So much of the conversation surrounding struggling schools often ends in finger-pointing and frustration, with the public wondering why students aren't succeeding and teachers feeling attacked despite their hard work and dedication. It's exactly this adversarial dynamic that inspired the bloggers of Failing Schools to start chronicling their experiences in underachieving districts.
Dedicated to giving voice to educators who work in struggling schools, this blog explores what "failure" means, who is responsible for it, and where solutions lie. Sabrina Stevens Shupe, "Maria" (a pseudonym), and Mark Friedman offer up thoughtful posts on subjects like grade retention, school reform, and policy issues, all with an eye toward increasing student success and achievement.
Beyond their own observations, Failing Schools also collects and publishes stories from teachers, students, and members of the community. Taken in full, the blog dispels many common misperceptions about struggling schools and provides a nuanced and genuine look at the educators and students who do their best to succeed in these challenging environments.
Ben Licciardi is a project coordinator in ASCD's Information Resource Center.
ASCD Express, Vol. 6, No. 11. Copyright 2011 by ASCD. All rights reserved. Visit www.ascd.org/ascdexpress.