Now is the Time to Act
I'm writing to ask for your support of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS). As you know, VTS is an arts education organization that uses an inquiry-based learning method to actively engage all students, including high needs and at-risk learners, in deeper learning across the curriculum.
The Challenge: The Common Core is a set of State-mandated standards that define what students must master if they are to be "college and career-ready" upon graduation from high school. 45 states have agreed to use the Common Core, resulting in a profound effect on the American educational system - detrimental for at-risk children and schools in the short term.
The Common Core requires students to exercise new thinking skills based on reasoning from evidence. Teachers are not well prepared to address this change. For example, in New York City, during the 2012/13 school year only 26% of students in 3rd through 8th grade passed the new Common Core tests in English, and 30% passed in math, according to the NY State Education Department.
The stakes are high. Our most vulnerable students and schools are being placed in greater risk of failure. Research has shown that early experience has a disproportional impact on later success. It would be tragic if attempts to make education more relevant to success in life had the unintended effect of causing greater failure, in early years, for nearly half of our nation's future citizens.
Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) addresses the Common Core gap , enabling teachers to better prepare students from all socio-economic backgrounds to meet the new Common Core standards. VTS creates a learning environment with the key attributes of high engagement and high "density of experience" that can increase Common Core readiness for both teachers and students.
Your generous gift will help fund VTS professional development and teaching materials for elementary school teachers in New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, Sonoma and Napa Counties in California, Portland, Oregon and several other states across the nation, directly benefitting a minimum of 10,000 underserved children.
Please support VTS in helping at-risk children and schools, by donating here:
Thank you very much in advance for your support!
Amy Chase Gulden