Overcoming the Bell Curve

The Bell Curve just won’t do anymore. Schools need to ensure that all students learn. Some say this is impossible — that a disparity in student performance is natural. Although when the results are scrutinized, it’s true in nearly every school across the nation that lower economic and minority groups are highly represented in failing populations. Is the Bell Curve really nature or a result of a societal self-fulfilling prophecy that creates the Achievement Gap?

In schools today, it is unethical to continue on that path.

This new school year brings a fresh set of smiling faces to you, kids whose hopes, fears, and loves all rest in the hands of their teacher. For the time shared during the school day, teachers are everything to their students: parent, partner, and mentor. If you know that you are not addressing the educational needs of ten, twenty, or thirty percent of your student population, shouldn’t you do something tangible about it? How would reaching those students change the rest of their lives? What would academic success with all of your students mean to you? What would it mean to them?

The reality is that shining examples of what is possible with student achievement are available throughout the nation. I believe that a core group of educators can begin a revolution to change their school and the lives of the children they serve. I believe this is our duty as educators, to open our students’ minds with carefully crafted curriculum and teaching that is connected to our student’s lives and interests. I believe that teachers who dedicate themselves to the ideals of change and tender their duty with enthusiasm and modern pedagogical philosophies can eliminate the achievement gap in their schools. The result of such practices is nothing short of changing the world, one student, one class, and one day at a time.