national conversation about dismantling No Child Left Behind. However, I’m concerned about what may take its place and whether a new law will be what our education system and our country need to improve.

The problems with NCLB have been discussed at great length, but we must absorb the lessons learned from the last 10 years or risk repeating the same mistakes.

NCLB rightly forced us, as a society, to own up to the fact that certain children have been systematically shortchanged by public education. History has proven that, without meaningful oversight, states and local districts will not always do what is necessary to ensure that all children have access to a high-quality education. Any new law must remain committed to providing that oversight.

NCLB also forced educators to use data—but it was the wrong data. Using a standardized test as the only indicator of success is short-sighted, and continuing to build flawed policies around the overuse of a test score will simply lead to more failure. However, perhaps in response to NCLB, I have seen educators develop wonderful ways of looking at meaningful data. Teachers and administrators are collaborating to track student progress using student work and common assessments given throughout the year. They are critiquing their own lessons and watching video of their teaching to improve. These are successful practices that should be encouraged and replicated. Data should start a conversation, not end it.

Third, NCLB has allowed us to see the difference between being held accountable and being accountable. NCLB is rooted in the idea that if educators are held accountable and shamed publicly, they will miraculously develop the knowledge and skills to improve. As we now know, this is folly. But being accountable is what happens on great teams, when everyone feels responsible for the collective success. This happens in schools and districts when the focus is on student and adult learning; when teachers have time to collaborate; when administrators supervise and evaluate for the purposes of improving and developing; and when superintendents and school boards recognize that we have to provide resources and time for people to learn new skills that will help our children.

With these lessons in mind, I suggest that any new national education law be based on what students need to know and be able to do in the 21st century to be college and career ready. There is widespread agreement that students need not only good technical skills but should be able to think critically, problem solve, work in teams, speak another language and write well. These skills can be embedded in and integrated among all curriculum areas. For example, rather than focus solely on Algebra II as a graduation requirement, schools should ensure that students obtain the conceptual and abstract knowledge and problem-solving skills that Algebra II promotes.

In order for our educators to be successful, we need to invest in them, support them and then trust that they will do right by our children. Ineffective educators must be given appropriate counseling by peers and experts and, then, be removed from schools and classrooms if they don’t improve. The Professional Growth System in Montgomery County does this with incredible success. Systems of support require collaboration with labor organizations and recognition by elected officials that our educators need to be treated as professionals and paid accordingly.

We also must make sure our students have the social and emotional skills they need to be successful. I want Montgomery County students—including my own children—to be good people and good students. They must have the self-confidence necessary to explore and experiment, to embrace success and deal with the occasional failure. These skills are as important to their future as any of the “three R’s.”

The last decade has taught us what not to do when trying to improve outcomes for our children. We now have a choice—do we focus on what actually works to improve public education and invest in our people, or do we continue to fall prey to the facile notions of accountability and school improvement that simply don’t work.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

64 comments Add your comment

Public HS Teacher

September 29th, 2011
7:06 pm

I prefer for the Federal Government to stop the practice of giving our federal tax dollars to States that “play along with them.”

States need to be empowered to make the right decisions for its citizens without the influence of DC.

The Federal Government SHOULD step in if a particular State abuses the education of its own citizens. That is the ONLY time they should interfere.

Dr. John Trotter

September 29th, 2011
7:59 pm

The Federal Government needs to get out of the education business.

Ed Johnson

September 29th, 2011
8:02 pm

Montgomery County Public Schools, MD, 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Recipient, demonstrating that the Baldrige Criteria make for a great moral, ethical, and successful alternative to NCLB, Obama’s “Race to the Top Competition,” and so-called “urban school reform.”

http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/info/baldrige/

Teacher Reader

September 29th, 2011
8:02 pm

I agree Dr. Trotter.

Ned

September 29th, 2011
8:06 pm

I’ve said it before (under my now hijacked name of Ed) and I’ll say it now: the central problem of NCLB is that in practice it is NCE–No Child Excelling. If we as a nation want to, shall we say, race to the top, we need to focus resources at least equally on our brighter and brigthest kids as we do on the kids from the left side of the bell curve.

