This is the last part of my conclusions, and I confess that this is an area where I am a bit of an ideologue, towards some of the challenges facing implementation and the need for NCLB mandates. I have written many more position papers on this topic, and may publish some of them here. I have also included a list of the references which were cited in the previous posts for those who are truly bored and have nothing better to do other than search for scholarly papers.
Dante wrote, “In the middle of the journey of our life; I came to myself in a dark wood; where the straight way was lost”. At the moment this could aptly describe the state of education in hard to staff schools, however, there are glimmers of hope on the horizon. The challenge of educators is to reach that new horizon.
In summation, it would be constructive to consider what real leaders say about educating all children:
“Until the gap is closed, our work is not done.” (Des Moines Superintendent Eric Witherspoon, Des Moines Register, 4/15/03).
“There are people who’ll say, ‘Given the neighborhood a child is from, what do you expect.” It’s our job to say there are no excuses – that we have to address students’ needs so they can achieve.” (Frank Tinney, director of standards, assessment and accountability in the Palm Springs Unified School District, The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA), 4/8/03).
“It’s not that they are failing so much as we are failing…This shines a very bright light on something we have known for years but haven’t been forced to deal with until now —- that we have to close this massive gap if all of our students are going to succeed.” (Ken Noonan, Oceanside Unified School District Superintendent, North County Times (CA), 5/25/03).
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