Sunday, March 30, 2014

We Teach All Students

     A business executive comes to a high school to say that students graduate without the skills they need to succeed in the business world--the World of Work.  He says, "If I had employees that didn't do their job, I would fire them."  "In fact," he says, "I would only hire the best people in the first place."  And the school responds, "That's the difference between public school and business; We take all students; We teach all students."

     Public schools don't pick the best students or the students with the most potential to enroll in their schools.  Public schools take all students.  As the old commercial used to say:
Big kids,
Little kids,
Kids who climb on rocks.
Tough kids,
Sissy kids,
Even kids with Chicken Pox.
And public schools are proud that they teach all students.  We are not a business.  And while we often compare our student achievement data against other schools and other school districts, as a national public school system we are united in our efforts to teach all students.

     Of course, allowing unlimited access to our schools comes with challenges.  Most notably, a recent report has informed us that half of the students in our nation's public schools are poor.  Poor students (as a group) often struggle to succeed in their academics due to limited supports at home compared to non-poor students (and many other factors).  Also, students with identified learning disabilities are often below grade level in reading and mathematics.  Finally, even students without the handicaps of low socio-economics or learning disabilities sometimes graduate with low skills by only striving to do the minimum that is required of them.

     There is no question that public schools can do better in graduating a higher percentage of students that process the skills they need to succeed in the world of work.  But we are not going to artificially raise graduation rate by only enrolling the brightest students.  We take all students; we teach all students; we help all students.  And if some students require more of an effort on our part, we are glad to take on that challenge.

     What's so good about public education in America?  We teach ALL students.

Public Schools and Choice

       Is it true that public school kids and their public school parents don't have choices?  I'm sure that I will expose my igno...

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