Tuesday, April 26, 2005

On Things Not Overwhelmingly Important

I've got nothing really to comment on today. I didn't find anything that really struck my fancy. There was this opinion piece in Edweek that I found interesting today. I think the catch quote is particularly important as we think about schools:
"The tools for achieving productivity common in virtually every other sector in America are not used systematically in our schools."

This article goes back to my question of a few posts ago, of 'what about the children?' Who is looking out for their best interest, and is a school more about the adults or more about the children?

There was also this nice confirmation of something I've been saying for the past couple of years about the importance of small district size on student success. Now, granted the research report originated in the conservative Manhattan Institute and it wasn't particularly peer reviewed, but hey, at least I'm write. I also completely dissagree with the author of the study's conclusion about why smaller districts produce higher graduation rates. I don't think it has anything to do with mobility. I lived in an incredibly small district surrounded by other incredibly small districts and no one I knew ever thought about moving just for the schools. People move their families because their job (or lack there of) forces them. Most families won't move if they don't have to. For me, the reason why smaller districts work better is simply people (both parents and students) have a larger feeling of affect within the school system. With a small district, you still need people to be on the board and fill in support roles, but there's less people to draw from, so the average person ends up knowing people intimately involved with the school without really trying. If one wanted to, one could make an impact on the system.

Oh, and my friend is quoted here . Go Heather.


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