The article covers goal-setting programs at a number of schools across the country.
It mentions Bruce student Jackson Sikes.
It says “Thirteen-year-old Jackson Sikes has been struggling for years to raise his test scores in math. When he got a 33 percent last year on fractions, Jackson says, ‘I didn’t know how I was ever going to learn them.’ Battling his homework just made him frustrated, says his mother Linda, of Gilmer, Texas.”
The article by Sue Shellenbarger said that inability to set personal goals is a weak spot for children in the nation and hurts academic achievement.
It said that teachers at the school taught Sikes to trim his goal into smaller steps and try improving his scores just a little from test to test. Gradually, he raised his results to 90 percent.
“I’d take those little steps, then I’d just keep on stepping,” Jackson told the Journal.
The article said that at Bruce Junior High, “test scores and state ratings have risen since administrators began a goal-setting program three years ago, says Principal Dawn Harris.”
At the start of the school year, Students use their own test scores to identify specific, measurable learning goals, such as achieving a certain grade, and set a target date for achieving it.
“They break big goals into smaller steps, write down the skills they will have to learn, and name specific strategies and resources they will use to overcome obstacles, such as more homework time. Teachers help them track their progress each quarter,” the Journal reported.
“The benefits spill outside the classroom. Ms. Sikes says that Jackson has started applying his goal-setting skills on the baseball diamond, drawing praise from his coach. The approach ‘taught me to out-do other people,’ Jackson says. ‘Even though they might be better physically, I think I might be a little better mentally,’” he told the Journal.
To read the entire Wall Street Journal article, use this web address: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704758904576188453057819300.html
Gilmer ISD Supt. Rick Albritton said that Gilmer ISD has been using the “SMART goal-setting program, mentioned in the whole article, for several years.
SMART is an acronym for setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable goals with clear Results in a set Time frame.
It was developed by business project business managers in the 1980s, and was adopted by educators to help administrators and teachers set their own goals. It has since been moved to the classroom, Albritton said.
He said that the Wall Street Journal learned about the Gilmer program through a contact the school has in Dallas.