April 2024
Vol 21 No 4

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About Harry and Rosemary Wong...
Harry and Rosemary Wong are teachers. Harry is a native of San Francisco and taught middle school and high school science. Rosemary is a native of New Orleans and taught K-8, including working as the school media coordinator and student activity director.

Harry Wong has been awarded the Outstanding Secondary Teacher Award, the Science Teacher Achievement Recognition Award, the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award, and the Valley Forge Teacher's Medal. Rosemary was chosen as one of California's first mentor teachers and has been awarded the Silicon Valley Distinguished Woman of the Year Award.

Harry Wong is the most sought after speaker in education today. He has been called "Mr. Practicality" for his common sense, user-friendly, no-cost approach to managing a classroom for high-level student success.

Nearly a million teachers worldwide have heard his message. Because he is fully booked for two years, he has agreed to and has invited his wife to join him in doing a monthly column for Teachers.Net so that more people can hear their message.

About Their Work... Harry and Rosemary Wong are committed to bringing quality and dignity to the materials they produce. For this, they have formed their own publishing company, of which Rosemary is the CEO. They have dedicated their lives to leaving a legacy in education and making a difference in the lives of teachers and students.

Their latest contribution to helping teachers succeed is an eLearning course on Classroom Management.

1. The course can be taken in private at the learner's convenience.

2. The outcome of the course is
a 2 inch binder with your own
Classroom Management Action Plan.

This Action Plan is similar to the organized and structured plan used by all successful teachers.  Details for the classroom management course can be seen at

The Wongs have written The First Days of School, the best-selling book ever in education. Over 2.7 million copies have been sold.

A third edition of The First Days of School has been released and includes an added bonus, an Enhanced CD featuring Harry Wong. The Enhanced CD, Never Cease to Learn, is dedicated to those teachers who know that the more they learn, the more effective they become.

The Wongs have also produced the video series The Effective Teacher, winner of the Telly Award for the best educational video of the past twenty years and awarded the 1st place Gold Award in the International Film and Video Festival.

They have released a new set of CDs with Harry Wong LIVE, speaking on How to Improve Student Achievement, as he speaks at one of his many presentations. He is the most sought after speaker in education and his presentations are legendary.

When the book, video series, and CD, and eLearning course are used together, they form the most effective staff training tool for developing effective teachers. Staff developers and administrators who would like to know how to implement the aforementioned book, video series, and CD are encouraged to consult the book, New Teacher Induction:  How to Train, Support, and Retain New Teachers. Information about these products can be found by visiting the publisher's website at or

Best Sellers

The First Days of School with Enhanced CD, Never Cease to Learn
by Harry & Rosemary Wong
$18.30 from
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The Effective Teacher (Video Set)
Presented by Harry Wong

8 DVDs, with Facilitator's Handbook in PDF, book The First Days of School, and storage case, $695.00 from (volume discounts available)
More information


Classroom Management with Harry and Rosemary Wong
eLearning course for individual use, CEUs available Preview the course and order at $124.95 (Group discounts available.)


How to Improve Student Achievement
Hear Harry Wong Live! in this 2 CD set
More information


New Teacher Induction: How to Train, Support, and Retain New Teachers
by Annette L. Breaux, Harry K. Wong

$23.07 from
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Pathways: A Guide for Energizing & Enriching Band, Orchestra, & Choral Programs
by Joseph Alsobrook

$12.57 from
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Results : The Key to Continuous School Improvement
by Mike Schmoker

$20.95 from
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Improving Schools from Within : Teachers, Parents, and Principals Can Make the Difference
by Roland Sawyer Barth

$13.30 from
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A First-Year Teacher's Guidebook, 2nd Ed.
by Bonnie Williamson, Marilyn Pribus (Editor), Kathy Hoff, Sandy Thornton (Illustrator)

$17.95 from
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Schools That Learn: A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents, and Everyone Who Cares About Education
by Peter M. Senge (Editor), Nelda H. Cambron McCabe, Timothy Lucas, Art Kleiner, Janis Dutton, Bryan Smith

$24.50 from
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The Courage to Teach : Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life
by Parker J. Palmer

$16.76 from
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If You Don't Feed the Teachers They Eat the Students : Guide to Success for Administrators and Teachers
by Neila A. Connors

$13.96 from
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Effective Teaching...
by Harry and Rosemary Wong

February 2006

What Teachers Have Accomplished

Each day, 150,000 children come to your classrooms from a homeless situation.  Some 8,000 children are reported every day to public agencies as having been abused or neglected.  One child out of eight is born each year to an unwed teenage mother.  And one out of five is born into poverty.

Yet, when they walk into your classrooms you do not ask if they are in this country legally or illegally, if their parents beat them the night before, if they had breakfast, or if they are homeless.

You welcome them.  You nurture them; you love them; and you teach them.

You teach them to acquire the knowledge and skills that will make them productive citizens and will help them grow to their fullest potential as human beings.

