Supplementary Reading #3, April 1999 : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Supplementary Reading #3, April 1999

Rose, M., Glass, R. S. (Dec.,1998-Jan., 1999). Saving Title I. American Teacher,Vol. 83, No. 4, 10-12. Summarized and reflected by Jill Katrin

This article discussed the benefits of the Title I program, and the great loss that might occur if Congress tries to turn the Title I program into a block grant next year. Title I is the single largest program within the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act. A block grant takes the money from a number of separate programs used for separate purchases and combines these funds into one big pot. Title I could suffer the loss of funds if it is turned into a block grant program. This will result in many changes with the Title I program.

The underlying reasons for those who want to seek change with the Title I program believe that the program is not presently working. Others want to fold the Title I program because they want to undercut the federal role and responsibility in public education. Rosalie Huff, Bowen Elementary of Washington, D.C. states, Critics need to come out to local schools and see how these funds are being used. Elizabeth Primas, Success for All coordinator at Bowen Elementary added, To say Title I doesnt work at all is incorrect and based on a lack of actual working knowledge with programs in the schools.

The Title I program provides the resources needed to run a successful program. Additional teachers and paraprofessionals have been hired as well as numerous instructional materials, computers, etc. Title I is critical to building on the academic progress made in the school,  states Gail Kearson-Gough, a master teacher at Baltimores Franklin Square Elementary School.

This program provides individual and small group instruction. Reinforcement of classroom instruction is an instrumental part of the program. Title I has even brought extended day programs, career academies and cultural programs for students. Title I is simply the most important vehicle that schools like Franklin Square have for instituting high-quality instructional programs and vital student services, says Principal Peggy B. Brown.

The Title I program reduces class size. Reading and Math achievement has been shown throughout the program. One particular school showed ten months growth in reading achievement, and sixteen months growth in math achievement over a six month span last year.

I read this article because the title immediately captured my attention. We have a Title I program in our school district that starts with Early Childhood through sixth grade. At Holler Elementary School, where I teach, we have four full-time Title I teachers and one Title I paraprofessional. They work with kindergarten, first and second graders. These individuals either go into the classrooms to provide additional help, or the students go to the Title I room for help.

Their assistance, turtoring, and mentoring greatly impact the students learning. Children struggling in Reading or Math are provided the extra boost that clearly makes a difference. The children work in groups of no more than six or work one on one with a Title I teacher. In Reading, these teachers work on phonetics, vocabulary words, comprehension, oral reading, inferential questions, and other reading concepts. They also assist the children with classroom assignments.

During Math instruction, hands on activities are used to develop Math skills. The computers are used as another teaching tool. This year the Title I teachers developed a new Math program for Title I students called Mars Math. Using manipulatives to develop concepts concretely is the focus of their program. The program reinforces skills students are learning in their regular classrooms.

The Title I program in our schools and programs across the nation are helping to build a solid educational foundation for all students. I was involved with the Title I program as an Early Childhood Title I teacher before I stepped into my current position as a second grade teacher. Part of my position was to work with parents as well as the students in need. I was involved with the Early Childhood screening process which identified children delayed in language development, fine and gross motor, vision, hearing, etc. Children identified with delays were helped through the Early Childhood Title I program. The need for early intervention can be addressed through this program. I cant imagine preparing my second graders with all the skills they need to acquire without the help of the Title I program. This program helps prepare students for future success versus failure.

It will take a tremendous effort on the part of the entire education community to prevent changes in Title I that we believe would destroy it as significant source of funding for our neediest kids and their schools, state Nat LaCour, task force chair for AFT. The Title I program in our school district is making a difference in the education of our students. Students test scores and achievement continue to improve with the help of this program. As educators, we need to show our support of the program for the benefit of the children.

-- Anonymous, April 06, 1999

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