SAN DIEGO – With students back at school, it’s a good time to review the 10 lessons Americans should have learned if they were paying attention during the last few decades of debating education reform.
Once a student and also a teacher, I am now the parent of school-age children. So I can see this debate from three vantage points.
(1) The stew of educational success has these essential ingredients: The student has to be serious and committed to doing well, his or her parents have to be invested in their child’s education and committed to the same goal, and the schools have to produce an environment where all children can achieve at grade level with, as the law says, “no child left behind” and no child held back.
(2) Low expectations by teachers are the root of much of the evils that plague our public schools and prevent students from achieving their fullest potential. Young people are naturally curious and have much more capacity to learn than they are sometimes given credit for. And when educators make counterproductive assumptions about who can succeed and who can’t, they set up a self-fulfilling prophecy.