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New York Schools Told They Still Have Room For Improvement

Apr 4, 2008
The test results are in for New York schools and even though a number of them have shown improvement in student performance, they have been told that they still are not up to the standards set by the No Child Left Behind Act. Almost 50 percent of New York schools have failed to reach the mark set by this piece of legislation.

New York Schools Need to Adopt a New Approach

It's clear that whatever teaching strategies were being used in the past are no longer effective. Under the new guidelines, the curriculum is more challenging and teachers and administrators need to develop new ways to present the material so that students are able to absorb it.

I have every confidence that students attending New York schools have the ability to understand what is being taught, even if it is more challenging than what was presented to previous generations. Teachers are charged with presenting the material but they still have some leeway in how the material is given to their students.

Perhaps instead of each teacher trying to come up with lesson plans and strategies on their own, they should collaborate with their colleagues and find out what approaches have been most successful in other classrooms or other schools. Keep in mind that even though almost half of New York schools didn't make the grade, the other 50 percent were able to show student progress that met the current expectations under the Act.

Changes Need to be Made at New York Schools

I don't want to discount the progress that has been made by the New York schools that have been able to improve student test results from the previous year. The fact that these New York schools have shown improvement is a good sign. The fact that a number of New York schools have still not reached the required level is an indication that more work needs to be done.

Teachers, school administrators, and parents all need to work together to support the students in their learning goals. If all of these people are able to cooperate and keep focusing on helping the students strive for success, then next year's test results for New York schools are bound to be even better. We have to believe that it is possible for all New York schools to achieve the level mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act.

Once that belief is firmly in place, then everyone involved can focus on doing whatever is necessary to give students attending New York schools the best possible chance for success. Progress has been made, but there is still work to be done. New York is a state of tremendous ethnic and financial diversity. The State government has one of the larger school budgets in the Nation and has the responsibility of spreading out the educational opportunities fairly and effectively. This is a task much easier said than done. Like California, New York must also tackle the challenges of many students whose primary language is not English. Providing a vehicle by which these students can reach their potential and assimilate into the general student body as well as into society after graduation is a huge, expensive and absolutely necessary task of state DOEs.
About the Author
Patricia Hawke is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. For more information please visit New York Public Schools
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