Jim Schutze warns me (and you too presumably) to Get Off My Lawn. We should take his warning seriously, as his personal space is so littered with that- which- one- does- not- want- to- step- in, that any trespassing would surely ruin your new TOMS.
Apparently because he can connect the dots between the purported/admittedly (take your pick) shady dealings of some south Dallas figures and their present involvement in denouncing Dallas ISD superintendent Mike Miles, Schutze claims an “aha” moment wherein he reveals that they can’t be trusted to judge either the man’s character or his competence.
Schutze wants us to wait, no, he insists that we wait, to judge whether Miles’s reforms bear the fruit of academic achievement. According to Jim, Miles’ two big battles over school reform, which he has “won”, are removing principals and funding a leadership academy.
Can anyone explain to me how these two “reforms” can impact any current student in a meaningful way?
A commenter to Schutze’s latest lawn ornament warns that WE MUST do something NOW to increase student achievement because (OMG) the Chinese are undertaking genetic engineering experiments to increase the IQ of the next generation. Before dismissing this warning, take a closer look at it. This is the first I’ve heard of genetic manipulation for IQ, but I believe it. Dr. Kenneth Cooper of the Cooper Clinic has been very involved in helping the Chinese develop exercise programs for their youth, because research shows brain development is influenced by exercise. The Chinese are serious about developing academic excellence in their children and are not only following solid research, they are initiating it.
What’s the difference between the Chinese approach to academic achievement and the Mike Miles approach? The Chinese target the students, even the student before she’s a student! Miles plan targets the adults that oversee the adults that might eventually deal with a student.
Other community leaders want to buy T-shirts for kindergartners and plant flowers on school lawns to increase achievement. These initiatives are similar to Miles’ plans only in that they are also not research based and have no connection with student success.
My prediction is we will have to wait a long time for any significant academic results until we focus directly on the students and the classroom. In the meantime, watch your step.