Litmus Test for Urban School Districts

The most frustrating aspect of trying to work with failed school districts (which includes virtually all of the top 100 largest districts) is that they have archaic organizational structures that prohibit them from learning how to be effective with failed students. Before any serious assault on fixing up at-risk kids and other failures, they would have to overhaul their organization and operating procedures. The simplest way to provide them with information about what needs to occur is to require them to implement DI fully on a small scale (2 to 4 schools) and learn how to remove barriers to full implementation. They would then be able to have firsthand evidence of how well students are able to perform and the benefits to the students.

With this information, the district knows what needs to be done on a larger scale.

If districts can't implement DI with fidelity (which a lot of them would not be able to do), the problem areas that hinder complete implementation would be easily identified, and remedies in terms of the districts' structure would be clearly implied. That's the gist of the argument in Litmus Test for school districts. Go to article.




Featured Video

Kindergarteners Showing Off Their Math Skills 1966 Uncut demonstration of at-risk children who were taught math by Zig Engelmann as four year olds and five year olds. The session was filmed in front of a class of college students in August with no rehearsal. Children work addition, subtraction, multiplication, division problems, basic algebra problems, fraction problems, area problems, factoring, and simple simultaneous equations.

Watercolors by Zig

Oregon coast, south of Coos Bay

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