Components of Good Schools
For as long as there has been a place called ” school, ” we have been looking for ways to create the best educational experience for our children-a place where students receive the best possible education and are fully prepared to face the challenges of life.
Every American generation has sought quality education for its children and the system has responded in many ways by increasing opportunities for underrepresented students, updating curricula and improving teaching techniques.
However, for all the changes in the American classroom, parents and the community are generally unprepared to measure the quality of the schools they serve. As educational consumers, parents and other taxpayers have the right to know if their schools do a good job or not.
Many parents have moved to new places in search of a good school; many have obtained permits to allow their children to attend school in their neighborhood, district or town; and many have opted for private schools.
School districts and private schools, aware of parents ‘ quest for quality education, have explored many innovative ways to achieve this goal and have tried a variety of ways. Alternative schools, schools of choice, magnet schools, schools without walls and innumerable educational centers are now available. None of these schools, however, has a quality certificate. What we are aware of is that quality education stems from a genuine partnership between parents and professionals.
So, how do we know what a good school is about? Fortunately, this question can be answered on the basis of sound research findings that allow measuring the quality of the education offered by the school.
What makes a good school has less to do with the configuration of the school or the neighborhood’s socioeconomic standard. There are successful schools in the inner cities of America, as well as failing schools in the rich suburbs of the country.
What distinguishes success from failure? We can identify many qualities of successful schools which distinguish them. These good schools have:
- Strong, professional teachers and administrators.
- A comprehensive curriculum for all students.
- A philosophy that says that all children can learn when they are taught and that all students are held to high expectations.
- A learning-friendly school climate.
- A good school is safe, clean, well-organized and caring.
- An ongoing evaluation system for good instruction.
- A high level of involvement and support of parents and communities.
Let’s spend some time evaluating each and discussing what these good schools look like.