Expect More, Achieve More: Standards in Education Raised and how mentors can help

Posted by Eric Bleier on August 25, 2010

How mentors can help their mentees during the TCAP transition to higher standards

The First to the Top Coalition, a statewide alliance of more than 30 business, community and education organizations which support education reform in Tennessee, launched the “Expect More, Achieve More” project to build public awareness of higher educational standards that will affect TCAP assessment test scores this Fall.

These changes are based on a national agreement of Governors and Chief State School Officers about the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

The goal was to bring the participating states into greater uniformity with regard to the educational standards students are tested upon. In Tennessee, it is anticipated that these new standards, which were included in the TCAP test for the Spring of 2010, are likely to show lower student proficiency.

The support that mentors can provide their mentees certainly includes help with homework and tutoring. But to be a mentor goes beyond being a tutor.

The Search Institute lists the 40 Developmental Assets with which a young person can grow up healthy, caring and responsible.

A mentor provides many of these Assets, including the following:

Other Adult Relationships: Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults.
Community Values Youth: Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
Adult Role Models: Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.

As well as modeling and teaching values such as:

Integrity: Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs.
Responsibility: Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.
Interpersonal Competence: Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
Positive View of Personal Future: Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.

See the Search Institute’s complete list of the 40 Developmental Assets and learn about the more intangible skills mentors can impart.

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