Craig’s Comments

“Taking all these results together, one implication stands above all: that schools bring little to bear on a child’s achievement that is independent of his background and general social context”. This commentary is a devastating thought when it comes to what we can do in school to help prepare students for what is coming in the future. What is more devastating is that this quote is not something that was said at last summer’s Democratic or Rebulican National Conventions or in a campaign for a United States Senator or Congressmen. This comment was published in a report called “Equality in Eduational Opportunity” and is referred to as “The Coleman Report”. Not from last summer or even last year. The comment was taken from that report in 1966. The most devastating thing about this statement is that is still being echoed around the country today, nearly half a century later. I borrowed it from The Art and Science of Teaching by Robert Marzano. What is really amazing is that there are still people who claim that schools and teachers can’t make a difference in the life of a child. Marzano points to many studies that have been conducted since January of 2000 and most especially in research from the late part of the last decade. He claims, with statistical evidence, that schools can be effective in the lives of students and in their individual achievement. The variables are many and he lists several of them as a great curriculum, a safe and orderly environment, attendance initiatives and community support. However, Marzano’s research, conducted over several years points to the single most influential component of an effective school, the teacher. I have had the opportunity to observe great teachers in our school over the last couple of weeks. Stay tuned for some coverage of difference makers in the lives of our students in El Reno.

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