Ed Johnson

September 29th, 2011
8:17 pm

Well, now, it seems Starr is signatory to the Education Equality Project (EEP), along with the likes of Eli Broad, Beverly Hall, Arlene Ackerman, Andres Alonso, and a host of charter school proponents.

http://www.educationequalityproject.org/pages/the_signatories

MM

September 29th, 2011
8:20 pm

There’s a lesson here about gullibility and the tendency to believe that complex problems have simple solutions. In 2000 it was our “education President” selling the snakeoil that testing would smoke out the “bad actors” (leading eventually, he hoped, to disgust with the “failed” public school system with private charter schools to the rescue). NCLB was also a clever backhanded swipe at democratic constituencies (public unions, blacks) which would be exposed by objective data nobody could argue with. How’s that workin’?

Now we currently are in the midst of another presidential cycle characterized by more “big ideas” that offer simple solutions to complex problems. Now “job creation” is simply a matter of lowering wages and wiping out government (public) regulation of the private sector. Not “good government” but no government (which most Americans really don’t want”

As long as the electorate falls for simple answers, and simple thinking, we’ll keep spinning our wheels, getting nowhere, and looking at another lost decade on another important national issue. We get what we deserve.

Maureen Downey

September 29th, 2011
8:52 pm

@Ned/Ed, We are moving to registration and people’s screen names cannot be taken by someone else.
Maureen

APS 4th grade teacher & a Proud Cheater!

September 29th, 2011
9:19 pm

I concur fully with Joshua Starr’s assessment of NCLB and his recommendations for moving forward.

Assessment should be expanded to include the examination of student portfolios (a chronology of their work, looking for strengths & weaknesses to better direct instruction). Rich discussions among teachers and administrators about the quality of student and other common, realistic assessments should set a schools strategic plan for accomplishing achievement goals.

Mr. Starr mentions that students should be able to “think critically, problem solve, work in teams, speak another language and write well.” These are the life skills that young people will need in the 21st century. Reasoning skills must be developed to enable youngsters to adapt to a rapidly changing world. It is common knowledge that many in our next generation will switch jobs or occupations up to eight times during their employment career.

.
To do this Starr mentions that “schools should ensure that students obtain the conceptual and abstract knowledge and problem-solving skills.” This will never be achieved through a year long process of teaching to the test, day-in and day-out. The skill and drill model used by so many schools/districts actually works to reverse or dumb young people down.

Lastly and most important, students “must have the self-confidence necessary to explore and experiment, to embrace success and deal with the occasional failure. These skills are as important to their future as any of the “three R’s.”

It is always comforting to hear from others regarding the damage caused by the unrelenting focus on end of year testing that has done so much harm to many students, teachers and administrators.

The entire enterprise of public education of has been warped.

Thank you very much,

Fighting in the Trenches

Tony

September 29th, 2011
10:18 pm

Mr. Starr is right on th mark. Will anyone listen?

Curious One

September 29th, 2011
10:35 pm

No Child Left Behind was ill conceived, poorly implemented and was wrong-headedd from day one ! Isakson and Kennedy should be ashamed and for Isakson to claim it served a positive purpose is nothing but policitcal crap !

Ralph

September 29th, 2011
10:54 pm

Every child needs self esteem no matter their ability, intelligence, or work ethic. Testing them or holding teachers accountable for their ability, intelligence, or work ethic only tears down instead of builds up.

Those two sentences immediately above make about as much sense as most of Joshua Starr’s piece pasted as the subject of this blog.

ATL Guy

September 29th, 2011
10:57 pm

I didn’t see the Tea Party people screaming about socialism when George Bush and the Republicans voted to impose big government control over our schools with No Child Left Behind, or voted to restrict the light bulbs we can use or chose to put secret monitoring programs of our citizens in place. Yet they’re out there screaming socialism when Obama wants to find a way to make people that go to the emergency room and take advantage of our tax dollars by refusing to pay for their care, they’re up in arms talking about don’t tread on me. You Republicans are so narrow minded, conceited and ignorant it’s beyond the pale. You clowns can go back to 1776 for all I care but we’re not going with you. Keep wearing your ugly period customs. 2012 can’t come fast enough.

OTOH

September 29th, 2011
11:30 pm

Dr. Trotter: absolutely. Dump NCLB and all other federal laws on k-12. Set aside, for now, those contracts too expensive to get out of, place Pell Grants under HHS and give the rest of the DOE budget as block grants to the states’ DOEs by population for 2 years. Then no more.

DEE

September 30th, 2011
12:15 am

Trotter,
Are you saying that each state should handle education? Please!!! Georgia is #49. Take another look at the STATS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

OTOH

September 30th, 2011
1:05 am

Dee: Wow. With the federal education bureaucracy we are #49 but it would be worse if we handled it ourselves? How did you reach this conclusion?

