Sunday, April 27, 2008

What is happening to the Failing Schools?

In numerous impoverished schools around the country students labor diligently to increase their test scores, but the students have failed to meet federal testing benchmarks under the No Child Left Behind Act. Prompted by a campaign to turn around persistently low standardized test scores, schools are working hard to evolve and improve at providing education. But these same schools are facing escalating sanctions and come closer to being shut down or totally overhauled, with their teachers and administrators replaced.

These are more than just failing schools. They are schools where parents, teachers, students, and principals, are pulling together and working to rebuild the school system. These are schools showing glimmers of progress. The New York Times. These are schools that want to educate children, but need more economic support and resources. If nothing changes with NCLB, what is going to happen to these schools? Although there is not an easy solution, this needs to be debated about in the presidential campaign. How can we get the candidates talking?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

We Must Talk About America’s Silent Epidemic

There’s a tragic epidemic in America and you may not even realize it. Capable students are leaving high school without a diploma at alarming rates.

The researchers of The Silent Epidemic Report, March 2006, went directly to the source—students—and found a disastrous situation. Millions of youth ages 16 to 25 do not have a high school diploma and are not enrolled in school. This dropout situation has not improved much during the past few decades since education reform has been high on the public agenda. Lets wake-up! I think educators, policymakers, and other leaders, need to put this issue on the table for discussion among candidates in the current presidential election debates.

We need to talk about the issues of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and that it may not be helping solve the dropout problem. I know many people think NCLB needs a serious overhaul, and others think it’s not a complete failure. But, in all my searching, I have yet to find anyone who thinks NCLB is a complete success.

It disturbs me education doesn’t take a higher priority in the campaign debate. I’m taking an advanced public relations writing course at the University of Oregon. We are researching and writing about NCLB with the goal that it will be on the agenda for debate by the presidential candidates. I want to get people talking about the state of education in America and let our future leaders know that NCLB needs to be on the table for discussion. What do you think? Will you join me in an email campaign to get education on the table for debate?