Keeping the Promise of Accountability: Building Student Capacity

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Keeping the Promise of Accountability: Building Student Capacity

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Keeping the Promise of Accountability: Building “Student Capacity” Through Cognitive Skill Training

Summary

The U.S. Department of Education has released “A Blueprint for Reform,” the document that embodies its proposals for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). One of the core principles in the Blueprint is accountability. While accountability was central in No Child Left Behind (NCLB, the previous reauthorization of ESEA), the new ESEA proposal espouses a more ambitious goal – “true college and career readiness” for every student.1

Accountability is, at heart, a promise.2 The Blueprint’s promise is that all students will graduate from high school ready for either college or a career. To accomplish that, schools must, among other things, build “student capacity” – the ability to think and learn. Neuroscience research has shown that the ability to think and learn can be developed and enhanced through cognitive exercise. BrainWare SAFARI3 is a cognitive exercise software program that has been shown to dramatically improve student capacity to learn. When students have the ability to learn and to benefit from good curriculum and teachers, the outcome of the next ESEA authorization can be a promise kept.