"Listen To Their Voices!" It's Time For Equal Access For ALL Our Students! - PART ONE
The RE@L Blog!
July 4, 2015
EQUAL ACCESS TO LEARNING FOR EACH LEARNER!
If you listen carefully, you can hear them.They are the voices of 55 million students. They come from the over 2.5 million classrooms of over 130,000 schools. They are asking for our help so they can learn. They say:”What about me?” “
“What about my rights to learn? they say, Don’t I have equal access to a quality education?” Our teachers ask these young learners very difficult questions in the classroom. Questions are also on the many standardized tests these kids have to take. What can we do to help them find their answers?
This past week has brought a focus to everyone in the USA on the critical importance of “equal rights” and “equal access” under the law. Regardless, of our own personal beliefs on these current issues, we are fortunate to live in a country that prizes individual rights. Many places in the wide world do not.
Our nation was founded on fundamental rights for all, regardless of race, creed, color, gender or wealth. Our Constitution does not speak directly to our fundamental right to have equal access to learning. Our Founders left the issue of public education to the each state, as they did with many other issues at that time. They did speak to our universal access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In the 350 years since that the pursuit of our rights ALSO requires equal access to learning.
Providing “equal access” to each of our students continues to vex us as a nation. Why? For starters, these 55 million learners differ greatly from one to another. Second, we have continued to focus on schools instead of the unique needs of each learner. If we truly want to leave no child behind, we have to focus on each child. Each learner should have a Personal Learning Plan and have access to the resources to make it happen.
Students need equal access to quality learning that addresses their unique needs. Instead, we have continued to group them. not by their needs, but by their age. If the student’s age is 8, it’s 3rd grade. Freshmen in high school are 13. This makes no sense at all if a student is not ready to learn the curriculum in that grade. If it was your job to insure that more learners learned more, would you group learners solely by age? It’s past time for our educational leaders, our politicians, even our Courts, to take up this issue of insuring equal access to learning for EACH and everyone of our learners. It needs doing now! A LEARNING PLAN for each learner.
We at RE@L also believe the time is right for “Equity of Learning Access” in American K-12 education. We believe in it so firmly that we create our learning software to encourage and secure greater mastery and better understanding for EACH learner. We further believe that “Learning for all” is not the same as “Learning by each.” If each child could learn, all children would learn.
At RE@L our leadership team has grappled with these same concerns back in the 70′s when we created MECC software. Even then we made certain that the products we designed met the needs of each learner. MECC software was more responsive, more effective, and more popular than our competitors. Our reading levels were more appropriate, the interaction was more engaging, the results were more informative and positive. Now, we are known as RE@L, and still we try to make them better.
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