[Bilde:100619_142415_0.png]Common Sense for Maine Education
It was interesting to read the editorial by Micky Bedell in the Bangor
Daily News of January 7, 2017. The title of the editorial “The
Education Push Everyone Knowns Maine Needs” rather gives away the common
sense approach that Bedell advocates.
Befell writes, “If Maine wants to prosper and grow, it needs to reduce
that gap between rich and poor. And it’s not doing it. The difference in
fourth-grade reading scores has not improved since 2007; it’s worsened
in math. And the gap between students from lower-income families and
higher-income families who go on to college actually grew between 2008 and
2014. What’s more, low-income students who make it to college are more
likely to drop out.”
We know the focus - the focus needs to be advocating for all students to
do what they can at the best level they can, and then to do what they
can’t at improved levels. Let’s work on advancing the strength and
remediating the weaknesses. That requires understanding and collaboration.
Bedell reports out the findings of the study group and writes,
The researchers with the California firm Picus and Associates found the
schools used similar strategies, which include:
— Focusing on instructing core subjects, such as language arts, math
— Adopting curriculums across the entire school that are based in
— Providing intensive, ongoing professional development.
— Organizing teachers into collaborative groups that continuously met to
improve their instruction and figure out how to target students needing
— Providing more instructional time for struggling students
Those are necessarily research findings, they are common sense assumptions
that can be made by any teacher in the classroom. These recommendations
really mean fewer initiatives that take teachers from the direct classroom
experience. These recommendations mean fewer hair brained schemes not
supported by experience and research. These recommendations mean fewer,
but more meaningful test programs. In many ways, we have lost sight of
what we know we want and need and instead focused too much on assessing
what someone else thinks we need.
The New Classroom is a common sense classroom, not an experiment with the
futures of our children.