Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Pact Showing Commitment to Education Can Be Valuable

There was a great story in the New York Times, March 26, 2008, by Samuel Freedman: A Do-It-Yourself SAT Class, With No Whining, or Parents, Allowed. The story described a group of students who made a pact, a.k.a. a compact, to study together for the SAT test. The decided how often to meet. They committed to attend the scheduled meetings. And they agreed, in writing, not to whine or complain. They set a goal of scoring 700 on each part of the test.

Working together is a great way to accomplishment. One of the founding documents of our country is the Mayflower Compact, signed in 1620.

Not everyone in Plano is committed to education, even though the community has good schools. If we had more commitment, our schools would be even better. If Plano developed a community compact, or pact, expressing a commitment to education and steps parents could take to improve their children's education, it could be a big help to some segments of our community.

Additionally, when other districts try to improve their performance by copying our curriculum implementation, they don't get what makes Plano schools successful: supportive parents that value education. If other districts want to improve performance they need to copy more than lesson plans, they have to copy attitude. It would be good if we spelled out our attitude. If we could get more people here to value education, then we could offer an example for other districts to emulate. Showing under-performing districts how to improve community commitment to education would help them far more than the money the state legislature rips off from us.

A community compact on education would help Plano and the state of Texas.


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