"Hope" is Not an Education Strategy

Industry News
1 In 7 Educators Believe Struggling Students Will End Year on Grade-Level

The non-profit Center for College & Career Readiness released more results today from the Schools of Hope survey, a partnership with MeTEOR Education.  The survey of more than 7,000 respondents found that 1 in 7 educators believes that students who are currently behind in their studies will catch up in this academic year.  More than 85 percent of respondents felt that students who are currently receiving intervention, special education, and other support efforts will fail to meet grade level benchmarks by the end of the year.

Bill Latham, co-author of the recently released Humanizing the Education Machine: How to Create Schools That Turn Disengaged Kids Into Inspired Learners, says the survey findings are consistent with the research of the K12 Mindshift project.  “We traveled across America observing breakthrough models of education as our team prepared to write the Humanizing book.  While we found amazing examples of instructional methods that were able to turn the tide for students struggling to keep up.   What consistently emerged to make the most difference for these students were the relationships they had with their teachers and peers. Unfortunately, too many systems we observed seemed ill-equipped to adapt to students who did not easily conform to a particular pattern of academic or social progress.”

Latham noted that the survey findings are especially noteworthy with the new administrations focus on quality schools and school choice. 

“Schools which offer students effective acceleration opportunities; those propelling struggling students to find success, are likely to find a new spotlight under the incoming administration,” added Latham.  “The survey results reflect the recent findings that “Response to Intervention” programs and School Improvement Grant initiatives have had little success at moving struggling students forward.  ‘Hope’ is not a reliable long-term strategy for improved, sustained outcomes.”

Latham and co-authors Rex Miller and Brian Cahill of the Wiley-released Humanizing the Education Machine, address the challenges, which parents and students face in.  Amplifying the stories of schools that refocused efforts away from testing and canned curriculum, their goal in writing the book was to spotlight educators who embrace learning through authentic, student-driven experiences. 

“Education is foremost a set of relationships, not a set of transactions,” Latham observes.

They are also launching a national “Educators Read Together” initiative to stimulate a broader conversation on how some of America’s most distressed schools are using innovative strategies to reframe on the student. Administrators and teachers may learn more about the “Educators Read Together for Kids” initiative at https://meteoreducation.com/educators-read-together-for-kids-initiative.

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