Friday, April 9, 2010


In his blog "dangerously irrelevant" Scott McLeod said:

Should we be ashamed of our ability to predict dropouts?

If we can predict fairly accurately whether a student is likely to drop out in 9th or 10th grade 5 or 6 years earlier, isn’t that a pretty big indictment of our inability as school systems (and a society) to do something about it?

This set me to thinking about what we middle school teachers have power over, and what we don't. We see these children for large chunks of time and can (and do) have a huge impact on where they end up, but what about the parents and the support group at home? Do we have the right and responsibility to intervene when there is a cultural difference? How about when there is a philosophical difference? What is the right balance? Since every student is an individual who is a part of our community we will constantly be in this conversation until we make some decisions.

The motto "e pluribus unum" one from many sums up how our country makes up a single organism out of many individuals, and everyone knows that we want to value individuality and independence. So, how do we set standards of excellence, and yet "leave no child behind"? I know that they are not mutually exclusive, but is our society really capable of having this conversation and making some decisions?

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