No amount of rice krispy treats, candy-filled coffee mugs, or book store gift cards will ever be enough to thank you for what you do every day. But I hope that you know just how appreciated you are.
Middle school was a tough time for me (says pretty much everyone!). Children can be mean and insensitive, and I was definitely going through my “awkward phase” at the time.
If you grew up in my small hometown of Bartow, FL in the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s or 90’s and attended public elementary school, chances are you had Mr. or Mrs. Whitehead somewhere along the way. If you didn’t, you knew someone who did.
My failure to persuade however got me to thinking about the Trial Urban District Assessment NAEP data. I ran the proficiency numbers for free and reduced lunch eligible students in all the districts and found the following for 4th grade reading:
Background: schools located on the reservations in Arizona face enormous challenges and have truly abysmal test scores to show for it. Isolation, poverty and rampant alcoholism probably constitute the top three problems, though not necessarily in that order.
Minnesota passed a reading law two years ago to financially reward performance in elementary schools. This law based funding on both the percent of students that made learning gains in reading from third to fourth grade, and the percent of third grade students whose statewide reading test scores showed that they were proficient. This action placed a command focus on reading, and recognized the fundamental importance of literacy achievement by creating an incentive for educators.
As some states contemplate whether to stay with the Common Core State Standards, a state that initially rejected them seems headed in the other direction.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan once stated that everyone is entitled to their own opinions but not to their own facts.
As 45 states across the country implement bold education reform in the form of world-class academic standards, we are hearing a lot of feedback from some of the individuals affected most by the Common Core initiative – America’s teachers.
Incentive and reward systems comprise the foundation of a well-functioning society. In most professions, there is some kind of financial motivation for good performance, as well as negative consequences for poor performance. While some instances of “cheating” may occur on a small scale, the reward/consequence system has generally worked well as a motivator.