School and Community Portrait What makes a good school? What makes a good teacher? Does this school help the student to achieve the American Dream?

Essay by deerhuntr56University, Bachelor'sA+, March 2005

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The following paper addresses three main research questions regarding Pleasantville High School, in Pleasantville, NY. I spent half a day, once a week for seven weeks observing for the most part a physics class taught by Mr. Greg Dimurro, where I kept notes in an observation log. The three questions I address are was it a good school, was Mr. Dimurro a good teacher, and whether or not the school helps students achieve the American dream. My findings were that it was indeed a good school, that Mr. Dimurro was a very good teacher, and that Pleasantville High School does in fact help kids achieve the American dream.


The reason behind this paper is to examine the relationship between the school that I spent one half day a week observing and the community it is in. That relationship is an important aspect in how the school functions, and the educational experience that the students at that school receive.

A school that has a bad relationship with the community that it is in, whether it be because it is a poor neighborhood and funding is lacking or the school board has angered people living in the district, has a far less chance of providing its students with the essentials of what a good school should have. Some of these of which we have discussed in class include having highly qualified teachers, equal opportunities for all students, including those with disabilities, and a safe and orderly school environment to name a few. I will discuss more of these later.

According to Deborah Meier, in her letter titled, "Creating Schools We Can Trust," in Letters to the Next President, trust is one of the most important aspects in creating a quality education for students. She states, "Where trust...