Hamilton County, OH November 2, 1999 Election
Smart Voter


By Florence Newell

Candidate for Board Member; Cincinnati City School District

This information is provided by the candidate
The Cincinnati Public School District has adopted the policy of requiring each school to adopt one teaching approach or focus. This one-size-fits-all philosophy has limitations.
The one-size-fits-all philosophy has become a fundamental tenant of the Student's First initiative. At first glance, it might seem to make sense that all teachers in one building implementing the same teaching approach strategy would benefit all students. This may be the case in magnet schools where parents have selected the school because of its academic philosophy. However, is it realistic to believe that all of the children who live in one neighborhood will all benefit and experience the same academic gains from the same teaching approach? I think not. The children and youth in a neighborhood school are as individual as each person who reads this position paper.

The majority of students in the Cincinnati Public School District still attend neighborhood schools. The instructional approach, text and materials, and classroom environment, should be selected based on the needs of the students and the goals of the district. We know that the most critical variable in a classroom is each learner. Knowledge of learning/ teaching also informs us that learning varies depending on many factors including, students' background experiences, interest, other events occurring in their lives, etc.

Even though each school has adopted an instructional approach, the teacher must still have the flexibility to implement various approaches for students who do not demonstrate success under the adopted approach. All teachers need to be prepared to utilize alternative methods based upon student success. The key is to find ways to help all students learn and be successful in school. One-size-fits-all does not allow for individual differences among learners or teachers. Teachers should be empowered to implement various approaches based on student's needs.

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