(One of NISCE’s partner schools, Dearborn Academy, works exclusively with learning disabled students and has been developing a better understanding of the impact of childhood trauma on learning. We invited Linda Johnson, the Clinical Coordinator at Dearborn Academy High School, and Howard Rossman, Director of Dearborn Academy, to share some of what they’ve discovered. Linda is responsible for helping the Dearborn High School, Elementary/Middle School, and STEP become trauma-informed … [Read more...]
Educational Triage—Who Gets Lost?
A recent article by Susan Sparks posted in Education Week cites research into the unintended consequences of combining Federal accountability standards with increases in state curriculum standards. The article calls out the efforts made to improve the testing performance of the so-called 'bubble children' or students who almost passed the tests.It is the description of a system of 'educational triage,' however, that should be most alarming to those concerned with the state of our … [Read more...]
Standing Up For The Student In The Midst of Standardized Testing
Christopher Chamness, the son of a former teacher, will likely not be surrounded by his third grade classmates next spring when they take their standardized test, according to a New York Times article Student Assessments Facing Stiff Backlash in Texas. Why? His mother will be pulling him out of class to protest the system she says has sapped her son’s love of learning. While the move is bold—her son’s school does not permit students to miss test days for any reason – it is in line with a … [Read more...]
How The Political Climate Is Not Promoting Student-Centered Education
Demonstrated dramatically in the case of an Atlanta school scandal, in which teachers admitted to changing test scores in order to meet the demands of the school superintendent, No Child Left Behind puts the focus in the wrong place. In the words of Dianne Ravitch, former Assistant Secretary of Education under President George H. W. Bush, the “simple minded and singular focus on test scores distorts and degrades the meaning and practice of education.”Well-formulated standards are of great use … [Read more...]
No Child Left Behind, Leaving Kids Behind
The pressure to raise test scores and to compete with other countries generated bythe 1983 publication of A Nation at Riskhas led us in directions that decidedly do not keep students at the center inour focus. In particular, the recent wave of school reform enacted as law in theUSin 2001 under the mantle of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), mandates that allpublic schools make Adequate Yearly Progress demonstrated by raising scores onstandardized tests.At the core of this reform is the basic … [Read more...]
Part 2 – Do You Know What Inspires and Motivates Your Students?
In Part 2 of the brainstorming session at the NISCE Launch and Workshop event the focus was on the student perspective.Results paralleled each other in some interesting ways when the educators were asked to take on the role of students and respond to the question of what makes a student feel successful. The following were noted:Positive social interactions during the day Meaningful communication with peers, parents, and educators Having an 'aha' moment when tackling a problem or … [Read more...]
Does Your Environment Reflect Student-Centeredness’?
On hearing the term student-centered education, many people will have a pretty good idea of what it means to them. It will probably have something to do with a type of educational environment in which the child or student is the focal point of activity. And what other focus could there be, one might ask?Since it is the student who is being educated, where else would you focus? As it turns out, this is not nearly as obvious as we might hope or imagine. In many learning environments, the focus … [Read more...]
The Need to Move Beyond Curriculum Standards and Traditional Educational Models
A room full of students is not the same as a room full of children. Typically when we consider a child as a student we have already narrowed our point of view. “Student” is a partial identity, occurring only in the context of classroom and education and leaving out many critical aspects of who the learner actually is.In our more expansive view, however, a teacher gazes out on the rows of faces in a classroom and is immediately confronted with the fact that the children in front of her are … [Read more...]