NBC's "Education Nation" week of emphasis provided a slew of Internet video addressing many of the problems facing schools, most especially public schools, in the 21st Century.
Below is a roundtable of experts on Meet the Press discussing some of the troubling numbers mentioned in Waiting for 'Superman'. Perhaps most troubling is the lack of confidence most Americans have in the educational system, with more than 75% giving public education a grade of C or lower:
No shortage of research and reports show what most independent school parents already know, that the two most significant factors in improving a child's education are the quality of the teachers and the involvement of the parents.
Read the manifesto from a collection of school administrators in the Washington Post. All of the problems they cite -- unions and tenure, "seat time," performance evaluations -- are not generally independent school problems.
Common sense (and Robert J. Samuelson) dictates that a third vital factor is motivation. The motivation of the individual student is central to his or her achievement, and a powerful influence on that motivation is the level of motivation and work ethic of peers. McCallie and other schools strongly believe that "a rising tide lifts all boats" when it comes to learning and academic achievement. The better and more motivated the classmates; the more likely each individual student will rise up to the challenge.
Here's the Today Show's feature following an admission director from Grinnell College in Iowa. Many public high schools have a "counseling program." McCallie's counseling comes in three different areas, including a four-person staff dedicated exclusively to the college guidance process:
In addition to college guidance, McCallie employs a chaplain and two counselors available at all times to manage the challenges of mental and emotional health with the student body. The school also has a Learning Center and a separate Writing Center to assist boys with challenges in the academic realm.
Finally, to add some humor to the mix, here's The Daily Show's Lewis Black offering his take on some of the education-based video highlights of the week. Perhaps he has a valid point about "just walking into your local school and offering to help"... :
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Back in Black - Education Crisis|