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  • Writer's pictureJim Mercer

SamTastic Weekly Tip: 10/14/19 - Speak up.

This week’s tip: Speak up.

You are in an amazing profession. Schools in the United States have made the country exceptional. Our action as educational leaders to focus on improvement fits with our philosophy of making sure educational services are not only available but effective for all.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen some use data inappropriately and paint schools as failing. In fact, our silence has allowed many to think that schools are ineffective. Would you be surprised to know that schools today outperform schools in each of the last five decades?

“.. .Americans have increasingly said in national surveys that current students are getting a worse education than they themselves did, and they have been wrong. Scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, “the nation’s report card,” have risen steadily since the 1970’s. unquestionably, students today have mastery of basic skills that is superior to students of the past. School has not gotten worse. The goals of education have just become loftier.”

-science journalist and best-selling author David Epstein, Range, Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

In the SAM process we are careful that feedback, conversation, with teachers be thoughtful, specific and done with positive intention. We separate feedback in there areas: directive, non­directive and celebration. Maybe we should be sure to practice a bit of celebratory feedback about our overall work and success. We should focus on how to be better. This doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate our wins. And the fact is, schools are great and getting even better every year.

Want another fact to share? Kids today are smarter that we are. IQ tests in the US and 30 other countries show an increase in every generation in the 20th century.

“The gains are startling: three points every ten years. To put that in perspective, if an adult who scored average today were compared to adults a century ago, she would be in the 98th percentile.”

- Range, Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

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