In theory, the belief that “every student will learn and succeed; therefore, eliminating the predictability of achievement based on ability, income, and race” wouldn’t seem to be too controversial.
But that proposed core belief in the Wake County school system’s draft strategic plan drew some interesting comments at last week’s school board work session. School board member Jim Martin called it a platitude, citing his N.C. State students as an example. Board member Zora Felton suggested they include religion into the belief statement.
“I dearly wish every student will learn and succeed, but I’m dealing with a class right now of people who don’t care, and sadly that is a real population that we deal with,” said Martin, an N.C. State chemistry professor.
Martin suggested incorporating wording from the current strategic plan that says that students will be accountable partners in their learning. He said that once students become accountable partners, that will eliminate the predictability of achievement.
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“We can say every student will learn,” Martin said. “That’s a great platitude. The reality is if anybody is in the classroom, that doesn’t always happen no matter how hard you try.”
When school board member Bill Fletcher questioned Martin, the professor suggested that he come to his class.
Later on during Tuesday’s work session, Felton suggested incorporating religion as one of the things to eliminate the predictability of achievement upon.
“I would like to maybe think about adding religion,” Felton said. “It’s not only ability, income, race. It’s sometimes religion. Just because I’m a Hindu from India doesn’t mean I’m smart.”
“It doesn’t mean you aren’t,” Fletcher replied.
“It doesn’t mean you aren’t,” Felton responded. “But I think that religion in our very diverse culture is very, very important and we should make sure that that’s in there.
It’s not only expectations that teachers have. But maybe y’all don’t agree. But ability, income, race and religion are important.”