School administrators and teaching staff can have profound affects on students' identity, specifically in the area of academic achievement. It is true that learning institutions can influence the identity or life of students as in the case of sports schools, which due to their competitive nature can alter students' perspectives on sportsmanship, rivalry, hazing, etc…
This can be simply assessed by the negative or pessimistic behavior that those students might have about life or other people. They might develop negative or pessimistic attitudes even about God or they might come up with deep feelings of angst, fear and guilt or an insane preoccupation in relation to sin. So it is obvious that any worldview shapes the actions and guides the behaviors of its beholder. What is learned in school will eventually surface in life or in the identity of the students. In this line of thought, school administrators and teachers should be extremely careful on the contents and ways of managing any learning institution. It is also necessary to find solutions in the direction of implementing change and transformation in the inner circles of faculty and staff.
One specific educational issue that it's being address lately with due emphasis is the achievement gap among different groups of students according to economic, political and social backgrounds. In the United States this educational issue has taken a radical turn after President George W. Bush and his Administration passed as law the "No Child Left Behind Act 2001". This new law is aimed at improving the performance of all students in the United States and it firmly stresses that it is necessary to ensure that no student gets trapped in a failing school. Among its new features, the No Child Left Behind Act includes "increased accountability for States, school districts, and schools; greater choice for parents and students, particularly those attending low-performing schools; more flexibility for States and local educational agencies (LEAs) in the use of Federal education dollars; and a stronger emphasis on reading, especially for our youngest children." (No Children Left Behind, 2004).
On the other hand, The Education Trust was established in 1990 by the American Association for Higher Education, and it aims that all students at all levels of education get a high academic achievement in order to close forever the achievement gaps that separate minority or poverty-stricken students from the most favored class of students. This institution is positively engaged in closing the achievement gap among all the students in the United States at all costs. Craig Jerald, Senior Policy Analyst at the Education Trust, sums up his research on this issue with the significant result that shows that "there are thousands of schools nationwide that have poverty rates and/or minority enrollments in the top third of their respective states and also had top-third scores on one or more state assessments." (Jerald, 2002).
Jerald and Kati Haycok, Director of The Education Gap, suggested that a school system won't be judged as successful unless it teaches successfully all kinds of students. They also stated that "despite what many administrators learned in graduate school, newer, more sophisticated research shows that it is not just poverty or family background that determines student achievement. What schools do does matter." (Jerald & Haycok, 2002). Their recommendations are based on a common agenda of five priority points:
1.- The Bully Pulpit: Take responsibility for raising achievement and closing achievement gaps-in word and deed.
2.- Standards: Use standards to reshape instruction.
3.- Curriculum: Provide all students with a rigorous ...
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