The book,Mission Possible by Eva Moskowitz and Arin Lavinia, is a true account of how Eva, Founder and CEO of the Success Academy Charter School, created a new way of thinking in the academic setting. The book describes how she opened a public charter school in Harlem and within three years provided the students with an academic experience like no other. A school where students are called “scholars”, learning is interesting and the teachers are provided with ample continuing education and mentoring.
As a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist, I frequently hear parents grumble about the schools in the Washington, DC area. The public schools in and around the district have some of the highest student drop out rates and the lowest standardized testing scores in the country. Educators are making very slow changes though. Over the past six years, standardized testing scores in math and reading have increased, creating a culture for positive change. But is it enough?
Perhaps where we need to put our energy into is providing teachers with the necessary tools and support to do their job well. We all know that teachers are very underpaid, but why is this? Teachers are the backbone to the country’s future. Without highly motivated teachers who ignite a passion for learning, we are failing our children. In turn, our children are failing themselves. Here’s a shocking statistic- one in four teens will leave high school for the streets each year. This is not something our country should be proud of. Even worse, more than 60 percent of all students and 80 percent of black and Hispanic students in fourth, eighth, and twelfth grade are reading and doing math below grade level. Personally, I’m worried about where our education system is going and just what it will be like when my boys are ready to enter school.
I wonder why our society as a whole doesn’t value teachers as much as they value other professions as far as pay. Those teachers are the future of the driving force of the American economy. If a child doesn’t learn how to read and write at a high school level then they will not be accepted into a college to live out their dream of becoming an engineer, veterinarian, or lawyer. That child will become just another statistic- a high school drop out, a troubled teen with a one way ticket to poverty or even worse, prison. The bottom line is that we need to raise a fuss as a country. We need to put more energy and time into appreciating teachers for what they are worth by supporting them in whatever it is they need to become a more effective teacher. We also need to start paying them for what they are worth. We should not be paying them low salaries where they can barely meet ends meet to live. One of several reasons why Success Academic Schools are successful is because they provide their teachers with ample guidance and continuing education. Our school systems can learn a lot from their model.
The book Mission Possible explains the overall guiding principles of the Success Academics Schools:
1. The school Principal must have a hands on approach within the classroom, directly coaching the teachers, not disciplining the students.
2. Teachers have a right to receive professional development. The school system should be a learning community where teachers mentor other teachers. Setting the learning bar high is necessary for academic success for all children.
3. Parents are a main component to academic success. As a parent it is vital to get into the classroom and observe the quality of the teaching, the involvement of the principal as far as the quality of the teaching and the investment between the adults and the students learning.
If your child is school aged how are the teachers in your school system viewed? Are you happy with the quality of education your child is receiving? What could be improved?
For more information about Mission Possible visit the author Eva Moskowitz on Facebook or follow her on Twitter. One lucky reader will be provided with a copy of the book through the Rafflecopter giveaway! a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclousure: I was provided a copy of this book for review and compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.”