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Posted: November 29, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Time for a change

 Dear Editor: Statewide, 82 percent of schools passed Annual Yearly Progress in 2006-2007, an indicator from No Child Left Behind. In Newton last year, 59 percent passed. One of our three high schools passed: 33 percent. It appears that our students are not achieving adequately, according to these indicators.

 What should we do? We could blame the students, the teachers, the schools, the administration, the parents or even the library. That would achieve nothing; blame does not overcome challenges.

 We could also say that something is not as good as it could be in the system that contributes to our students’ education. What is that system, you might ask. We know the school is part of it. How about the home? Is the church part of it? Does it include the library? Are businesses involved? How about the justice system? Anybody else we can think of? Yes. So what should we do?

 What if we brought representatives from all parts of the system together to set goals and plan what each of us will do? There are methods for doing this: Appreciative Inquiry Summit and Future Search Conferences. Why not try some tried and true methods?

 It appears that our current methods are failing; only 59 percent of our schools achieved AYP. If we are failing, do something different, especially if it has worked for other school systems. It is time to try something different in education in Newton County, isn’t it?

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