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Three Things a School Needs

Publication Date: 2007-07-30

A Memphis mom has come up with a simple test for any future school she's willing to let her young daughter attend.

I've seen a lot of finger pointing, testing, and assessment of schools. Well, as a mom who has spent a ton of time in schools through the years, I've decided on a test for any future school my daughter may attend. It's a simple test, just three B's, and easy to measure. Simply, does the school have bathrooms, books, and balls?

1) Bathrooms. 5 yr olds shouldn't have to wait in line for a bathroom (nor should 12 yr olds or 30 something teachers). There should be enough working, accessible stalls that a child can get to one when they really need it. Teachers shouldn't have to be crouching down on 5 yr old sized toilets, and 5 yr olds shouldn't need a boost or a footstool to get up, either. I've spent years teaching my daughter hygiene. Please have toilet paper, soap, and paper towels available, and I don't mean that they should be on the supply list for me to purchase and send in, either. 12 yr old girls should have a door to close to preserve their modesty. And if the bathroom stinks, is soggy, or looks like a bad bus station bathroom, that's a school I don't want any child to be stuck with.

2) Books. Does the school have a substantial library, with books that will be interesting to a child who can't read yet all the way up to the child who is years above grade level? Are children given a chance to read and select books freely, as opposed to choosing from a list? Is there a librarian? A set weekly library period? DEAR/SSR time during the day?

3) Balls. Does the school have an outdoor play space for children to play and run in an unstructured manner? Is it used by all grades all year (weather permitting?). Is this in addition to regularly scheduled PE classes?

Anyone wanna bet that these three measures closely correlate with high TCAP scores??

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