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Reply to "II. Establishing A System of Public Education In Which All Children Achieve At High Levels And Reach Their Full Potential"

Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
Like most of us, I have many friends and relatives, in teaching and system administration, top to bottom.

I think 'vouchers' is a plus to achieve immediate relief for students 'caught' in the 'mug and mire' of our schools.

The organizational culture of school systems should be changed ove a period five years followed by a 3-year period of critical evaluation and 2-year readjustment.

The goal ot the process shuuld produce competency at all professional levels of teaching and administration with an accountability structure that is immediate.

Pay scales should be adjusted to attract, retain, reward performance.

Politics in the system should be made illegal with harsh penalty.

The Education Suppliers and Services contractors, and contracts should be reconstructed with defined illegal behavior and practices.


Jim Chester

Edmund W. Gordon, writer of the introductory essay for Covenant II, expresses a very poignant point about what minority students need in order to achieve at high levels. He argues that the efforts to improve Black students' "affirmitive development of academic ability" must include a variety of assets and strengths, assets and strengths that he refers to as "capitals." Gordon believes that when we aim to improve the health, financial, human, social, personal, institutional, and pedagogical development of African-American students, so too will their academic development improve.

Gordon also talked about how one's status and class in America can impact academic achievement. He maintains that there is direct relationship between one's status in America's social order and one's level of academic achievement. Gordon writes:

There certainly appears to be a ubiquitous association between on'es status in the social order and one's level of academic achievement that favors high status and priviledge.

Now this relationship may explain why even Black middle-class students continue to lag behind their White and Asian counterparts in terms of acheivement development and achievement. In fact, Oprah Winfrey recently hosted a show called "Class Matters," which contrasted the lifestyles of two familes: One working-class family and one upper-class family. As the program progressed, the audience saw how being in the upper-class gave the affluent family (and their children) an advantage over the working-class family. The upper-class family were able to afford to purchase a large home, in an affluent community, where all the high-achieving and high-performing schools were located. The upper-class family could also afford to enroll their children in all sorts of sports and recreational activities before and after school. This is why, as Gordon advocates in his essay, it is so very important that a national effort at affirmtive development to complement continuing efforts at affirmitive action should be much broader than the initiatives directed at improving the effectiveness of education.
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