“Back in the day” as the opening of school for the year was near there was a jingle: “School days, school days, good old golden rule days.” Immediately, by referencing this jingle I reveal my age. The school days currently are light years ahead of those days when the three Rs (Reading, 'Riting and 'Rithmetic) were the primary educational focus.
The updated approach to education and training in the public schools has added character development, tolerance and political correctness to the basic educational requirements of science, social studies, language arts and mathematics. Despite these increased requirements, public schools are still expected to provide the best possible education to each student enrolled.
Our state’s largest school district, Gwinnett County Public Schools, has the stated mission to "pursue excellence in academic knowledge, skills, and behavior for each student, resulting in measured improvement against local, national, and world-class standards.”
Take a look back at the last academic year. Of the 126 Gwinnett schools required to meet state standards, 101 or 80 percent made adequate yearly progress (AYP) leaving 25 schools that did not make AYP. This is the second year in a row four of the schools failed to make AYP, according to the Gwinnett school district website.
Citing the reality that standards are high and increasing each year with demands from the public for evidence that the students are being provided the best possible educational experience, CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said: “We realize that the standards for making AYP continue to increase and as a district we are committed to raising student achievement and meeting those standards.”
From where I stand, as the demand for results is increased on our teachers and administrators, they cannot be blamed or credited with the success or failure alone of the classroom experience. Having the best of resources for each student is only one component in the process. Parents must be engaged with their students to encourage that the learning experience is carried into life rather than being isolated inside a school building. There must be a partnership between parents, students, teachers, administrators, and community leaders in order to see achievement levels reached and exceeded each academic year.