Excerpt from Delphi Headmistress's talk to parents

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Post Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:50 pm

Excerpt from Delphi Headmistress's talk to parents

This is from Delphi Oregon's recent magazine issue.

There is a consensus in American education, across party lines and from the local levels all the way up to the federal government, that things need to change--and that's despite a lot of work by very dedicated, hard-working educators. Just one of the many problems is the high school drop-out rate.

A story from Reuters News Service in March says:

The head of the top U.S. phone company, AT&T, said...AT&T was having trouble finding enough skilled workers to fill all the 5,000 customer service jobs it promised to return to the United States from India...

So far, they have been able to return only around 1,400 jobs... to the United States out of those 5,000...

He said he is especially distressed that in some U.S. communities and among certain groups, the high school dropout rate is as high as 50 percent.

"If I had a business that half the product we turned out was defective or you couldn't put into the marketplace, I would shut that business down," he said. "I know you don't like hearing that, but that's the way it is..."

He said the solution was a stronger U.S. focus on education and keeping jobs.

Even though we're successful with our porgram here, the problem does have something to do with all of us.

Our students are going to be entering a working world quite different from the one we entered--even those parents who are much younger than I am. The speed of technological change is unprecedented, and the global economy also means a job market of global competition. Over and over again, I hear the need for students to be critical thinkers, collaborators, quick researchers and communicators.

There is a shift occurring due to technology and the very competitive world our children will be entering, a world with huge opportunities in this global marketplace. Those opportunities, however, will be available only to those who have the real-world kills to take advantage of them.

The Delphi Program has always focused on abilities, not just material covered. We expect students to learn the information, but more than this, we expect them to evaluate what they're studying and discover its use in their lives. I think this practical application of data is one of the strongest points of our program.

This has been an unparalleled year showcasing L. Ron Hubbard's breakthrough approach to teaching and learning that Delphi utilizes. We seem to be at a tipping point in American education. As a result, we're seeing a surge of interest in Delphi that we've never seen before.

Much of this has been spearheaded by Asistant Headmaster Mark Siegel. In addition to his work with business and science seminars, and high tech for our schools, Mark is our representative in the broader educational and business community. He is the Executive Director of the Oregon Federation of Independent Schools and a 15-year Board member of the Council for American Private Education in Washington D.C. Locally, he's active in helping the public schools and heads the McMinnville Area Business Education Partnership Committee.

Oregon is working on a new high school diploma, and Mark was asked by Oregon's Governor and the Superintendent of Public Instruction to serve on two new diploma task forces. At one of the task force meetings, Mark was asked to give an hour-long presentation on the Delphi Program as a model for proficiency-based education.

Top Oregon educators have visited us this year, from the Oregon Assistant Superintendent of Schools to the Director of the Oregon Small Schools Initiative, Karen Phillips, who has thirty-eight public schools in her program. They all want to see how we do what we do. Here's what it says on the Small Schools Initiative website:

"Americans share a collective memory of what it means to go to high school. That is because in the last century high school has remained largely unchanged. The world, on the other hand, is radically different.

Schools modeled around 20th century needs cannot adequately prepare young people for 21st century demands. While most people say they wants schools to be better, they don't necessarily want them to change. But change is needed.

Large, comprehensive high schools are obsolete."

Karen plans to bring sixteen of her own staff to visit Delphi in the fall, followed by teams, including the principals, from all thirty-eight fo her schools.

Educators are coming to us because together with many other individuals and groups, we have been a vocal part of the reform effort. For example, we have been outspoken critics of grade level and grades, bell curves and school bells. Those things are no longer being taken for granted, and some district and even states across the country have now thrown them out.

Most importantly, we have used L. Ron Hubbard's method of "learning-paced education" for thirty-four years, and it turns out that now makes us a leader in true educational reform. Some call it proficiency-based, but everyone is done with the time is the constant, learning is a variable model where you sit in the chair for a year and then move up to the next level.

In Mr. Hubbard's model it's revered: learning is the constant, time is the variable--and that works!

So we're doing a lot right, and I wanted to share those wins with you, because this has definitely been a year to remember.

Rosemary Didear



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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:14 pm

Re: Excerpt from Delphi Headmistress's talk to parents

Some call it proficiency-based, but everyone is done with the time is the constant, learning is a variable model where you sit in the chair for a year and then move up to the next level.

I'm sure America's youth would prefer the "sit in a chair and try not to yawn" model. I can't remember how many times I had to define "it" or "for" and needing to reread chapters because I didn't have the official definition down verbatim.

I learned a whole lot more sitting in a high school chair for four years than I did "learning how to learn" in my equivalent of elementary and middle schools.
"And stay happy!" - Philip Gale



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Post Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:58 am

Damn. Rosemary makes it sound like God and Queen Liz II are coming to Delphi this year as well!
'Cause when I'm gonna make a move, I'm gonna bust it!

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