Released today, was a new study supporting the education principles argued herein, and deconstructing those principles of education currently being argued by the Delaware Department of Education, the Rodel Foundation, the Gates Foundation, the US Department of Education, Race To The Top, Jack Markell, and Common Core.

The study stresses….

A. Think Tanks and Corporations Care Squat About Real Educational Results
B.  Think Tanks and Corporations Can’t Produce Real Educational Results
C.  The only way to improve education is to ENGAGE the student
D.  The only way to engage a student is to utilize social and emotional stimulus personally adapted to each student.
E.  They only way that can be done is to have a one on one  teacher relationship with each student, thereby mandating low teacher/student ratios…

Basically Gallup after studying what works and what doesn’t, came out with the admonition: we should just let teachers teach…

“Students who have teachers who make them “feel excited about the future” and who attend schools that they see as committed to building their individual strengths are 30 times more likely than other students to show other signs of engagement in the classroom—a key predictor of academic success, according to a report released Wednesday by Gallup Education.”

School leaders should not neglect the social and emotional factors that help students thrive, and they should empower teachers so that they are more engaged and effective in the classroom, says the “State of America’s Schools” report, a synthesis of polling data and research from the international Gallup organization.

A broad focus on testing and new standards can lead schools to neglect the individualized needs of students, the report’s authors say. There is growing recognition that unless U.S. schools can better align learning strategies and objectives with fundamental aspects of human nature, they will always struggle to help students achieve their full potential….


The data base for this poll is gigantic: 600,000 students.  The resource pool is the entire country.  Unlike the Smart Balance Assessment which assesses grit, rigor, and bearing down as one might on expelling a stool, the Gallup assessment measures hope, engagement, and public awareness over what happens in schools.

The poll found something rather obvious:

In a finding described by the organization as highly significant, students surveyed in 2013 who said they strongly agreed with two statements—“My school is committed to building the strengths of each student,” and “I have at least one teacher who makes me excited about the future”—were 30 times more likely to be classified as “engaged” than students who strongly disagreed with those statements on the 1-to-5 scale.

This is important, because…” each  1-percentage-point increase in a student’s score on the engagement index was associated with a 6-point increase in reading achievement and an 8-point increase in math achievement scores.”

So data echoes what has frequently been extolled herein:  we learn what we want to learn, so getting us to want to learn, is how you get us to learn.

Intimidation, embarrassment, yelling, bullying, abusing, rigor, grit, are all pushing students the wrong way.  Evidence of this is borne out by the test result data compiled by Delaware’s Department of Education showing directly that those pilot programs bullying students with Common Core across 2012-2o13, have shown negative results across the course of a year, compared to positive results shown by these more traditional methods of teaching.

Instead… To build engagement, districts should encourage students to discover and apply their strengths, Gallup says, and teachers should take a differentiated approach to building hope, focusing on what motivates each student as an individual.

Gallup is an organization used by many well known corporations for surveying their employees.   To determine the engagement of their employees, a corporation will hire Gallup because a)  it is trusted, b)  it’s methods ensure individual anonymity, and c) it is incorruptible.   A business needs and pays for real information; not falsified results.

The Gallup Organization throughout its long existence found that:  out of all occupations, teachers were the least likely to say that their opinions counted at work.

Evidence expressed on all educational literature certainly bears that out.  Instead of supporting Common Core and Race To The Top, the Gallup Organization came up instead with real recommendations:

  • To build engagement among teachers, the report recommends that principals ask them questions about curriculum, pedagogy, and scheduling, and incorporate their feedback into decisionmaking…
  • School leaders should also pair engaged administrators and teachers to collaborate and generate enthusiasm for student-centered projects…
  • The authors also recommend removing disengaged teachers from the classroom for brief periods of continuing education.


The study also concluded that the public is extremely misinformed on what works and doesn’t work in educational practice.

“What most of the world thinks of as very soft measures are indeed the great drivers of these [achievement] factors that we have focused on so much in education,”

Think tanks float polls all the time; their polls reflect whatever it is the funders of that think tank wish to express.  To have a non partisan poll of such width and breadth counter all claims previously being made, portends a fresh return to Common Sense back to the field of education.