James Comer’s life work suggests that the test-driven regimen in schools will never successfully close the achievement gap. More to the point, it will also fail in preparing our students for the many roles we want them to fill as they become society’s responsible adults. Note four messages Comer conveys very clearly that are familiar to what we know today and to those who take a social-emotional and character development approach:
- Change takes time and requires extensive, realistic, genuine, respectful collaboration, including students and parents.
- Having an infrastructure of appropriate teams/committees with clear authority and responsibility is essential.
- Academic content must be linked to and driven by the lived lives of students in schools and communities.
- Improving the climate of the school is essential for academic progress.