We share evidence-based K-12 learning strategies that empower you to improve education.
Let's get back to why we "Educate". Learning is what school is all about and maybe it is time to change the way we "teach" and allow our students to learn as much as they can about the future society and what they need to do in order to be the best. We face a need for a big change in schools! Let's not stuff in the knowledge but bring forth what is known and move into the how we can expand on the knowledge to creat a better society. Let's start educating the whole person and stop thinking it is money that will do this. It is people helping to change from how learning happened before and how it should happen now! Education is the bringing forth the best and making it better.
I was a child of immigrants who grew up in a poor neighborhood and attended schools in LAUSD in two totally different environments. The first 8 years i was sent off (bussed) to mostly white schools where we were exposed to new technologies and had many great experiences going to the opera, plays, camping, and the like. Our schools were well supplied and great environments for learning. The last 4 years I attended my neighborhood high school - completely different world. Limited and unfair distribution of resources - even as a kid i noticed this. I was an AP student so we got to do a lot of things that most other students in the school didn't/don't get, but this was still less in every way compared to what the other schools offered. When I got to college i was really upset and felt that even with being in AP classes i had been cheated out of a proper education to help me be successful in college.
I am completely against bussing - you lose out getting to know people and places in your neighborhood(being part of a community) and at your school you can never truly bond with classmates since you don't live in the area.
Now as a teacher, I believe schools need to be run more like businesses - money should be distributed evenly among all schools in the state and there needs to be more accountability about how the money is spent. Kids already start at a major disadvantage by growing up poor they should not be put at a bigger disadvantage by receiving sub par education just because they live in a poor neighborhood.
If cities committed to urban planning that produced diversified neighborhoods we could have it all, local schools and economic diversity. Heaven forbid something be actually planned and developers forced to consider more than immediate profits.
It costs all of us when students with disadvantaged backgrounds are not able to flourish. A combination of redistricting and magnet schools, as well as equal funding for each and every student and de-politicized national standards would solve a lot of problems and help our country.
Which means keeping home and school close, geographically. This also helps build strong and supportive communities, no matter what the economic level. After seeing this first hand, as an urban elementary educator, is is all so clear to me. We need to be embracing and educating communities, not just the children, and this means neighborhood schools and smaller class sizes for underperforming schools.
Beyond your question, we also need to address engagement first, rather than test performance. Engagement from real-world, what-matters-to-the-kids, is what is needed, and not a focus on standardized test performance.
All this testing IS just fine for the middle and above, even good. But for below the middle, it is simply demoralizing to students who start off the new year excited until they are presented with tests that are above their ability. Testing above a student's ability is simply child abuse! My school has fully bought into the nonsense and is doing state look-alike testing every three weeks. So now my below-level students and those with reading disabilities can be demoralized on a more regular basis. I have my own data that I collect, with humane informal tests and can present to anyone who asks. I don't need more data to tell me what I already know. I need to get them to like learning!
BTW, I am an urban special educator in an underperforming elementary school in Massachusetts.
You would like to believe that seeking to improve the education would be "rewarded" by fiscal angels. But in fact, there will always a need to proactively leverge the positive outcomes of attention to learning issues to improve the willingness to support education appropriately.
My gut feeling is that conscious attention to effective learning can and will itself have a positive impact on budgets.
I am sorry to say thay "throwing money" in the form of more people, more technology, and more materials is the immediate call in response to poor student outcomes.
Agendas often cloud and over complicate issues. All students should be treated equally and have the same rights to equal education. With that in mind, funding should be distributed equally among schools, all schools should be staffed with highly qualified teachers, and schools should identify areas of weakness and work to improve those areas. Redistricting only further masks the real issues at hand.
I believe the way schools should be funded is this: The state should collect all the money and then distribute it EVENLY between all districts. That way, everyone gets a certain share, no more, no less. This would ensure quality in all of the schools, not just the money going to the neighborhood school.