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DoDEA Schools are Getting the Job Done for Students —Let’s Learn from Our Veterans

On Veterans Day we celebrate the service and sacrifice of the men and women who protect the freedoms we enjoy—and often take for granted—here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Here at Project Forever Free, we also see it as the perfect day to celebrate the success of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools —in 2019, they came in at #1 in the U.S on the Nation’s Report Card.

The results of the most recent round of of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) were mostly disappointing in school districts across the nation, with very few exceptions—Washington DC and Mississippi are two that come to mind. As student achievement in most states has either flatlined or been in steady decline, DoDEA schools have shown an upward trajectory and and a narrowing of achievement gaps over the last ten years.

According to DoDEA director Tom Brady:

In 2019, DoDEA had the highest performance among black and Hispanic students of any state or jurisdiction. This resulted in us having the smallest statistical gaps in average score between white and black or white and Hispanic students on the NAEP. Given this continuing success, we believe that our commitment to providing a world class education to military-connected students, along with the DoD commitment to families, will allow us to continue to focus our emphasis on equity in our strategic plan and eventually eliminate achievement gaps in our system.

There is a lot that we can learn from our veterans—leadership, sacrifice, the importance of being part of something bigger than ourselves. But it seems that we can also learn how to improve public education from them. DoDEA schools are getting a lot right when it comes to educating the children of our military servicemen and women. Let’s learn from what they are doing.

Happy Veterans Day—we thank all veterans for their service and we applaud and thank the DoDEA schools for the great work they are doing for students.

What Do You Think?
Erika Sanzi
Erika Sanzi is a former educator and elected school committee member and the chief editor of this site, Project Forever Free. She is also a senior visiting fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. She blogs at Good School Hunting and occasionally writes for other outlets including Scary Mommy, The 74, and The Hill. She is the mother of three school aged sons who currently attend a district school, a charter school, and a private school—in 3 different zip codes! Rhode Island is home.

1 COMMENT

  1. “There is a lot that we can learn from our veterans—leadership, sacrifice, the importance of being part of something bigger than ourselves.”

    Yes, very true indeed. I would add “discipline” also. Teaching students to have self discipline and anchoring classroom expectations in it (eg. classroom management) may well be the greatest most valuable (and most real) form of equity that can be used with young people. Contrast with pc equity and we see another reason why public schools overall are not doing so well. Another wonderful blog Erika…thank you.

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