Monthly Archives: June 2015

What does a successful school look like?

Can we all agree that successful schools prepare their students for the world by giving them an education, and turning them into a well-balanced adult, ready to contribute to the betterment of the society in which they live. Can we surmise, then, that to achieve this goal, the iconic vision statement “Everything we do must be based on what is best for our students” should be adhered to at all times?

But the true goal of the upper echelon and decision makers at the top is to produce higher graduation rates, lower failure rates and higher test scores. Under this goal, our vision statement, not only becomes irrelevant, but rather a hinderance to this true goal.

One of the ways they can, and do achieve their goal was cooked up by our own Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He boosts graduation rates by pulling failing students out of the schools temporarily, sending them to a virtual learning computer farm, where they can write three papers and get a full semester credit for that pesky English class that they blew off in the classroom.   They come back in the school to walk across the stage, pick up their diploma, and cha-ching, like the sound of a cash register, Mr. Emanuel’s graduation rate just went up!

And how does this model achieve our vision?

It doesn’t.

An important note: There is quite a distinction between these computer farms and the upstanding Virtual Learning offerings that do an excellent job of educating our students, while demonstrating the importance of hard work and adhere to the goal as stated above, such as FuelEDucation, Illinois Virtual Learning or APEX to name a few.

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