Effective Methods of School Improvement

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By taking this course I have come to realize that it is possible to meet the needs of diverse student populations by using well recognized school reform models. Ron Edmonds provides a quote that sums up this course quite nicely: “We can, whenever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us. We already know more than we need to do that. Whether or not we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven’t so far” (David Boers, personal communication, April 8, 2011). We have the know-how and means; we just need to take action. The key texts and supplementary materials studied in this class illustrate that improvements are possible, we just need to act. Both Marzano and Schmoker provide practical, research-based techniques to improve schools. They describe programs that a school could use directly to improve current programs. This course helped convince me that simple changes would really help students learn. It was my opinion that a major overhaul of the system was the only way to improve our educational system. What I became convinced of by reading these authors is that we don’t need to change the whole system; we just need to make sure teachers are doing their jobs. Teachers must meet already existing standards set up by the state. The teaching techniques needed for improvement are already well researched and available to all teachers. In his book What Works in Schools, Translating Research into Action, Marzano assembles 35 years of research supporting the effectiveness of school reform. He organizes the factors with the greatest influence on student achievement into three main topics: (1) School-level factors, (2) teacher-level factors, and (3) student-leve... ... middle of paper ... ...no and Schmoker as well as the Direct Instruction, Coalition of effective schools and Effective schools research models. All are well supported by research showing clear academic improvements. We have the tools we need, and the personnel to do the job. All we need is leadership to enact the changes we need to help all children have access to a great education. References Marzano, R. J. (2003) What works in schools: Translating research into action. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Schmoker, Mike, (2006) Results now: How we can achieve unprecedented improvements in teaching and learning. Alexandria VA. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. (2008) Wisconsin Educator Standards - Teachers Retrieved from: http://www.dpi.state.wi.us/tepdl/stand10.html
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