Heather Wolpert-Gawron

The Triumvirate of Success

By on March 24, 2008

The New York Times (3/23) reported, “Connecticut Schools Confronting Proficiency Demands,” But I say this: “3 is a Magic Number.”  Our government cannot successfully run without the Judicial, Legislative, and Executive Branches and their success is definitely not 100%.  My health is made up of the proper workings of the Brain, the Body, and the Heart and I definitely succumb to the temptations of the occasional BigMac.  But the policy makers on The Hill are in denial about the triumvirate that makes up a successful student.   

For a student to truly succeed (if 100% of anything is even possible), all three elements must be in place: the home life, the school, and the student. Each branch holds a level of responsibility; and without each one being held accountable, the goal cannot be achieved, in this case, a student’s success.  

I’m ready for a brave presidential candidate to hold all three influences to the flames of accountability.  

Limiting political speech-making solely to school improvement tells me that all the edutalk out there is merely rhetoric for the interests of a party or a campaign.  A serious advocate for student success would weave a braid of accountability between the three branches that, when sewn together, forms a strong yet flexible bungee that a student can trust as they leap from the heights critical thought.  A faux advocate of student success places the responsibility on only one stoop.  

It will take a brave candidate to hold the parents (the first and most influencial teachers in a child’s life) to the same 100% success standards that has been demanded of the schools.  And can we really expect such a level of success from the students?  They absolutely need to be involved in solving the issues of their own achievement, but if they made the correct decisions about their learning 100% of the time, they wouldn’t have the need to be taught.  It is their very nature as a newbie to the world of higher-level thinking that makes them students and not sages.   

The real solution can not to be found soley in the halls of one branch.  All three elements are dependant on the other branches working 100% to achieve 100%.  Let me know when a candidate makes the same demands on all three branches, and I’ll let you know whom I’m voting for next fall.    

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