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action research and assessment based research

Posted By: James Anderson on September 13, 2002
Greetings Eric,
Viewing the above paragraph, I thought I would suggest a somewhat radical and (dah!) idea that really makes sense.
In communities where there are schools that are falling behind the standards, I believe you will find attitudes and actions of many of the surrounding community-assets are not engaged in helping these schools and there students in any signifcant measurable manner.
Let me say more about this;
In many of these communities mindset 'education is something that happens inside the school building'. While the atmosphere/attitude of the community is that it is the job of the schools - add to this that inside the school building far too regularly the staffing feels the same way, somewhat arrogantly, often unrecognizingly. Therefore these two entities; community and school often miss opportunities to work together. I could go on, and on, presenting how these two entities behave like parents in domestic disputes; failing to realize they together are important in the achievement of students.
Let me move to my idea;
Envision identifying community assets (such as Community Centers, Churches, places where there are organized youth activities) and engage them in helping students to achieve passing the standards. Within these entities personell should be trained to be able to work with youth and parents on standards. An assessment driven curriculum could be designed for such entities that is on-line with standards. (the premise for this, is that no entity that works with youth and provides space for youth activity should be outside of being involve in getting youth to succeed in the educational standards.)
This also begins to recognize that the bar in education has been raised for all, not just the students and the teachers.
At the entry level for schooling we know that the community attitudes and activities help shape youth and encourage them. Currently our focus has been more to unions and money and less to education.
Community-assets should be involved in assessment driven curriculum, which means that effort must be given to factoring them in the equation, providing relavent training.
I hope this little bit gives you something useful. If you would like further comments or need me to clarify anything;contact me at brotheranderson@aol.com

Until later, Keep the Faith! Jim
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 Action Research and assessment based instruction by Eric Malashchuk on September 10, 2002
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