I just finished reading your blog entitled, “Making School More Like Hogwarts”. I find that it really captures the essence of how I feel about the public education system. In fact, I have been thinking that someone should be taking a stab at revamping the education system, and even toying with the idea that that someone could be me.
I am not an educator by trade. In fact, I am an U.S. Naval Officer. I did, however, grow up as a gifted child in a family of gifted children, and am now raising two gifted kids of my own. One is in fifth grade and the other in third, and I find myself getting more and more frustrated with the direction education is going; No child left behind and all that.
When the school year started this year, the school district my kids attend introduced a new grading system that marks students as ‘Needs Improvement’, ‘Developing Proficiency’, ‘Proficient’ or ‘Advanced Proficient’ in various categories. It was explained that this applied to where the kids were at that particular moment, so that all the kids who were at any particular level at the end of a marking period would receive that grade, and didn’t have to worry that their grades would be dragged down by poor performance earlier in the period because it took them a little longer to get it than other kids. I raised my hand and asked, “Great! And what do you have in place for the kids who are ‘Advanced Proficient’ early on in the term?” In response, I got some very uncomfortable looks and was finally told that each individual teacher would have to come up with things for those children.
So, I want to first say that I wholeheartedly agree with you that we need to allow children to soar when they have the ability, but I also wanted to ask you if you know of, or are in touch with any groups that are working on formulating a real plan to really reform our education system? As I said, I’m a Naval Officer – a Cryptologist – by trade, but what I do best is problem solve. I’d love to help out if there is an effort going on.
I just googled Helen and Carl Doss and you blog came up. Like you I read the Karen books and the Family Nobody wanted many times. I was heartbroken to find that the Doss’ had divorced. I actually adopted because of this family!
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