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What Most People Mean By "Good" Schools

Center for Teaching Quality

"Let’s face it--no matter where you live, there’s a great chance that when many people talk about 'good' schools, they consciously--or subconsciously--mean schools with low numbers of minority students and children in poverty...Let’s be bold about designing new types of learning environments, so that there are more models and potential discussions about what 'good' schools could look and be like."

Photo Credit: Eszter Hargittai via Flickr

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  • Mary Bivens

    Unfortunately, I believe this is a correct assumption. My granddaughter attends a culturally diverse elementary school in Evanston, IL. It is a wonderful school and she is in a Spanish immersion Kindergarten class. She will be fluent in Spanish very soon. I have noticed that the school is not rated very high. I wonder about some of these ratings, as my granddaughter is exceptionally bright and happy and challenged there. The teachers are wonderful.

    • Center for Teaching Quality

      Mary, thanks for taking the time to comment with your own experience. In our community of highly accomplished teachers, we have many conversations about the difficulty of "grading" or rating schools when so much of student performance depends on factors of poverty. One of our other teacher bloggers wrote a post about this correlation and I have posted it below.

      But if your granddaughter feels safe, supported, and engaged, most likely her school is a vibrant place of learning regardless of their rating. We encourage you to ask questions and support those educators who are doing their best to provide that learning experience for her.

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    What I'm frustrated about is that most parents regard "good" schools as "private" schools. Although I grew up in a wealthier community, my public school was great. It's really the teachers, the programs, and the dedication of the staff that makes the school a "good" school.

    • Center for Teaching Quality

      We agree! Public schools have been offering free education with caring professionals for years. Their innovation may be slowed more by ineffective policy than the people in the building.