American Libraries Association Conference 2012
I am currently attending the American Libraries Association (ALA) conference in Anaheim, CA. My school district is sending me to it so I can attend the educator’s strand. I’m interested in seeing all the digital books options, tips on improving my classroom library, and hopefully, I will attend a session for the rural libraries on access and resources to underserved populations.
This is my fourth conference this school year. My school agrees to send me, and my colleagues, to various conferences like these because my school believes in supporting a teacher’s ongoing education. This is a pretty awesome stance, considering how limited school budgets are at the moment. Of course, my school is also required to spend a portion of its funding on professional development because it is in Program Improvement (PI) status.
A school can fall into PI status when their number of students passing the statewide standardized tests at Proficient or Advanced failed to increase by 10%. This means that even though our Academic Performance Index (API) went up, we still went into PI status because the number of our Pro/Adv students did not increase. This bugs me.
While I personally benefit from this perk or requiring professional development, I also find it irksome that the answer to a school falling into PI status is to require educating the teachers on how to teach Reading and Math, yet again pointing the finger at the teacher as to why a student is not performing well. This also bugs me. I love my students. I want them all to succeed. I work with great teachers, who are all effective instructors. Our students are coming to our school with basic skills not yet in place, and any instructor knows that you have to meet them where they’re at, if you hope to improve their level of independent ability. And if you want to continue a teacher’s education so they can stay on top of the latest and greatest strategies, that’s fine, BUT… why aren’t there any PI funds to help the community help itself? How about some funding to help parents read with their children every night or sponsor family days where the parents and kids go on an outing together? In addition to supporting continuing education for the teachers, it would be nice if there was a way to provide family resources to help parents take a more active role in their children’s education as well.
Hence, here I am at the ALA Conference, looking for ways the community library can be my partner in empowering families to bring education into the home. Feel free to follow along — I’ll be tweeting, as will be a huge number of other attendees Enjoy!
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