As teachers focus on critically engaging their students, these children make higher-order, real-life connections to subject matter that too commonly disenchants young minds. As importantly, educators who take care to ensure that their students remain continuously stimulated by the content material also ensure against an otherwise devastating outcome: dropping out of school.
In the meantime, district officials will continue to grope for answers to seemingly intractable educational challenges. Now, however, district leaders are on notice that the most potently viable solutions remain at their fingertips. But reformers shouldn't be fooled by the low-cost, high-yield luster of the reform proposal — the task will require far greater levels of sweat work than are currently poured within the district.
The good news is that the hard work will pay off. But even the most right-minded reform requires determined action to get potent results. Only then will leaders better the standing of the district and the lives of the students.
Collins lives in Columbia, Mo. He has a doctorate in K-12 educational administration and is writing two textbooks for Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.