High Expectations for ALL
At the Transition Conference two summers ago I saw Larry Gloeckler, Executive Director of the Special Education Institute at the International Center for Leadership in Education. He indicated that it was not enough for schools to say they had high expectations for ALL students. Rather, schools need specific strategies for helping teachers, parents, and students institutionalize high expectations. Words are easy, but do people really believe it? Do they really believe ALL students can learn at high levels?
In my experience, it is difficult for most educators to make this transition. It's easy to see the flaws, the deficits that students bring which convince us it can't be done. I wonder how far we could push achievement if instead of the unimaginative, typical response of "it can't be done," we instead gave consideration to how it could. Carol Ann Tomlinson, guru for differentiated instruction refers to this as Teaching Up. How could we teach Algebra to special ed student? How could we ensure ALL students learn how to read?
- Does your school have specific strategies to promote attitudes, behaviors, & processes for helping all students reaching high levels or just words?
- Do you or your faculty spend more time brainstorming and strategizing on how all students can succeed or complaining about the unfairness of the mandates requiring ALL students succeed?