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

September 30th, 2011
4:24 am

The State of Georgia needs to get into the education business- the “reality-based” business of providing excellent educational opportunities for ,and achieving outstanding educational outomes with, our kids.

We’ve tried the “excuse-based” approach for years to no avail. Well, that’s not true. A lot of undeserving people have been paid a whole lot of money while engaging in the fraud known as “world-class” public education in our state.

When will we get our bellies-full of educ-RATS’ lipservice to excellence in education? When we’re fighting with Haiti for last place in the global economic disorder?

John Barge and his team offer a solution to our problem. Will we help John and his people or continue to whine about “education” while acquiescing in our state’s and nation’s descents into educational ineptitude?

GCPS Phooey

September 30th, 2011
4:45 am

The year my child attended Ga Cyber Academy her CRCT scores rose a minimum of 50 points across the board, the next year she returned to the local middle school and her test scores dropped to pre- GCA levels. Curriculum matters!

South GA Teacher

September 30th, 2011
5:05 am

My school missed the “cut” for NCLB by approximately 5 Hispanic students. Now we are in “State Directed” status and means we will have someone come in and basically tear our school apart because we are not doing enough/the right thing/teaching correctly/teaching incorrectly/doing things wrong/etc.

I have never been averse to accountability, but in 2008 the State changed the rules on the schools by changing cut scores for some of the tests. Had the State continued to maintain the same test cut scores, we would be fine. The test, by the way, was already rigorously aligned to the law and performance standards.

It is hard to meet the terms of a law when every time you turn around the rules change and you are unaware of it.

GUNGA DIN

September 30th, 2011
5:29 am

this bill should really be called “screw the smart kids”. we spend way too much time , money and effort on students who will never be better more than moderately successful. resources should be focused on the students who not only can learn but want to learn. schools are filled with kids that could not care less about their education. time to cut bait and concentrate on the students that will achieve. not all students are college material and we should recognize that. I see teachers spend precious time and resources on students that don’t really even want to be there

Get Real

September 30th, 2011
5:41 am

The United States Constitution says absolutely nothing about education, which according to Amendment 10 means that it defaults to the states. The Federal Government is not even following their own constitution. They should not be in the education business at all. It is the right of each state to control, develop, and implement their own education policies.

if you only knew....

September 30th, 2011
5:56 am

children with special needs are absolutely sucking the money out of the system. students with the ability to make an impact in the future of our country are being sacrificed on the altar of fairness when we all know that 99.9% of the special ed population will be on the public dole for the rest of their lives. i am certain if i had a child with special needs i would have trouble looking at myself in the mirror and saying, “yes, i demand that my child receives more than another child because my genes didn’t give my child the best possible academic dna.” a simple test should be given to every 10 year old; those who pass continue in regular ed; those who don’t can go to a separate school which equips them with life skills and sets them up to be successful in contributing something to society. now, the only thing contributed to public schools by children with special needs is a guarantee of low standardized test scores.

dcb

September 30th, 2011
6:24 am

I find myself more often at odds with Dr. John Trotter than agreeing with him, but I am in total agreement with his statement above “The Federal Government needs to get out of the education business.”

mountain man

September 30th, 2011
6:34 am

“NCLB rightly forced us, as a society, to own up to the fact that certain children have been systematically shortchanged by public education. History has proven that, without meaningful oversight, states and local districts will not always do what is necessary to ensure that all children have access to a high-quality education”

What children have been systematically short-changed? The key words are in the next sentence – ” ensure that all children have access to a high-quality education”, There is a difference between HAVING ACCESS to high-quality education and getting a high-quality education. I believe that before NCLB, ALL children DID have access to Hi-Q education, just a lot of them did not take advantage of it. Some kids were not able to take advantage of it. You cannot take a SPED student with a mental age of 2 years old and expect them to make a 1300 on the SAT. You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. You also cannot teach a student who is not present in your class. The problem with NCLB is it wants every child to succed, when every child does not want to succeed! Give teachers and schools the support they need to provide a hi-Q education, make sure the teaching is done well, and then leave it up to the students to learn and the parents to enforce studiousness.

