The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Oprah and Dropouts

Did any of you see the Oprah show on high school dropouts? I didn't see it but I have seen some individual reactions to it. Here is link that overviews what it was about.

Those of you that saw it, what was your reaction?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I caught a few segments of the show on both days. The questions raised create more questions. There are no easy answers. A tremendous amount of responsibility was placed on the schools for the drop out rate, and I believe it comes from many outside forces.

However, I believe schools need to work very hard. I liked the three R's that were suggested: relevance, rigor, and respect. Maybe Oprah and Bill Gates can fund all the public schools and unlimited funds can allow us to go places beyond what we had ever thought possible!

Anonymous said...

Reform in education is long overdue, but I feel we are trying hard with limited resources. However, the importance of education needs to be stressed at home. Is education valued by parents? If so, attendance would not be a problem. I have several students with over the limit of 18 absences already for this school year. What job allows for 18 absences in 180 days of work?

These absences set a pattern of school taking second priority. Some students have an attitude that the world owes them something but they do not take ownership in their own learning. Being at school and actively participating will do wonders for a child’s learning! Cooperation between parents, students, and teachers will benefit all.

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for Oprah to do a show comparing the best public schools to the worst charter schools.

Well, if it was on Oprah... said...

I am always amazed that in the academic community, more money, more money, more money are the top three solutions to every problem.

Spending per student in Indiana doesn't look significantly below other states, at least not in 2002 (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2002/05/23/school-spending.htm)
As I pay my taxes this week, I look at the total amount of money spent on education, and it's far from insignificant.

As for relevance, rigor and respect, what does that mean? What do rigor and respect have to do with reading, math and science?

I think I'll look for a copy of the show online and see if that helps me understand this more clearly.

Until then, call me old fashioned, but I'm sticking to my hypotheses, based on my own observations of my students:

reward competent teachers
terminate incompetent teachers
reduce administrative costs and non-academic overhead

The Wawasee system has a lot of excellent educators, and it has some that should take anohter career path.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it would be great to reward competent teachers. But who will judge? Test scores? Observations from the principal? Students? Fellow teachers? Parents, based on what their children tell them?

Not all teachers have the privilege of teaching to the exact same type of students. As long as students come in all varieties of educational modes, it is impossible to evaluate teachers on the same scale. Some students love to learn and strive to do their best at all times. Others can't stand to be in school and try their hardest to get in-school suspension or kicked out.

Teacher merit pay sounds great, but implementing it would be a real challenge.