Since you can't throw a rock without hitting a news story about No Child Left Behind and MCA-II scores, I figured it would be a decent time to show some recent reader comments...
Some interesting points being brought up here about parental involvement versus school quality, and some who urge reform of No Child Left Behind.
The following comments came from these recent articles:
Small schools reign large on AYP
13 Rochester schools cited for not hitting No Child Left Behind benchmarks
MCA-II scores from area charter schools
State science scores improve, but nearly half still aren't proficient
Also, thanks again to all of the new readers checking in -- don't be
afraid to comment if you want to respond to these, either. (As always,
I hope we maintain a level of respect and decorum here. Inclusion of these comments is merely to spark debate - not ignite name
calling. Inclusion of comments absolutely does not reflect the views of
the writer (me), the Post-Bulletin, or any employees therein.)
Questions? Concerns? E-mail
On to the comments:
Posted on 8/12/2009 at 8:47:53 PM
used to live in Byron and the schools there were EXCELLENT compared to
the ones our kids have attended in Rochester. And the ones they have
attended here are supposedly some of the best in the district.
Posted on 8/12/2009 at 11:58:16 AM
have a different view from all that I’ve read online the last couple of
days. My personal experience with MCAs is that my child passes all the
MCAs with no trouble but has difficulty with normal classroom work. The
teachers at his school focus so much on the MCAs that when it comes to
normal work, we have trouble. Figure that one out.
Posted on 7/22/2009 at 4:14:44 PM
The state wants a test all kids should pass.
Then the state should have a curriculum all schools use that matches the test.
I don’t trust the state one bit. I will bet there are a ton of questions the kids have never seen before.
The state of Minnesota should have a state curriculum.
In fact, when Timmy moves from Minneapolis to Rochester, he will
just pick up where he left off because everyone is doing the same thing.
This concept though makes too much sense and takes the power out of
the hands of the state. It gives the teachers too much power and we
can’t have that.
Posted on 8/11/2009 at 9:39:56 AM
it’s time for the government to rethink no-child left behind. It’s got
a huge flaw in it implies that schools are soley responsible for
student outcomes. This is in no way the case. Student outcomes are
determined by the students, the parents, and the schools in that order.
A much better solution for no child left behind is to require
parents to be responsible for their children learning. Successful
students are provided oppertunities and discipline developed through
the home to make the whole education oppertunity work. We for instance
do not let our kids play video games until their homework is done and
checked. We also routinely follow up with the school (online) to watch
their progress. If the progress is not sufficient, the spend more time
on their homework and the expense of their personal entertainment. The
key is we are ACTIVELY INVOLVED.
IMO if a student is failing the parent needs to make a concious
choice to provide the student more guidance outside the school. If
they will not do so willingly, charging them a fee to provide
additional mentoring to their student is very reasonable.
Education is very much that old statement - “you can lead a horse to
water but you can’t make him drink”. Same thing, you can bus kids all
over the country to give them an education but if they don’t feel like
participating and their parents are parenting you can spend trillions
of dollars per student and they still won’t learn.
Posted on 8/11/2009 at 10:31:10 AM
school is impt, teachers play a fundamental role, but their hands are
tied if the parents or guardians don’t support/reinforce the respect
and need for a good, solid education. I am a success story of inner
city Chicago Public Schools and it was primarily because my parents
stressed the need for education. As an elementary student, my parents
checked my homework daily, in high school they discussed grades and
school with me, but did not understand the content .. but they still
Posted on 8/11/2009 at 11:00:37 AM
staff worked hard all year to get kids and parents to use Study Island,
and it has paid off two years in a row. I don’t think it is Study
Island per se that did the trick, although it probably helped. More
pertinent, I think, was the attitude that mastering the material is
Posted on 8/12/2009 at 11:17:49 AM
- Lincoln K-8 serves both elementary and secondary (middle school)
students. Lincoln students in grades 6-8 take the same MCA tests as
all other district students in grades 6-8. And these Lincoln middle
school students - like their peers at Willow Creek - also made AYP. In
fact, Lincoln’s proficiency rate in 2009 was higher in both reading and
math than at Willow Creek. In the current environment, any school that
helps its students be proficient deserves congratulations.
Posted on 8/12/2009 at 7:26:22 AM
The parents and staff do have the job of helping the kids but the kids
need to help themselves. Everyone involved in this need to work at it.
Posted on 8/11/2009 at 11:37:33 PM
... People do need to know that Riverside does have excellent staff at
all levels. They really do! I also feel they have many kids of all
geographical demographics working hard to learn to the best of their
ability. And we also have a group of students that simply do not
care! Have we lost that level of respect of our students to teachers?
Authority? The law? Many and I mean many respect it but we have a
volume of individuals at all age levels that do not.
But even #535 can not deny the fact that we also have discipline
issues that must be addressed and done so on a CONSISTENT basis!
Here is a comparison to think about; Our curriculum is changing in
that what kids were being taught in 4th grade a few years back, well
now its taught in grades two or three. Well sadly, the flip side of
that coin is that some of the discipline issues that were happening in
middle and high school ages are now happening at the elementary
school! We all hear of sad cases of young and I mean very young people
getting caught up in crimes we could never imagine.
Posted on 8/11/2009 at 9:19:53 PM
small subgroup determines if you made it. If 10 kids are in a group and
3 of them won’t do their homework or get out of bed to come to school,
that school is listed.
Posted on 8/11/2009 at 10:55:50 AM
I agree that parents need to be involved, and I am a very involved
parent. But, we cannot ignore the fact that are some teachers and
districts that need change, and I’ve been in that situation and tried
for more than three years to work with the school and got no where.
Long story short, I ended up transferring my child and he has
completely excelled in a new school, and the difference in the schools
Posted on 8/11/2009 at 10:18:36 AM
... It is the active
parents that have the students who are striving to do their best. The
parents who don’t care about education (thorugh their actions, not
their words) are the ones whose child doesn’t care about education
either. That is why none of the choice schools are on the failing list
(the parents care enough to find a school they think will be good for
their child). Longfellow does not count because until this year, it
has been considered a neighborhood school as well as a choice school.