Education Opinion

The loudest changes of all

By Jessica Shyu — September 11, 2008 1 min read

I met a teacher in her classroom after school yesterday for a meeting, and the students banging and clashing across the hall practicing for drum line try-outs was so loud, we had to take our meeting to the other side of the school. It was so awesome.

Because, as the teacher explained to me, at this public high school in DC, there was no marching band last year. There were no after school activities. After the last school bell, you could rarely find a teacher staying after to prep or work with kids. And there was no football field. Kids didn’t stay after school for activities-- they were roaming the neighborhood streets.

While we-- the folks on the teaching end of things-- are prioritizing our time on less visible things to close the achievement gap, such as backward planning and modifying IEP goals, the village is coming together. As one teacher at the school said, it is so cool how a quickly repaired football field could change the tone of the school so quickly. The community was actually proud to congregate and cheer on their team.

There is so much to do in DC-- as evidenced by the dismal standardized assessment proficiency rates posted in the school offices. It’s energizing to know that changes are happening in our schools in the loudest ways possible.

The opinions expressed in New Terrain are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.


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