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ERIC Number: EJ787293
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6439
What Knowledge Has the Most Worth?
Zhao, Yong
School Administrator, v65 n2 p20-27 Feb 2008
American educators have become very concerned by mandates prescribed in the federal No Child Left Behind Act and a slew of state-level reforms such as new curriculum standards and requirements. It is difficult for them to entertain other suggestions. The concern is understandable because noncompliance leads to unbearable consequences. Failure to make AYP--adequate yearly progress--can result in a series of punitive actions ranging from student losses to school reorganization. The even more serious consequence is the public shaming of schools resulting from the publication of a school's lowly ranking. While the latter is simplistically based on student performance on tests in math and reading, it is viewed by the public as indication of the overall quality of the school. In other words, regardless of what a school has achieved in other areas or the validity and reliability of the tests, as long as its 3rd graders or 8th graders are not good test takers, the school is considered needing improvement, a euphemism for a poor-quality school. As educators, however, they are charged with a much more important task than responding to bureaucratic requirements--the moral responsibility to prepare students to lead successful lives. People may have different opinions about what a successful life is, but it should certainly include financial independence, competent participation in community life and positive contributions to society. Schools should at least equip students with the attitudes, perspectives, skills and knowledge that will help them find and keep a job, interact with their coworkers and neighbors and understand as well as make informed decisions about issues affecting society. The specific attitudes, skills and knowledge schools aim to cultivate should be responsive to changes in society. Today, educators are in the midst of a significant transformation. Globalization, the multitude of forces that have made the world smaller and more integrated, is likely to turn the world into a global village where geographical distance matters little, and lives are affected by and impact distant people and places across the world as much as, if not more than, next-door neighbors. What is needed to live a successful life in this village is certainly different from when the world was separated by geographical distances and political boundaries into small local communities.
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Asia; India; United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001