This is the best time of year to reflect on school improvement, as we still have time to make changes in our classroom that can have significant impact for some students for the remainder of the school, as well as produce data to influence changes in next school year’s classroom. I would love to hear your ‘Damned if we do’s and damned if we don’ts’, as well as read some of the articles that support your concerns. Below is one of mine:
Damned if we do – Start school at 8:30am: The Economic Case for Later Start Times. My passion for this topic arose when I read about parent’s protesting the Boston School Committee’s proposal to start school later. I coincidentally read this article three weeks after completing a Coursera.org course on Sleep Deprivation, taught by the University of Michigan, where a significant amount of research was presented supporting the case for later start times. I think more upsetting, though, was reading how the NAACP weighed in on the Boston’s issue and painted it as discriminatory. That last move alone will prevent any well meaning initiative to be shelved, and in this case it may have worked as the committee is reevaluating its decision right after the New Year.
Damned if we don’t – Chronic sleep restriction during adolescence. I agree that the decision isn’t convenient for working class families, but in this day and age, our current model of education (developed and little changed since the early 1900’s) is far behind our modern day understanding of learning and development. There is plenty of research to support how we can improve learning, especially in under served communities, the question we need to answer now, though, is how do we convince our communities that change is in their children’s best interests.