This is quoted from Larry Lezotte’s Correlates of Effective Schools:
7. Home-School Relations
The First Generation: In the effective school parents understand and support theschool’s basic mission and are given the opportunity to play an important role in helpingthe school to achieve this mission.
The Second Generation: During the first generation, the role of parents in the education of their children was always somewhat unclear. Schools often gave “lip service” to having parents more actively involved in the schooling of their children. Unfortunately, when pressed, many educators were willing to admit that they really did not know how to deal effectively with increased levels of parent involvement in the schools.
In the second generation, the relationship between parents and the school must be an authentic partnership between the school and home. In the past when teachers said they wanted more parent involvement, more often than not they were looking for unqualified support from parents. Many teachers believed that parents, if they truly valued education, knew how to get their children to behave in the ways that the school desired. It is now clear to both teachers and parents that the parent involvement issue is not that simple. Parents are often as perplexed as the teachers about the best way to inspire students to learn what the school teaches. The best hope for effectively confronting the problem—and not each other—is to build enough trust and enough communication to realize that both teachers and parents have the same goal—an effective school and home for all children!
this insightful assertion by Ron Edmonds:
We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfullyteach all children whose schooling is of interest to us. We already know more than we need to do that. Whether or not we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven’t so far.
basic beliefs of the Effective Schools Movement:
• all children can learn and come to school motivated to do so;
• schools control enough of the variables to assure that virtually all students do learn;
• schools should be held accountable for measured student achievement;
• schools should disaggregate measured student achievement in order to be certain that students, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status are successfully learning the intended school curriculum;
• the internal and external stakeholders of the individual school are the most qualified and capable people to plan and implement the changes necessary to fulfill the Learning for All mission.
Which sound not dissimilar from the Coalition of Essential Schools main tenets:
|The Common Principles (abbrev.)|
|1.||Learning to use one’s mind well|
|2.||Less is More, depth over coverage|
|3.||Goals apply to all students|
|6.||Demonstration of mastery|
|7.||A tone of decency and trust|
|8.||Commitment to the entire school|
|9.||Resources dedicated to teaching and learning|
|10.||Democracy and equity|
I met with Dr. Stan Maynard (MU, June Harless Center) this morning to ask him about the “model” school at Kellogg Elementary and about the possibility of getting OUR schools to be included in his program. So, first, if you don’t know about it, MU has already had a “practice” model school for the 21st Century program for k-2 at Kellogg Elementary (Wayne County, Westmoreland) for the last couple of years. Everyone says it is great. They are expanding that program to k-5 and soon to k-8. Dr. Maynard told me all about the different components of it (see them via the Harless Center link), which include each grade learning in depth about a different continent (so that by the end of 5th grade they have learned REAL stuff about all of the continents, including meeting a college student from there and doing email/podcasts with children in a school there); foreign language instruction for 90-minutes per week with all the k-5 kids; REAL science with a special new curriculum custom-designed by a high school science teacher; an adapted math curriculum using real world applications, including GPS; community partnerships that include afterschool clubs in areas like LEGOs, social skills, economics, astronomy, violin lessons, webpage design… He referred to the Invitational School concept of William Purkey (see link) and the Effective Schools movement (see link) of Larry Lazotte being sortof the context for all this academic work. He will be making an invitation to the public schools around WV to join his “League of Schools” and to make Blue Ribbon Schools into Gold Medal Schools–making the schools not just good for West Virginia, but able to compete internationally (like on the NAEP test scores–see more links). I will try to get more information about it from him, but he is issuing the invitations at the Center for Professional Development meeting in a couple of weeks at Stonewall Jackson retreat. Someone from the school needs to express an interest in joining and then 65-70% of the faculty will need to buy-in and agree to do the training & development necessary to put the model program in place. Dr. Maynard is hoping to get 100 schools interested in modeling and has plans for quantitative and qualitative assessments of the schools and the program. The participants in the League will then meet once or twice a year to have national speakers and breakout sessions to share how the program is working for them, how they have tweaked it, etc. I did ask Dr. Maynard specifically about this school I’d like to have opened in the Miller building and if he had suggestions for us about it. He thinks that if we can get the schools that we have now to participate in the League, we may be able to get the small high school opened by the BOE as the program grows. It sounded like he may have spoken briefly with Superintendent Smith about my proposal and it was not completely rejected. The “drag” thing is that the model for the League schools is very much on a k-8 configuration (which I love), but I fear Cabell County has sortof written this off already with their new, consolidated middle school and plans to consolidate Enslow & Beverly Hills. The feet follow the money, right? Anyhow, Dr. Maynard said that the schools do not HAVE to be k-8 in one building, provided that some kids can go all the way up from k to 8 using the same sort of educational model. But, I am not sure where that leaves a 6-12 school. I told him that honestly, 6-12 isn’t the grade configuration I would have picked, but I don’t want my kids to have to go to either the middle or high schools the way they are, so that was what I suggested. Anyhow, when I get more info about the League, I’ll be sure to pass it on. It would be great if we could bug ALL of the teachers and administrators that we know about getting into the League, so that our kids could all be in great programs like they are planning for Kellogg. It is my plan to get started with the Southside Elementary and Huntington Middle people ASAP. Anyone know “people” at HMS??