Essay on Education: Is it Possible to Turn Failing School Around?

Essay on Education: Is it Possible to Turn Failing School Around?

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When a school is failing, the options for next steps can seem impossible or nonexistent, leaving school officials uncertain of what to do next. “Under No Child Left Behind policies, failing schools face the possibilities of ‘restructuring’ whereby half or more of the teachers may be fired or a complete school shutdown.” Many times these schools occur in lower economic areas and students are facing challenges like “lack of health care, more lead-poisoning, iron-deficiency anemia, family instability, more exposure to crime and drugs, fewer positive role models, and less exposure to culturally uplifting experiences.” The question debated is whether we can change these failing schools for the better. Some people believe that it is in the student’s best interest to close the schools and start over. However, others say that “it may take courage to close schools, but it takes, experience, wisdom, and persistence – as well as courage – to improve them and to strengthen families and communities.”
Research tends to show teachers that students living in poverty will under-perform academically, causing teachers to lower their expectations. However, just because a neighborhood isn’t well off doesn’t mean that there is no hope for the students. An elementary school in Alabama has transformed from a school in “an area of Mobile notorious for high crime rates and intergenerational poverty” with low scores to a school with “achievement rising to a level more often associated with white, middle-class students.” The article points out that schools that successfully change their path have some common characteristics, starting with a main goal of “helping students learn a great deal.” While many schools assume that students have all of the prior know...

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...crete evidence presented for yes and what seemed to be a weak argument for no, I think that it is possible to turn failing schools around. When the teachers truly want what is best for the students, it seems like the process happens successfully. The important part in the process seems to be allowing teachers to have the time they need to provide quality changes. Telling teachers to work together on planning and improving won’t be beneficial unless the school is able to actually give them structured time during the day to do so. If the classroom schedule is packed with instructional time, teachers will not be able to focus on the individual needs of their students and on important things like reviewing their tests with them. I believe that with the proper resources and time, it is possible to turn failing schools around and provide the most benefit for the students.

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