children are stagnate academically should
the parents or teachers be held accountable?
people including myself would agree that
teachers are responsible for the advancement
of their students, however parents also
play a vital and integral role in the
process. Whenever there is a lack of communication
or miscommunication the student ultimately
suffers. To help avoid such situations
it is imperative that both the parent
and teacher follow the same itinerary
concerning the student's academic progress.
In addition to the roles of parents
and teachers it is also necessary for
the government to provide equal opportunities
for students to learn.
rate at which students learn in schools
is measured by standardized test results
within each school district, and the results
are analyzed according to ones cultural
background and socio-economic status.
Three years ago the Bush administration
implemented the No Child Left Behind Act,
(NCLB). The stated aim of this
legislation is to close the achievement
gap between races and socio-economic classes.
Holistically the plan appears ideal
to some, yet it is not practical in its
current state for several reasons.
For instance when a school does not meet
state or federal standards for achievement
on standardized tests the action plan
is to restructure the school. This
entails the demotion and relocation of
the schools' teachers and administrators.
Another goal of (NCLB), is to have
all students in the U.S. reading, writing,
and performing mathematically at the proficient
level or above in one decade. While this
may also appear attainable to some, if
the current best teaching practices are
not modified this goal will never be reached.
Ostensibly the current practices
that teachers use to share information
do not work. Further, one decade
of radical education reform will not negate
decades of ineffective teaching and the
exclusion of certain cultural groups within
the curriculum, and the abandonment of
financially distressed schools.
educating students of color or economically
disadvantaged students there are several
factors need to be taken into consideration
so meaningful learning can take place.
Jawanza Konjufu explains in Black
Students Middle Class Teachers that teachers
or coaches must speak to students so they
will listen. After capturing student's
attention teachers must develop ways to
help students channel their energy.
To stimulate the African American students'
minds more he suggests that more right-brained
lesson plans be used. Right-brained
learners learn by example, and they relate
to the information being learned, whereas
left-brain learners are more analytical.
How can learning take place if the teaching
style does not cater to the learning preference
to Lisa Delpit some of the issues that
are countering progress include teachers'
questioning and language diversity.
In her work Other Peoples Children,"
concedes that diversity in language can
create barriers between teachers and students,
especially when the dialect of English
is not that of the majority culture. The
usage of such language does not affect
a child's ability to read; therefore teachers
should build on what students already
understand, so they can make the transition
to using "Proper English."
students' academic success should always
be the goal of both parents and teachers.
If a student is not progressing
administrators also look towards the teacher
for justification. When there is
poor justification teachers are rendered
ineffective and are thus replaced.
Academic success is attainable when the
passion to learn is commonplace in both
the students' home and classrooms.
An aggressive approach to education must
be reciprocated on both ends. Ways
for parents to assist their children include
attending parent teacher association meetings,
being a presence in the classroom, and
to also be seen engaged in learning.
Checking homework and quizzing children
can also be helpful. This parental involvement
will combat the threshold that entertainment
has on children when they are embraced
for their efforts.
her book Black teachers on teaching Michelle
Foster captures the testimonies and experiences
of elder, veteran, and novice teachers.
Ethel Tanner, a veteran teacher
shared with Foster that "part of education
is teaching children to take responsibility
for themselves." Nevertheless children
are not held accountable for their academics,
teachers and administrators are.
Throughout the 1990's this has been ever-more
increasing. As Pamela Otis Ognu explains
"accountability will be measured by an
increasing reliance on standardized tests
making education more like a business
than it already is." Evidently her foresight
has surfaced to reality. Conversely
the government, and the entertainment
industry should be held accountable given
their contradictory standards on success.
children excel academically when they
are embraced for what they already understand,
and how they use new information learned.
When children first enroll in school
they are passionate about learning, however
after a few years that changes.
In cases where there is a lack of interest
or a lack of time an investment must be
made. While it may be an exaggeration
to expect all urban schools to perform
at extremely high levels given the status
quo, if schools invest in superior resources
to compete with neighboring districts
positive change will occur. Also
there should not be a strong reliance
on the public school system to cultivate
student's minds. All parents, teachers
and community members should work collectively
to achieve this end.
economics, in less affluent school districts
parents must be actively involved with
their children's academics, for some school
districts are not provided with sufficient
funding to obtain resources. Konjufu
notes that the majority of states allocate
$18,000 to the most affluent school district
while allocating $5,000 to the least.
In New York one district allocates
$38, 572 per pupil, and another allocates
$6,100. This disparity between figures
should be considered a crime. The
funds allocated by the former exceed the
latter by 500%. This clarifies
that the achievement gap will not be reduced
at an exponential rate as dictated by
the (NCLB). If actions such
as these are perpetuated the achievement
gap will never close.
not having access to superior resources
financially ruined schools still manage
to compete with their counterparts.
If this uphill battle is fought fiercely
dedicated parents, teachers, and community
members can win it. By unifying
and identifying the common issue of education
a radical reform in favor of students,
their families, and their communities
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