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Overcoming Forces of Gravity & Drag
Every minute aspiring schools are moving from a history of failure to a future of success. What are they doing to get there? That's what this month's issue of From Now On is all about.
Karin Chenoweth, Author of It's Being Done: Academic Success in Unexpected Schools, says that schools of success "are akin to the Wright Brothers who were told that drag and gravity were insuperable obstacles to manned flight. Orville and Wilbur demonstrated that with sufficient lift and thrust it was possible to overcome drag and gravity. These schools demonstrate that with sufficiently thoughtful instruction, careful organization, and the same kind of pig-headed optimism displayed by the Wright Brothers, the forces of poverty and discrimination can be overcome." (Quoted in the Marshall Memo # 198)
At the heart of The Efficacy Institute is the mission of getting all our children to proficiency. Efficacy President and Founder, Dr. Jeff Howard, elaborates on Ms. Chenoweth's example: "Remember that a huge majority of our kids are fully capable of academic proficiency. What keeps them from getting there are the drag and gravity of incorrect adult attitudes, and ineffective adult practices--in homes, schools, and community institutions," he says. "The examples we all know of great teaching and effective parenting represent the lift and thrust we need to achieve adult proficiency--if we can get the word out. This is really what the Efficacy approach is all about."
This issue of From Now On is dedicated to stories of lift and thrust in the movement for adult proficiency. These stories not only inspire, they also instruct. Sharing them spreads the belief that high-level achievement is possible, and teaches by example how to make positive change happen.
But success in our schools isn't just a holiday feel-good story; we need to confront ourselves year-round with stories of what is possible--what real people in schools across the country are actually doing, right now, with children from every background and socio-economic category. From Now On will continue to seek out, and highlight, stories of achievement, but we hope you'll help us by sharing your stories.
On March 5, 2010, the headlines in the Chicago Tribune announced an astonishing accomplishment. The entire senior class at Chicago’s only public, male...
NPR's Ed Gordon speaks with Jeff Howard about the national issue of education reform
A few years ago, when I was principal of a California elementary school, I was asked to be a participant in our school district Chief Academic Officer...