Your Wake Up Call is Late!
This makes me so mad! Yesterday the news reported, in an education analysis of test scores this past school year, a report came out that test scores dropped significantly in the United States across all 50 states in English and math (you don't say) and they are still attached to this idea that the Covid shutdown is responsible. This drop in learning and studying came to a head with Covid but it is not the problem. The problem started years ago and it is the absence of a foundation, with blind stupidity and money leading the way.
The problem has been building long before Covid happened, which Arnie Duncan, past Secretary of Education admitted and new Secretary, Miguel Cardona awakened to the call.
The problem stems from teachers adjustments to administration demands, (passing students who are doing no work and paperwork, paperwork, paperwork!) Students not putting in an effort and relying on technology, lack of memorization skills required, learning and education not a priority any more, parents who are too busy to even teach their children basic manners, and a core curriculum that is idealistic and not in touch with today's students. Teachers are not teaching and cementing basic skills. Everything is moving too fast and the amount we have to teach students in the time we have is unrealistic.
The demands in math have left parents confused, as well. If they can't understand it, how is their child going to? How is a child supposed to learn different methods of counting and addition, ie; number line, manipulatives. numbers. in the space of 3 days? These are unrealistic goals We need to drill children on number facts and introduce the proofs to their explanation later so it doesn't confuse them. The concept of using the number line and grouping numbers with manipulatives is often difficult for children to grasp plus they'd rather play with the objects.
In the new ELA curriculum, teachers are no longer teaching grammar and sentence structure or capital letters and punctuation. And students don't want to write anymore or take notes. These should not be optional. They also don't spend enough time on decoding and phonics when reading. These are the basics with a long history of how they work well with reading skills. Reading out loud and choral reading is also excellent practice for students.
Targeting students with one-on-one instruction or small group instruction works, but overkill doesn't. Maybe bringing back summer school and not making it optional would help but I'm not sure that punishing students, teachers, and parents by taking away vacation days is the answer. This idea that school has to be fun is a misnomer and has to be changed. We must teach students to work and think and not pass all students. Everyone fails before the breakthrough happens. Failing is a part of learning, not the end.
Leaving no student behind doesn't mean passing everyone no matter what. It means every student deserves to be educated and is given the best a school has to offer. If a student can't read, give him one-on-one instruction until he can. We've got to restructure and reboot this system! The Call to Action is now.
You can buy my book Education Aggravation: A Retired Teacher's View from the Trenches, A Call to Action by Leslie K. Brooks on Amazon or have them order it at your local book store.