My project has had its set of huge challenges, actually project changing setbacks. My first project draft involved going into schools and testing if kinesthetic and aesthetic programs such as Brain Pop positively affects student achievement in the classroom. The ultimate goal was to support the fact that the direction that school districts are going into, taking away recess and play time and making students sit in chairs all day, is actually doing the opposite of what they want, to increase student achievement. Because I student teach kindergarten at Spruce Street Elementary, we thought entering a second grade may be easy because I already had a connection. The teachers seemed on-board when it was mentioned in person but then we were directed to get permission from the principal first, which seemed logical and easy. This proved to be a challenge because, with her busy schedule, countless emails, phone calls, and secretary visits proved fruitless. After a month and a half of countless energy spent trying to contact her from both my faculty member and I, the principal finally gave us the ok. We returned to the teachers very excitedly but once details and proceedings of the study were fully divulged and things were becoming more serious, the teachers turned their backs on the study. They sent us a very strong email saying that they had no extra time in their packed schedule as well as many students who have diverse and high needs with parents who are not flexible.
After many re-designs of the study, we concluded that getting into New York school’s is a multi-year process, if entrance is granted at all, because of tough standards and pressure on schools and teachers to produce high scores on standardized tests and to move through material quickly. Although ideally, hands-on educational research in the classroom is what we wanted, we began to re-plan our experiment as research barriers and obstacles happen. We thought about recess time, teacher education, and many other ideas but came across something very interesting that is a pretty relevant topic in education, especially in New York. In 2017, New York adopted the Greater Schools survey that allows parents to rate their child’s school using a rubric in six categories: rigorous instruction, supportive environment, collaborative teachings, effective school leadership, family/community ties, and trust out of four points. This study compares 2017 and 2018 surveys to assess if parenteral input through the use of digital rubrics changes the school in these categories. We have chosen to assess school primary school in district 2 which gives a wide range of socio-economic background and culture. We are out to show the importance of rubrics because the shift from, qualitative to quantitative data helps parents display their input in order to make reform happen.