Saturday, October 20, 2012

Do universities have to offer remedial education?

It is widely known that many first year college and university students require remedial education before they can take basic college or universities courses. The question colleges and universities must ask is whether they are obliged to over remedial courses.
The subjects that have received the most attention for years are English and mathematics. Many other courses do not receive much attention.  However, many college and university instructors know that many students are not prepared for the introductory science courses in the areas of physics, chemistry, biology, geology and many others. 
Colleges and universities may have some obligation and responsibility to provide some form of remedial education. They accept the students knowing they are not prepared for college and university courses.
If the U.S.A. is serious about improving its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics status, students who are admitted by colleges and universities need to be ready for higher education course before they show up on university or college campuses. 
Over the years, colleges and universities have increased student access, but it seems with increased accessibility colleges and universities may need to work with high schools to ensure that they do not take the high school obligations and responsibilities.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Teacher education is the problem

The American education system continues to be in a state of turmoil. Nobody knows when the turmoil will subside, despite efforts by schools, school districts, states and even the federal government.
The blame has been placed on classroom teachers, and efforts have focused on issues that may have little or no impact on the quality of education. The most popular ones are eliminating teacher unions, introduction of new evaluation strategies, and teacher tenure.
The colleges and schools of education, the most critical part has received very little attention. It is no secret that studies have shown many teacher training programs are not only very weak, but probably continue to train 18th century teachers who are supposed to teach in the 21st century classrooms.
Instead of blaming the teachers, the efforts should probably be focused on developing teacher education programs that meet the 21st century teacher and student needs.   

Saturday, September 29, 2012

School Board accepts US Department Education monitoring

The Oakland Unified School District has recently accepted the US Department of Education monitoring and design of programs that reduce the high rate suspensions of African American students from its schools.
The effectiveness of the programs will depend on implementation by the schools and the school district. The issue that must addressed first is whether lack of quality education and student engagement may be contributing to unhealthy student behaviors that lead to the suspensions. 
Second, the Oakland Unified School has a very high number of African American students in special education programs. The question that must be addressed is whether the high rates of African American students in these programs may be contributing to the student suspension problem. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Student suspensions and expulsions source of crime

Student expulsion and suspensions have serious consequences on students and communities. The most common outcomes of student expulsions and suspensions are poor performance on standardized tests and graduation rates.
The failure of school districts and schools to educate and keep students in school contributes significantly to the rate of crime in communities or cities. 
School districts and communities known for high student expulsion and suspension rates are famous for poor graduation rates and high crime rates. 
Once these students are suspended or expelled from school, they do not receive quality education. Losen D.J. and Skiba R. J. once wrote, “Emerging data indicate that schools with higher rates of school suspensions and expulsion have poorer outcomes on standardized achievement tests, regardless of the economic level or demographic of their students.” In school districts where many of the students who are suspended or expelled are African American and Hispanic students their performance on standardized tests is poor and overrepresented in the juvenile jails. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

African American students English STAR Testing results disappointing

In 2012, the Oakland Unified School District schools STAR Test results show 30% of the 11th grade students were proficient in English Language-Arts. 25% of the students scored Basic and 45% scored Below Basic or Far Below Basic.
The African-American student’s performance was far below the school district’s average performance. 19% of the 11th grade African American students were proficient in English Language-Arts. 24% scored Basic, and 66% scored Below Basic or Far Below Basic.
Unlike the African American students, the White student’s performance was above the school district’s average performance. 72% of the 11th grade White students were proficient in English Language-Arts. 10% scored Basic, and only 17% scored Below Basic or Far below Basic.
It is not clear why the African-American 11th grade students performed poorly, but it obvious many of them will not be college ready at the end of their senior year.