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Old 09-16-2014, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Chicago
607 posts, read 617,772 times
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Can anyone truly be said to be to blame when an entire district fails(loses its' accreditation status)?

This is quite a quandary. Perhaps blaming, itself, is the wrong way to go. Systemic failure of any complex social organization is hard to pin down definitively. I recently read that the Normandy School District, the district which includes Ferguson, Missouri, lost its' accreditation status two years ago, and has regained the same only by being taken over recently by a state oversight board.

Normandy School District loses accreditation | St. Louis Public Radio

The kicker is, the state allowed parents to transfer their children to other HS Districts upon request, hence there was a mass exodus out of the Normandy district itself, causing it to have so many challenged students left, that it lost the aforesaid accreditation.....

...THEN, a state oversight board took over the district, giving them accreditation under special oversight startus, and stopped the transferring.....

This was the district Michael Brown was in, with a high school that had a 97% poverty rate....

Stanton Lawrence: How Missouri Killed the Normandy School District | Diane Ravitch's blog


So, per schools and districts that perform so under-par that they lose their accreditation(or, in Normandy's case, regain the same under state oversight, essentially the same thing, but meant to stem the transfers), just who creates and maintains this mess? Can someone be said to blame? Is everyone to blame?

I think this is a case where administration meddling causes more problems than it solves.

First, you cannot administrate nor legislate in such a way to improve a school district's performance. If parents are not even raising their kids in a minimally acceptable way, with an out-of wedlock rate over 70%, no money or programs can stem that. On the other hand, WITHOUT jobs or hope, no parental effort can create a better future.

Teachers seem , in this case, to be blamed like Police regards crime. They just happen to stand in the way of the firing line. They seem to be put in a "damned" situation in challenged districts, and I cannot blame them for giving up, after what seems like nothing but futility.

Any input as to how a failing or de-credited district is created, and, what, if any, solutions can be taken to bring these aforesaid failed schools/districts to something resembling normality?

Last edited by scottkuzminski; 09-16-2014 at 02:57 PM..
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:35 PM
 
Location: St Louis, MO
4,677 posts, read 4,821,991 times
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Ferguson is not in the Normandy district. It is in the Ferguson-Florissant district.

Accreditation is based primarily on attendance in Missouri. If you can keep 90% attendance, test scores matter little.
Normandy was a perfectly fine district until it was forced to merge with the Welston school district, which had attendance figures below 40%. Normandy itself is a college town home to UMSL and country clubs.

Meanwhile, once Normandy lost its accreditation, its teachers spread out all over the area. It actually had some of the best of the best teachers in the region (especially in the fine arts), and they have done very well in other districts.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:38 PM
 
4,750 posts, read 3,499,925 times
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To answer your question, you can't just blame one person. It's the teachers, it's the parents, the superintendent, the principals, etc. A school district is comprised of several different people who are a team. When the team fails, it's everyone's fault.
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Old 09-17-2014, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Webster Groves, MO
1,104 posts, read 1,912,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkmani View Post
To answer your question, you can't just blame one person. It's the teachers, it's the parents, the superintendent, the principals, etc. A school district is comprised of several different people who are a team. When the team fails, it's everyone's fault.
It comes down to money plain and simple. The students that attend schools in failing or struggling districts have very little self motivation or pressure from home to succeed. They also have limited resources at home to help them succeed. I just started teaching in a lower performing district this year. The conduct and motivation of the students is shocking compared to what I was used to teaching. There is very little that a single teacher in the classroom can do to teach all of these kids. The answer in my opinion is to have two teachers in every classroom in these underperforming districts. Or at least have a teaching assistant/discipline manager in each classroom. I can't pull a student out of class to talk to them about behavior because I can't leave the class unattended. If I had an assistant that did that then I could continur teaching while the discipline was dealt with. But the money simply will not allow that. The schools need to have strict behavior policies and adhere to them 100%. It is sad because I have some great kids that want to learn. But they are by far the minority and I spend so much time dealing with the distractions that the kids that want to learn are getting an inferior education.

But by far the biggest blame is the kids themselves. And that can be directly tied to the parents and communities they come from.
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:41 PM
 
1,406 posts, read 2,396,371 times
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Kids and parents need to be held accountable too. It sucks getting the standardized tests back and having the results totally blamed on the teachers. Yes, they are teaching the kids, however if a kid doesn't want to learn, it can be challenging and if a parent isn't willing to support their child's education it can be even more challenging.

Why aren't students being held accountable for failing or not showing their potential? Why aren't parents?


The whole teacher's being evaluated (and paid) based on how other people perform needs to be revised!
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Old 09-18-2014, 01:21 AM
 
Location: Someplace Wonderful
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There should be no argument.

Blame MANAGEMENT! They get paid the big bucks and you know what? Managers are the ones who count.

So yes the Superintendent and the school board.

Schools fail because management falls short in their jobs.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Oak Cliff! That's my hood!
103 posts, read 109,205 times
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A fish rots from the head down.
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Chicago
607 posts, read 617,772 times
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Another way of looking at it...

You can have the best teacher of anything whatsoever available, but if the student is not interested, it is to no avail whatsoever....same, perhaps, as having the best of anything at the head, with underlings that refuse to listen, cooperate, etc.

I think it is an authority issue first and foremost.....in the "challenged areas" you have an out of wedlock rate of 70-80%, along with a single parent rate that closely parallels the same. Children are brought up for years with no discipline, even if loved. No father around, a mother overwhelmed and overworked(or on aid, drugs, etc).....

Teachers are authority figures for these teens, per K-12, especially high school. They are seen solely as something to be challenged. Not as a precious mentor resource which teachers actually are, and for the vast majority of children the only ones available their entire lives. This precludes learning for the schools and classes as a whole. It does not take a large majority of ringleader troublemakers to ruin it for the entire group(perhaps 15-20% of insanely incalcitrant students that others take the lead from)...

At that point, school becomes a juvenile detention center lite, and the need for an extra teacher/disciplinarian, as the above post says, is almost mandatory. One teacher cannot handle it alone

I was told by my local librarian a few days ago about a middle-school teacher she knew who actually aged markedly from the stress of teaching a school like the above. She left for a far better district, and actually started looking younger again.

So, the stress of dealing with these issues indeed can actually age you physically, and cause bodily damage from stressors...
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
12,446 posts, read 10,910,915 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottkuzminski View Post
Can anyone truly be said to be to blame when an entire district fails(loses its' accreditation status)?...
I'd blame the entire district... and its' isn't correct in any district.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:32 AM
 
3,559 posts, read 4,600,007 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirt Grinder View Post
I'd blame the entire district... and its' isn't correct in any district.
Seriously?
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