Dirty floors, the lack of student resources, and uninvolved teachers; now this was a tremendously unappealing high school school environment. I can remember the dirty cafeteria and its’ extremely putrid smell as if it were yesterday. Students like myself, were always struggling to get answers to questions because teachers were always too busy with other things to listen. And the teachers that were supposed to encourage us, only seemed to care about getting the school day over with. In the essay “Freemont High School” by Jonathon Kozol, and the essay “Graduation” by Maya Angelou, authors who are both supporters of an effective school system explain their personal experience regarding ineffective schools. Kozol shows readers the substantial problems with the overall structure of the high school. Angelou, on the other hand, gives readers insight based on the feelings she conveyed about her upcoming graduation and the difference for opportunity her school had compared to the students at a white school. In the article, “What Makes Schools Effective”, written by author and pioneer of the Effective Schools movement in 1966, Dr. Larry Lezotte describes the characteristics a school must have to be an effective school. In order to have an effective high school there must be strong, structured principals, an overall safe environment, and the right amount of resources because students learn best with a set structure, and a comfortable setting while being able to receive the correct motivation to do so.
In order for a high school to be effective the school must have strong, structured principals. According to Lezotte, schools are most effective when they have a reliable leader (2). He state...
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... a reliable one, the school will not have someone to look up to. Having a physically safe environment leads to students feeling emotionally safe at school also. In my high school, I dealt with the lack of resources, cleanliness, and engaged teachers. Involved teachers, student resources such as help centers, up-to-date facilities, and sports programs are crucial to obtaining an effective school. According to Dr. Lezotte, the effectiveness of a school depends on matters beyond the academics (4). This analysis shows readers that an effective school doesn’t always just have to do with the academic aspect of the school as important as that may be. After reading Angelou, Lezotte, and Kozol’s pieces about effective schools I question the effectiveness of my prior schools and ask myself, would my level of knowledge be different if I went to more effective schools?
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