President's Message - April 2009

posted Apr 15, 2009, 5:14 PM by HSS PTSA Webmaster   [ updated Apr 15, 2009, 5:18 PM ]
Precepts for Helping Students Achieve More

A recent article by Washington Post reporter Jay Mathews (“The Money Myth in Improving Schools,” The Washington Post, April 10, 2009) highlights some precepts regarding educating the students at Hayfield Secondary, and elsewhere, that we all should use as a guide. Doing so will do much to ensure each student’s best outcome from their time at Hayfield – and give our students the best chance to have the sort of life they decide on. And we all know that this decision is ultimately theirs regardless of how much influence parents and educators try to assert. You can read more about each precept in Jay’s article, and get even more depth in the book he references. Briefly, and in no particular order, some of the precepts include:

  • No after-school jobs; or, if necessary, work no more than 10 hours per week.
  • Avoid a vocational track entirely, or add some real academics to the mix.
  • Speak frankly of your concerns and plans with Hayfield Secondary’s guidance counselors, and listen carefully to their advice.
  • Do all homework and schoolwork, and attend class – always, always, always!
  • Forget about pupil-teacher ratios – invest your lobbying efforts elsewhere, as they do not affect student achievement.
  • Push professional development for educators, this does greatly affect student achievement.

I urge you to read Jay’s article – it’s only a few hundred words - and the book he refers to. Both may strip a cloud from your eyes - they did mine.