As you may remember I'm reading I Got Schooled by M Night Shyamalan. He is the filmmaker for Sixth Sense, The Village and many other box office films. While scouting for a movie location he was prompted to take a closer look at what needs to be done to improve schools in the U.S. He shares 5 key things people must do to close the education gap.
Good teachers matter more than small class sizes. Hire good teachers and only the good ones. Statistics: American elementary and secondary schools hire between 46,000 and 86,000 teachers every year. All of them want to be good. One bad teacher can put dozens of kids months behind everyone else.
The best school principals spend the bulk of their time teaching the teachers and taking an active role in the classroom, instead of handling administrative tasks. It is our job as principals of the school to uphold best practices and create the culture needed to close the gap in learning.
A good balance in class size and school size is key to being effective.
Whether the data is about curriculum, teaching techniques and strategies, or student progress, feedback must be frequent and mandatory. Most important data must be understandable. The feedback discussed in the book is found through the use of student data collections and how to use it effectively.
"Start school earlier in the morning, keep them later in the day and extend the school year in the summer", says Shyamalan. Turns out, two-thirds of the education gap between white suburban students and minority students can be erased just by extending the amount of time spend in school each day.
If you are interested in learning more aboutI Got Schooled: The Unlikely Story of How a Moonlighting Movie Maker Learned the Five Keys to Closing America's Education Gap, watch the video below or click the link to take you to Amazon.