Batavia's public schools are helping to drive local economic growth, according to observations by Ann Flynn, director of education technology programs for the National School Board Association.
Flynn was recently in Batavia and made these observations:
In driving around the community, I noticed that new commercial development was underway and after meeting the students, teachers, district staff, and board members, it was clear how the quality of the district's schools must surely contribute to that growth. Sixty-seven educators from 10 states joined me last week to gain a deeper understanding about how Batavia developed its vision and found the funding to create student-centered classrooms. A great example was seen during the visit to a middle school social studies class that had students working in three areas of the room: one group completing work sheets by listening to pre-assigned segments of campaign speeches on iPods; another group using an interactive white board with the instructor; and the remaining students working in pairs on a WebQuest with computers located in the rear of the room.
Throughout the visit, we saw excited, engaged students focused on their assigned tasks that encouraged them to think rather than simply recite facts. Although many factors impact an area's economic well being, the visit to Batavia, reminded me how critical it is for school board members to understand the role public schools play in a community's long-term economic health. It is evident that the city of Batavia is now reaping the benefits from years of thoughtful planning by school leaders.
One of the things that excited us about launching The Batavian in Batavia is the strong sense of economic vitality. If the schools are helping to drive that, all the better for the community's long-term economic health.
We certainly believe in education. Education not only helps create entrepreneurs and a talented work force, but it also leads to a better engaged citizenry. These are the things that make a community strong.