And for goodness sakes, when a child does not learn what has been well presented to him, HOLD HIM BACK AND DON’T PASS HIM TO THE NEXT GRADE!!!! FORGET THE PARENTS!!! If they were REAL parents, they would be blaming little Johnny for not doing his homework, not studying, acting up in class, not coming to class, etc, rather than the teacher for not “making” her son absorb the material,

GB

September 30th, 2011
6:43 am

Did public education shortchange certain students? Or did their parents? NCLB demonstrated what was already apparent: public schools can’t fix what irresponsible parents broke.

www.honeyfern.org

September 30th, 2011
6:45 am

“There is widespread agreement that students need not only good technical skills but should be able to think critically, problem solve, work in teams, speak another language and write well. These skills can be embedded in and integrated among all curriculum areas. For example, rather than focus solely on Algebra II as a graduation requirement, schools should ensure that students obtain the conceptual and abstract knowledge and problem-solving skills that Algebra II promotes.”

And it needs to start in elementary school to engender the work ethic that this type of thinking. Right now I am facing students who would rather do a worksheet than do a complex task that requires more thought; they’d like me to write a schedule for them, and they don’t want to be in any way responsible for their own eductaion. This is from years of coddling and excuse making and accepting less than their best just because it met the very low standards of NCLB. Such a huge disservice to these kids!

HS Math Teacher

September 30th, 2011
6:47 am

Amen, Mountain Man.

www.honeyfern.org

September 30th, 2011
6:47 am

@if only you knew, there is a bill in the Senate that woudl freeze federal spending for certain K-12 programs, among them special education.

And as to keeping government out of education, although I agree in theory, in practice, that woudl result in the utter collapse of most school systems in the country. They wouldn’t be able to afford to have a full program on the pittance they can collect in property and other local tax.

GB

September 30th, 2011
6:51 am

DEE

You are wrong about Ga being 49th. That is a superficial conclusion created by the media’s inane focus on the SAT “ranks” for year after year. The AJC FINALLY got the message and stopped the annual SAT brouhaha. The stats are driven almost completely by two factors: the race of the test takers and the percent of students who take the test. These factors vary by state and are very clear predictors of a given state’s rank. Go past the headline and look at the facts.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

September 30th, 2011
7:50 am

Wow…hashing yet again the rehased hash. If parents took some responsibility and truly cared for their children this would be a non-issue. The States need step in and arrest many of these sorry sorry parents, jail them and send the kids to foster homes.

From what I see on ATL local news the parents are just plain dumb and/or stupid.

Lee

September 30th, 2011
7:51 am

NCLB reminds me of the punchline “Sure, we’re losing money on every sale, but we’re making it up on volume.”

The same twisted logic applies.

Lost in all the gnashing of teeth about NCLB is the fact that schools weren’t doing that great of a job pre-NCLB. They were passing students from grade to grade who couldn’t do the work and graduating illiterates – and they still are. Until the politically correct constraint of equal outcomes is removed, public education will continue to flounder.

alm

September 30th, 2011
8:34 am

GCPS Phooey – I’m looking into Ga Cyber Academy. What did you like and dislike about it?

Jack

September 30th, 2011
8:35 am

Self-esteem is in short supply, Ralph. Our children that are not making a passing grade all suffer from a lack of self-esteem. Teachers can’t fix that.

carlosgvv

September 30th, 2011
8:57 am

The only way we can properly educate all our children is to spend a great deal more money than we are spending now. Since that is not going to happen, we wind up with desperate programs like No Child Left Behind and teachers being forced to teach for the test and not much more. No amount of talk or creative new teaching methods will provide the resources needed to actually improve things.

November 6, 2012

September 30th, 2011
9:04 am

@DEE

September 30th, 2011
12:15 am

Trotter,
Are you saying that each state should handle education? Please!!! Georgia is #49. Take another look at the STATS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Dee – States Rights is coming, it might take a bit longer, but we’re gonna rid ourselves of the FEDS who are clueless. The only thing they’re good at is taking our money, taking a big cut for themselves to try to fix something that’s not broken and then send back to the states what’s left. The Federal Dept of Non Education is worthless and will be, eventually sacked. November 6, 2012 is the key date…..please circle on your calender and please remember to VOTE RESPONSIBLY.

DawgFan88

September 30th, 2011
9:08 am

Ned/Ed – you hit it on the head. Sorry for the rhyme. But you’re absolutely right. We give all the time and attention to those who are struggling, while the smart kids sit and get bored. In 20 years, we’ll have a group of half-educated adults, and everyone will be asking why aren’t we excelling globally. Tracking kids – getting like with like and giving EACH group specific goals – will get us where we need to be. Or at least get us closer than No child.

catlady

September 30th, 2011
9:18 am

Are we doing better by the “left behind” children of the past? I know we are spending/expending tremendous time, money, and effort, but are we seeing REAL results? I think many of the “increases” we are seeing are due to manipulated (a la B. Hall, M. Rhee, and others) data, not true improvement.

