Winston says data exists to back up the statement, but it has not been put together yet and she will let us know when it is.
She also explains what is wrong with the people of Joplin, noting that "what bothers me in Joplin is that people have their minds so made up that they aren't willing to come to the table with an openness to listening," and "it's time for the people of Joplin to stop firing arrows and start coming to the table with solutions and a willingness to listen and learn."
Winston's complete comment is printed below:
I will tell you that we do have five years of data to show the impact of Bright Futures, but we have to have time to process and extract it all to show the real outcomes. We're working on that and will report it out once we have it in hand. But to your point...I realize that there are different philosophies about education and how it should be done (I've learned a lot about that in the last two years!). What I fear is that there are some people who don't have a holistic understanding of the WHY. It's not just about passing kids and letting them go on through even if they didn't do the work. In fact, that's not what should be happening at all! People need to have a solid understanding of a) mental health, b) research on brain development and the impact of poverty and trauma on educational outcomes, and c) a willingness to make systemic changes to help those at-risk kids have the supports they need to overcome. An authoritarian/disciplinarian approach with those at-risk kids does not work. It breeds bigger and more problems and continues the generational poverty cycle when those kids don't graduate. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results, than education has been (for many years) very guilty of not changing its approach towards at-risk kids and families.
What is being done now, though not agreed upon by all, are evidence-based practices that are proven to make a difference in some of the lowest performing schools in the country with the highest percentages of at-risk kids. Do we have plenty of room to get better? YOU BET. But it takes a lot of time and effort to turn around a big ship.
What bothers me in Joplin is that people have their minds so made up that they aren't willing to come to the table with an openness to listening. I have been guilty of that in the past, but no more. We are BETTER TOGETHER, and it's time for the people of Joplin to stop firing arrows and start coming to the table with solutions and a willingness to listen and learn. But I can promise I have never "made up" a child or a story, nor will I ever. I will not play the hate mongering game that has been a part of the Joplin culture for the last year. You can spend all your time placing blame, or you can spend your time finding solutions. I, for one, choose to work for solutions. The invitation is open to all who are willing to listen, learn, and grow together to join in.
The complete post and all comments can be found at this link.
In Scars from the Tornado: One Year at Joplin East Middle School, teachers and students tell the story of the events of May 22, 2011, that changed their lives forever and about their first year in a warehouse school. The book is available locally at Always Buying Books, Changing Hands Book Shoppe, and The Book Guy in Joplin, Pat's Books in Carthage, and Cato's Connection in Lamar. The book is available in paperback and e-book formats from Amazon.com at the links below.