Our last school visit in Morocco took us to the Rabat American School. Principal Sean Goudie was a most welcoming and gracious host. The school is brand new and located in a spacious campus by the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. They accommodate 450 pre-k to 12th grade students who come from 44 different countries. The majority, however, are American and Moroccan.
All 11th and 12th graders participate in the International Baccalaureate program with more than 80% earning the IB diploma. The school’s mission is to prepare their graduates for a college education.
The school also requires all students to engage in community service in the Rabat area.
The contrast between our school visits was significant. The two tribal schools we visited lacked such essential necessities as toilets and water. They had little, if any, instructional materials, yet their students were eager to attend school and receive an education.
The Rabat school was at the opposite end of the continuum. A beautiful, spacious facility, it is well equipped and staffed with well-trained professionals.
All of these schools have a mission of doing their best to educate their students. But in no way could anyone ever expect the same academic achievement levels could be attained by all schools.
We have economic disparity in America yet we expect all schools to achieve at the same level. That will never happen without achieving economic parity first.
Daniel A. Domenech is the executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association.