The Strategy

STRATEGIC UPGRADING  If a school district is serious about radically raising the academic achievement of its students to global levels in 20 years, one would expect a strategic approach whereby teacher certification and the “new approaches” begin at the early stages and then gradually include the higher grades as preparation is ready. Trying to fix the whole system K-12 in a couple years, though perhaps politically correct, is not practical. If the current upper grades are not  positively influenced, it is unfortunate; but sadly, little enhancement has been made for their training for generations.

PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT Studies have indicated that common current American parental involvement in their children’s school and education has very little favorable impact on their learning. Professionals estimate that one hour of classroom study in science is worth 2~3 hours of such science study at home. The one very key contribution from Mom, Dad, Grama and Grampa besides support for high achievement levels, modeling in ethics,  general encouragement to study and restrictions on their cell phone use, is nightly reading to them early in life (PISA: OECD, PISA No. 10). Later in a child’s life, it is valuable for parents to read and discuss with them daily news items and some of the course materials from school. READ AT HOME! This is far more important for learning than driving them to soccer games or watching TV together!

COMMUNITY SUPPORT As “Stretch Targets”and a readily understood Wisconsin Global Scorecard are introduced and one and five year plans developed, understanding of parents and support of business, church and government leaders will grow. Insights, skills and more good will begin flowing to the schools. Excitement for the long-awaited real change in our children and grandchildren’s school experience rises.

BROADER SCHOOL READINESS The wider “social context of schooling” for Wisconsin (and United States) youth in many of our larger cities and poor rural areas may be different than their counterparts in other First World countries. Though Wisconsin fortunately  by one poll is rated in the nation’s top six in ‘happiness’, we and the nation  lag behind the advanced world in health and personal safety measures  {New York Times 4/28/15. See also above Page-HOW ECONOMY> State Government>’Do The Prep…’}. In order to attain “Stretch Targets”, early measures to also address these learning barriers must begin in homes, schools, and communities.

USE OF OTHER OUTSIDE SUPPORT If  “successful” schools and their students require still more assistance, it can come from after class hour in-school instruction, or at  Boys & Girls Clubs, or in tutoring academies such as the Hagwonin of Korea. There are also many on line support courses such as the Khan Academy which may assist and be coordinated with school “Stretch Target” efforts.