As such, in my mind, NCLB has been a tremendously expensive foray into “let’s pretend.” If we are going to play dress up, let’s do it without the horrific expenditure of taxpayer monies that end up in the pockets of connected companies!

Moderate Line

September 30th, 2011
9:18 am

mountain man
September 30th, 2011
6:34 am
I believe that before NCLB, ALL children DID have access to Hi-Q education, just a lot of them did not take advantage of it
+++++
I am sorry but that is not true. I moved from one county to another just to improve the quality of education for my children. Typically, rural schools and urban schools do not have quality educations while upper class suburban schools do. I am lucky because I enough income to live in area where I can buy a house in one of the best or not the best school district in Atlanta.

The variants of the quality of education vary tremendously from county to county and from area of county to another area of the county. The level of teacher quality varies tremendously.

DeKalb Teacher

September 30th, 2011
9:36 am

NCLB and all the attention giving to testing will be repsonsible for serveral generaions of under educated children. NCLB is base levell politics, it has destroyed the hopes and dreams of so many.

William Casey

September 30th, 2011
9:44 am

@ Mountain Man: “I believe that before NCLB, ALL children DID have access to Hi-Q education, just a lot of them did not take advantage of it. Some kids were not able to take advantage of it.”

Although I agree that the Federal Government’s role in education should be minimal, history has proven that there are times when intervention is necessary. I’m old enough to have been educated during an era when all children did NOT have access to quality education. I can only imagine our nation’s situation would be without Brown v. Board and President Eisenhower’s intervention in Little Rock in 1957. Local control of schools, though desirable, does not guarantee equality of opportunity. NCLB has many flaws. However, it has raised an important point: are our schools doing everything possible to make sure that EVERY child has the OPPORTUNITY to receive high quality education? The NCLB approach of measuring OUTCOMES on standardized tests is a flawed, “blunt-instrument” approach to answering this question. So, what now? The question remains the same, though.

Moderate Line

September 30th, 2011
9:45 am

If our schools were good we would have never had the NCLB act in the first place.

You can make an argument that the Federal government should not be involved in education but if you are going to try to convince me that the state of Georgia on it’s own would somehow perform better with or without it I would have laugh.

In general my experience has been where parents demand a good educational system there is a good educational system where parents don’t there is not one. I believe what the NCLB goal was to demand a good educational system even in areas where the parents don’t ie the rural areas and urban areas. I don’t believe that really has been accomplished. However, I don’t think NCLB is responsible for the problem either since these problems largely existed before.

Conservatives like the fact that the kids who have parents who don’t care don’t receive good educations because it makes receiving a good education a birth rite tied to the who your parents are.

Traditional Math Fan

September 30th, 2011
9:51 am

NCLB = No CORPORATION Left Behind. Follow the money and see who benefited from this half-baked idea. And now we have Race To The Top, which is really Race Off the Cliff. Let’s face it, the Feds are in the education pie and they’re here to stay. It’s not about educating. It’s about rewarding friends and punishing enemies. It’s about retaining influence and squeezing every last dollar out for the latest educrat to come around with another scheme. Nothing will change unless there is a groundswell of anger directed back toward those that are in the BUSINESS of education, not the EDUCATION business. Subtle difference, but quite profound.

All that said, I say bring back tracking. You want to meet every child’s needs, even the gifted ones, then find out where they are today and follow their progress. Every child, and I do mean EVERY child, deserves to learn something new every day. We ignore our smartest at our own peril.

You want to track teacher performance? Well then, bring back tracking and ability group these students. No teacher, I don’t care how good they think they are, can differentiate instruction to a group of kids that deviate by several grade levels. Not going to happen. Tracking would also enable a more fair student-centered progress gauge to show how much each child progressed/did not progress over that academic year. Only after you know that can you work out the kinks on merit pay.

And finally, ditch some of these edufads that are gumming up the system. This integrated math crap is my personal fave. When I met with John Barge, he seemed sincere in his desire to ditch the integrated math. Sadly, he only is working toward that goal for HS. Elementary schools are were the real damage is being done. Don’t let the PR fool you. There is no benefit to pushing algebra and geometry down into ES grades if these kids haven’t even mastered addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. Their lack of math skills will continue to be an issue for MS and HS teachers.

