Good teachers make a difference - touching hearts and changing lives as no one else can.
"A teacher affects eternity. He can never tell where his influence stops." (Henry Adams, historian and journalist )
"The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person." (Andy Rooney)
- SAT scores continue to decline. The SAT test scores for the Class of 2015 reveal that 60% of high school students who took the test are not ready for college. (Scott Pelley, CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes, September 28, 2015)
"The steady decline in SAT scores and generally stagnant results from high schools on federal tests and other measures reflect a troubling shortcoming of education-reform efforts. The test results show that gains in reading and math in elementary grades haven't led to broad improvement in high schools, experts say. That means several hundred thousand teenagers, especially those who grew up poor, are leaving school every year unready for college.
'Why is education reform hitting a wall in high school?' asked Michael J. Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a think tank. 'You see this in all kinds of evidence. Kids don't make a whole lot of gains once they're in high school. It certainly should raise an alarm.'"
It is difficult to pinpoint a reason for the decline in SAT scores, but educators cite a host of enduring challenges in the quest to lift high school achievement. Among them are poverty, language barriers, low levels of parental education and social ills that plague many urban neighborhoods. (SAT Scores hit new lot,” by Nick Anderson, Washington Post, September 2, 2015)
- School districts around the country are losing high-performing teachers. One-third of all new teachers leave after three years, and 46 percent are gone within five years. (National Education Association, http://www.nea.org/home/12630.htm)
- Eighty percent of 1,000 local students who did not graduate in 2014 were students of color or came from low income homes. Those 800 low-income students would fill 15 school buses. We focus on the student achievement gap, because too many youth are being left behind. (Spokane County United Way, 2015)
- Local child abuse and neglect rates continue to increase. This
is alarming, as the rate is 40% higher than the state average. Children
who face multiple traumas are less likely to graduate. This impacts
their future and our community's. There were 5,300 victims of child
abuse and neglect which were verified in 2014. These children would
fill the carousel for 88 rides. (Spokane County United Way, 2015)
- The percentage of local youth eligible for free and reduced lunches has increased by 18% since 2008. Approximately 35,000 school-aged children accessed free and reduced lunch in 2014. They would fill our local arena over 2 times. (Spokane County United Way, 2015)
- Parents, family, neighbors, friends, coaches, managers, leaders, and
colleagues can also be involved in the work of teaching, extending the
legacy of good teaching infinitely into the future.