Guiding School Improvement with Action Research

By Richard Sagor | Go to book overview

3 Professionalism. Teacher
Efficacy, and Standards-Based
Education

Consider how it would feel to be a participant in either of the following two scenarios.

Scenario 1: A group of classroom teachers has gathered for the first faculty meeting of the year. The superintendent of schools, with a pained look on his face, convenes the meeting by saying:

I'm sure you are all aware of the governor's new educational re-
form plan. The new state standards have purposefully been set
high, and our students have a long history of scoring well below
state averages on similar standardized tests. But now the stakes
have been raised! Beginning this spring, each school's scores on
the state proficiency test will be published over the Internet.
Worse, the date for reporting on our scores has been set just two
weeks before our annual levy election. According to the statute,
if more than 50 percent of our kids fail to meet standards in read-
ing, math, writing, or science, our district will be placed on pro-
bation and will become subject to state takeover. Understand,
therefore, that I'm not kidding when I say that improving aca-
demic performance needs to be the number-one priority for each
and every one of you!

Scenario 2: Now imagine a group of engineers at a large aerospace company who have just been called to a meeting facilitated by the

-25-

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