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  • by Blaine Helwig

What are the Benefits of Stop-Gap Resources?

I am of the belief that Title 1 academic education reformation involving high percentages of students classified as economically disadvantaged will be highly improbable without the use of Stop-Gap Literacy and Numeracy Resources. Generally speaking, students attending Title 1 schools possess highly scattered and heterogeneous core skill levels. It is difficult for teachers of all experience levels to provide efficient classroom instruction without Stop-Gap Resource implementation.

With the academic transformational success of Title 1 schools that use Stop-Gap Literacy and Numeracy Resources, what are the benefits of their use? Some are obvious. Others may not be!

Benefits of Stop-Gap Resource Use.

  • Educational equity is realized. Achievement or Skill Gap is narrowed and eliminated.

  • Student’s self-esteem and confidence are heightened as their academic prowess increases.

  • Student disruptions decrease as students are able to academically engage in grade level core lessons.

  • Teacher turnover decreases. Teachers are successful in their work and accomplishment is addictive.

  • After academics are securely established, fine arts and creative learning opportunities can flourish.

  • Teacher creativity in core lessons is permitted. Differentiation is greatly reduced.

  • Taxpayers’ financial investment is realized in the allocation Federal monies to Title 1 schools.

Every successful organization creates a guiding philosophy and culture that binds its members to one another and to its mission. For example, the New England Patriots football team and the University of Connecticut’s (UConn) women’s basketball team are prime examples. Their unparalleled success in the last decade plus is without debate to either fan or rival. But, these teams win with high levels of replicable structure, organization and culture. They have a plan – a formula for success and they do not deviate until the formula fails to produce.

As expected, highly acclaimed academically successful public schools regardless of student demographics are no different. They replicate success by a structured system and formula school year after school year, or the school will not experience continued performance.

As a retired principal of one of the most academically successful urban Title 1 schools in the State of Texas, I was always acutely aware of the benefits of implementing a stop-gap and instructional resource system at Graham Elementary in the Austin Independent School District. As economically disadvantaged students from my school transitioned to middle school on grade level, it was more than evident that this system is the general solution.

As an administrator, I valued efficient and effective teachable and accountable systems – stop-gap resources, effective classroom management and instructional resources – that produced educational equity and both student social and academic success. That was our ultimate goal for each child who attended our elementary school. However, regardless of an organization's primary function in our society, it is the the pragmatic approach to the overarching objective that allows management to modestly adjust to external compliance factors as well as more readily adapt to personnel changes and training. Similarly, I believe the women athletes at UConn and the New England Patriots are more than a little satisfied with the system and structure at their organizations that invariably replicated their high performance season each season.

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