Education in America is coming under close scrutiny as it is obvious that many students are not learning what they should, and are leaving school unprepared for the working world. This paper will look at how this situation can be remedied and make suggestions for the design of a New American School.
If a student is going to learn effectively in a school situation, there are many issues which need to be addressed. A non-profit, non-partisan organization known as New American Schools (NAS) is attempting to assist and support schools through the implementation of comprehensive school design (Hertling, 2000). Before reforms take place, it is necessary for schools to conduct a thorough self-study to carefully and realistically identify their strengths and weaknesses. Once this assessment has been made, the Education Research Service says, strong leadership is necessary to implement the reforms. Teacher commitment is essential, and school leaders must encourage students by communicating with students, parents and community members to enlist their cooperation in the effort.
The Graduation Really Achieves Dreams (GRAD) program is proving highly effective in Houston (Carter, 1999). GRAD has five components that address the academic and social problems affecting inner-city students: The Scholarship Program, funded by local businesses and the schools system; Communities in Schools, dealing with social factors affecting student performance; Consistency Management and Cooperative Discipline, a student discipline program; Move in Math; and Success for All, a respected reading program used across the country. This program is a good place to start in designing a new school that is geared to fostering students= needs.
It is agreed among educators that along with academic achievements, human development is essential in the learning process (Vigue, 1999). In Massachusetts, the governor and state educators encourage teachers to include Ac...