Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kentucky


Yesterday Dr. Quaglia and I spent the day with educators in Louisville, Kentucky at the invitation of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators.  The day long session was sponsored by Pearson Assessment.  No matter where we go throughout the country, we hear the same thing about Aspirations work and the 8 Conditions:  "This makes so much sense."  "This is what we got into education for in the first place."  "Student Voice must be a part of reform efforts at our school."

Every time we ask educators to share their core beliefs, every time we put up a school's mission statement, we note some version of our Guiding Principles:  To develop in students a fundamental belief in their abilities (Self-Worth); to foster student participation in their learning so that they become lifelong learners (Active Engagement); to help students discover and work towards their goals (Purpose).  This is what educators in Kentucky and across the country espouse and it is the mission they proclaim they are pursuing on their web-sites and written documents.

Yet the two topics in the education news in Kentucky yesterday were that Governor Beshear had formed a task force to improve education in the state and that the explanation for the state's AYP  results dropping from 72.9% last year to 60.2% this year could be that the goals for reading and math had been set higher.  No doubt both the higher standards and the Governor's initiative are well intentioned. After spending time with those working in schools in Kentucky, I found myself wishing two things for their leadership at the state level:  First, that the AYP target stop moving.  Second, that the Governor invite some students to be on his task force.

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