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dollmommy is not online. Last active: 10/30/2007 8:18:24 AM dollmommy
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High School Reform
Posted: 19 Apr 2005 10:44 AM
Is anyone keeping up with the new ideal of reforming high schools in the US? I have a littel and am wondering if we are going to end up with a new, mandated, and unfunded set of standards.

In New York, when the standards were raised(?) a few years ago, no one could answer my question about why we didn't meet the old standards either.
mel is not online. Last active: 10/2/2013 7:44:01 AM mel
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Re: High School Reform
Posted: 19 Apr 2005 01:00 PM
Hi Dee

I have not heard anything about this. Please tell me more about it.

~mel
dollmommy is not online. Last active: 10/30/2007 8:18:24 AM dollmommy
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Re: High School Reform
Posted: 19 Apr 2005 01:46 PM
It is more like "redesigning the American High School". The National Governor's Association is very involved. I know Bill gates had some input too.

Here is something from the National Governor's Association http://www.nga.org/nga/newsRoom/1,1169,C_PRESS_RELEASE^D_8251,00.html

Governors Seek Input from 10,000 High School Students
NGA Launches Online ''Rate Your Future'' Survey in Ongoing Effort to Redesign America's High Schools

WASHINGTON-- By the end of this school year, the National Governors Association (NGA) hopes to survey more than 10,000 high school students on their expectations and frustrations about America's high schools and how the work they do affects their futures.

Part of NGA Chairman Virginia Gov. Mark Warner's yearlong "Redesigning the American High School" initiative, the survey is an opportunity to bring the student voice into the education reform debate. Students stand to benefit the most from this reform movement and NGA strongly believes their input should frame the discussion so every high school student can graduate prepared for college or a high-skilled job.

Launched in February, the survey, which is available at www.rateyourfuture.org, will help governors gain valuable insight into today's high school experience. Governors want to hear if students think high school is relevant to their own futures. This survey is about getting all students -- the overachievers, underachievers and everyone in between -- involved in this dialogue.

"The voice of the students has been missing in this conversation about high school reform that has been going on among the experts and policymakers," Gov. Warner said. "The Class of 2005 may have the best ideas we need. If the students we are trying to help don't see the value of redesigning high school, we are wasting our time."

This month, NGA received preliminary results from the "Rate Your Future" survey's first 1,200 student respondents. The initial findings are telling. While America's high school students say they are adequately prepared in basic reading, math and science skills, more than a third of them say their high schools are not properly preparing them in many areas critical to their future success.

For example, about one third of students don't feel their schools are adequately preparing them to think critically, analyze problems and communicate effectively. Moreover, 43 percent don't believe they are gaining practical and essential life skills while in high school.

The results reveal students fail to understand that mastering an academically rigorous high school curriculum, especially during senior year, will not only help them excel in college, it also will help them graduate from college on time and make them a more attractive candidate in today's increasingly competitive job market. Other major initial findings of the study include:

Students strongly sense high school is not adequately preparing them for their future, and a third -- including those most at risk of dropping out -- feel overlooked by their high school.
Students recognize the importance of senior year, but 49 percent want it to be significantly more meaningful. They say high schools are lacking the practical programs and skills that could help them better prepare for college or a job. Meanwhile 29 percent characterized senior year as a "waste of time."
A large majority, 59 percent, would work harder during senior year if their school offered more demanding and interesting courses.
One-third rate their schools as doing a "fair" or "poor" job of "giving them the skills to succeed."
Three in five students (60 percent) rate their high schools either "fair" or "poor" in preparing them for a career or trade. Likewise, 57 percent believe their school does a "fair" or "poor" job of preparing them for the future by providing them with tools to learn a trade or skill.
About one-third of students say their high schools are doing a "fair" or "poor" job in preparing them for college. Only a quarter say their schools do an "excellent" job.
Three in 10 students say their high school does a "fair" or "poor" job challenging them academically and nearly 70 percent say teachers have high expectations for only "certain students."
NGA will release the survey's final results shortly before the nation's governors gather in Des Moines this summer for the 97th Annual NGA Annual Meeting.


mel is not online. Last active: 10/2/2013 7:44:01 AM mel
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Re: High School Reform
Posted: 22 Apr 2005 06:15 PM
Hi Dee,

I don't know how I missed this one. I am not sure how it will turn out. Like most things, it is seems to be starting off with the best of intentions. I know first hand that many students fall between the cracks. If this actually works it would be good but I guess we will have to wait and see.

~mel
dollmommy is not online. Last active: 10/30/2007 8:18:24 AM dollmommy
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Re: High School Reform
Posted: 23 Apr 2005 07:27 PM
Agreed. Good ideas usually get bad implementation. It is something I have learned throughout the years in government service.

As a parent and former educator, I really would like to see a focus on children (the 85% of them) who are "average students" but don;t achieve more because there isn't much school offer them to do so. I have no problem supplementing at home but honestly, my education is not advanced compared to today's students. It is hard to supplement when they are in later years.
Tabby is not online. Last active: 7/28/2008 10:19:17 AM Tabby
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Re: High School Reform
Posted: 08 Sep 2006 11:54 AM
I know I'm coming in on this way late, but I have to agree wholeheartedly with Dee. It seems like schools are focusing more and more on the perfect students who do perfectly well, but the average students or those who are doing poorly aren't receiving any support and assistance. Without any sort of focus on the latter groups, you often end up with average students becoming poor students and poor students who end up completely tuning out or leaving school all together.

I know this firsthand. I did very well in elementary school and really enjoyed school all together. But once I got into middle school, I sort of got lost in the shuffle when I really need attention and support the most. I started getting bullied (spit on, harassed at home via phone and at school, students wouldn't let me sit down on the bus to school in the morning, etc.) and my home life was becoming increasingly disfunctional and abusive. I couldn't focus on school because of all the other issues and eventually, start skipping school.

This continued into high school. I was severely bored with most classes because I felt like the material was so easy, I either didn't need to come to class or didn't have to pay attention. I did do really well in some classes and received good grades, but other teachers penalized me for missing classes, so my grades looked not so great and people assumed I didn't have the intelligent or talent to take more rigorous classes.

I was lucky enough in my junior year to have a very thoughtful and nice English teacher who recommended I sign up for a state program that would allow me to take classes at a local community college; you receive both high school and college credit in this program. To the surprise of teachers and administrators at my high school (but not to me or my mother), I had a 4.0 the very first semester.

My point is that something needs to be done to tailor the educational experience, especially in middle/junior and high schools where it seems to become especially assembly-line like. Kids who aren't college bound need to receive the same amount of assistance and support as the college-bound kids.

I really think we'd be better off adopting a school system similar to Germany's where some kids attend school until age 19, but some are done sooner (usually because of an on-the-job training program, apprenticeship, etc.). It seems to do a better job of tailoring the education to the child.

If anyone's interested, I can discuss the German educational system in better detail.
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