Tychus Findlay

September 30th, 2011
9:51 am

I would like to see a scenario in which massive amounts of money are invested into schools for the top 1% of students and then puts them in an ultra-high level of competition to gain admission. It would create a generation of superior students prepared to lead this country into the next era.

Instead we spend inordinate amounts of money trying to catch the bottom 10% up to be mediocre at best. Pffft!

Moderate Line

September 30th, 2011
9:54 am

DawgFan88
September 30th, 2011
9:08 am

We give all the time and attention to those who are struggling, while the smart kids sit and get bored.
++++
Seriously, we give “all the time and attention to those who are struggling”. That must be why high schools have so many of the advance placement classes in high schools. I was in calculus class in high school with six people out of a graduating class of 150. The truth of it is that struggling kids received No attention in years past and were given grades just to pass them through school.

CTPAT

September 30th, 2011
9:57 am

Kids should be grouped for most subjects according to their ability and competency, not their age. Use age for art, PE, media and other specials, but for LA, Math, Science, SS, group kids according to their ability (so mixed ages) and do not let them move from Elementary to Middle or Middle to High school if they haven’t mastered the requisite skills of the lower grades. Regular observation will enable students to move into higher performing groupings quickly and will not leave children who are excelling behind — they’ll continue to learn things at a higher level with peers at the same academic level.

Larken McCord

September 30th, 2011
9:57 am

If things take a turn for the worse here, at least now I know where I would like to work.

Moderate Line

September 30th, 2011
10:04 am

Tychus Findlay
September 30th, 2011
9:51 am

I would like to see a scenario in which massive amounts of money are invested into schools for the top 1% of students and then puts them in an ultra-high level of competition to gain admission. It would create a generation of superior students prepared to lead this country into the next era.

Instead we spend inordinate amounts of money trying to catch the bottom 10% up to be mediocre at best. Pffft!
+++
We already have that. It is called Harvard and Yale. You have one branch of the government the judicial system completed dominated by these institutions. The executive branch will have 20 years of Harvard/Yale domination by 2012. We essentially already have what you are talking about. Even more extreme would be the French were even more of their leaders come from the same schools.

It may be true that 50% of the people don’t pay income taxes but why would the 49%+ pay taxes to educate the top 1% who would probably use it to enrich themselves at the detriment of everyone else.

Tychus Findlay

September 30th, 2011
11:12 am

Moderate Line-

I’m not speaking to post-secondary education, and I’m well aware of the Harvard/Yale White House monopoly of the past two decades.

I’m referring to what essentially amounts to a super-magnet school, a school that has resources and facilities that makes it the envy of all other public education facilities- a brass ring school that ascribes only to educational excellence.

Mountain Man

September 30th, 2011
12:07 pm

Moderate Line @ 9:18
- Of course the ACHIEVEMENT level varies from county to county, but is that an indictment of the quality of the education? I do understand that rich, affluent suburban counties can kick in additional monies to help their schools, but that is not the entire answer. The answer is that they have better STUDENTS.

If APS want the best quality education, why don’t they just hire the best teachers, the cream of the crop, the top 10% coming out of college. With what they spend per student, money should not be an issue. What’s that? The best teachers don’t WANT to teach in ghetto Atlanta, at least not without combat pay. That is indicative of the problem. Fix the students (and parents) and you fix the education system.

Moderate Line

September 30th, 2011
3:11 pm

Mountain Man
September 30th, 2011
12:07 pm

Moderate Line @ 9:18
- Of course the ACHIEVEMENT level varies from county to county, but is that an indictment of the quality of the education? I do understand that rich, affluent suburban counties can kick in additional monies to help their schools, but that is not the entire answer. The answer is that they have better STUDENTS.

If APS want the best quality education, why don’t they just hire the best teachers, the cream of the crop, the top 10% coming out of college. With what they spend per student, money should not be an issue. What’s that? The best teachers don’t WANT to teach in ghetto Atlanta, at least not without combat pay. That is indicative of the problem. Fix the students (and parents) and you fix the education system.
+++++
Thanks for proving my point. The best teachers and administrators gravitate to the the best schools where teaching is easier. The parents gravitate towards better schools. I moved from district to another and the difference is significant. Where they can focus on more teaching and instead of other issues.

Your argument is like saying just because Alabama wins more football games than Georgia doesn’t mean Alabama is a better football program because Alabama gets better players.