And because of what you do, this is what you have accomplished:

  1. More Children Are Attending Full-Day Kindergarten.  In 1983, just under one-third of kindergarteners went to school.  Now, more than 60 percent of kindergarteners attend for a full day.
  2. Americans Are Becoming More Educated.  In 1945, the percentage of adults age 25 and older who had completed high school was 24 percent and in 2004 it was 86 percent.  In the same time period, the proportion of adults who had attained at least a bachelor’s degree increased from 4 percent to 27 percent.
  3. High School Students Are Taking a More Challenging Curriculum.  The percentage of high school graduates completing a core academic curriculum—including four years of English and three years each of mathematics, science, and social studies—quadrupled between 1982 and 2000, from 14 percent to 57 percent.
  4. More High School Students Are Completing Advanced Math and Science Courses.  The percentage of high school graduates completing advanced math courses (any course more challenging than algebra II or geometry) climbed from 26 percent in 1982 to 45 percent in 2000 and the percentage completing advanced science courses (any course more challenging than general biology) rose from 35 percent to 63 percent.
  5. More High School Students Are Taking AP Courses and Exams.  Between school years 1983-84 and 2003-04, the number of students taking AP exams rose from 177,000 to more than 1.1 million and the number of AP exams taken grew from almost 240,000 to 1.8 million.
  6. More Students with Disabilities Are Being Educated in Regular Classrooms.  Between school years 1985-86 and 2003-04, the percentage of students with disabilities educated in regular classrooms for most of the school day with non-disabled students grew from 26 percent to 50 percent.
  7. Student Achievement Has Gone Up in Math.  Both 9 and 13 year-olds scored significantly higher in 2004 on the long-term trend tests of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) than they had in 1982. Gains have been particularly dramatic for 9 year-olds.  The average scores jumped from 219 in 1982 to 241 in 2004.  For 13 year-olds, average scores rose from 269 in 1982 to 281 in 2004.
  8. Younger Students Are Showing Gains in Reading Achievement.  According to the long-term trend data of the NAEP, reading achievement for 9 year-olds reached the highest score, 219, since NAEP began testing reading in 1971 and most gains have occurred since 1999.
  9. In Other Academic Subjects, Achievement Has Improved or Stayed the Same.  Since the 1990s, NAEP scores have gone up for students in grades 4 and 8 in writing, history, and geography.
  10. Some Achievement Gaps Are Narrowing.  NAEP test score gaps in math and reading between Caucasian and minority students have tapered to the smallest margins in three decades.  Data from the regular NAEP assessment in writing also shows a reduction in the gap between Caucasians and African Americans in average scale scores at grade 4, from 26 points in 1998 to 21 points in 2000.  Although scores have gone up for Caucasian students, African American and Hispanic students have gained at a somewhat faster rate.
  11. SAT Scores Have Gone Up, Even as Many More Students Are Taking the Test.  Scores on the SAT college entrance exam are higher than they were 10 or 20 years ago.  The number of test takers has grown to more than 1.4 million students in 2004.  The group of SAT test takers has also become more racially and ethnically diverse than it was 20 years ago.
  12. ACT Test Scores Have Remained Stable, Even as the Number of Test Takers Has Surged.  The number of test takers has grown from about 1 million in 1994 to 1.2 million in 2004.
  13. More Students Complete High School.  The United States is a world leader in high school completion.  Eighty-seven percent of 18 to 24 year-olds have completed high school and more than two-thirds of 25 to 29 year-olds have completed some college.
  14. Almost All U.S. Classrooms Have Internet Access.  Virtually all public schools (99 percent) have Internet access, an increase from just 35 percent in 1994.  The percentage of instructional rooms with Internet access has climbed from just 3 percent in 1994 to 93 percent in 2003.
  15. Students Are Safe at School.  Rates of crime and violence at school, or on the way to and from school, fell by half during the past decade.  During the past several years, the percentage of students who carried a weapon on school property, were involved in a physical fight at school, or felt unsafe at school or traveling to or from school has also decreased significantly.  Children are safer at school than in the community or at home.
  16. Parents Would Rather Reform the Current Public Education System Than Find an Alternative System.  The percentage of public school parents who prefer to reform the existing system has grown from 60 percent in 2000 to 72 percent in 2004.  Sixty-one percent of public school parents also gave the schools in their community a grade of A or B—an increase over the 52 percent who gave these grades in 1998.
  17. Public School Teachers Are Better Educated and More Experienced Than Private School Teachers.  In school year 1999-2000, 47 percent of public school teachers versus 35 percent of private school teachers held a master’s degree or higher.  Only 13 percent of public school teachers have less than three years of experience, compared with almost 24 percent of private school teachers.  Fifty-eight percent of public school teachers have ten or more years of experience, compared with 45 percent of private school teachers.
  18. Fewer High School Teachers Are Teaching Outside Their Field of Preparation.  Between 1987-99 and 1999-2000, the percentage of high school students enrolled in classes taught by an out-of-field teacher—one who lacked a major, minor, or certification in the subject being taught—decreased for most core academic subjects, including English.
  19. More Students Are Going to College.  The number of students enrolled in two and four year colleges has climbed steadily over the past two decades from 10,618,000 students in 1984 to 14,257,000 in 2002.  By 2003, 64 percent of high school graduates went to college right out of high school, a jump from about 55 percent in 1984. Fifty-five percent of women high school graduates went to college in 1984, while 67 percent went in 2003.
  20. More Young Adults Are Completing Four Year College Degrees.  In 2002, 29 percent of young adults ages 25 to 29 held a bachelor’s degree, compared with 22 percent in 1985.  College completion rates have risen steadily for Caucasian and African American youth but have fluctuated for Hispanic youth.
  21. More Women Are Earning College and Graduate Degrees.  Since 1984, the percentage of college, graduate, and professional degrees earned by women has risen steadily.  The share of degree holders who are women has increased in fields where women were once seriously underrepresented, such as medicine, dentistry, and law.
  22. You Bring Diverse People Together. The public schools continue to be successful in bringing together the most diverse population of students among the industrialized nations and preparing large numbers of immigrants for life in America and the world.

Much of the above information has been excerpted from a document, “Do You Know . . . The Latest Good News About American Education?” Center on Education Policy. August 2005. Available at

The Promise of Education

Education for all is one of the defining promises of our American democracy.  No matter their religion, social class, family income, special needs, or personal characteristics, students are taught the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as contributing adults.  You also convey moral values, such as integrity, individual responsibility, fairness, justice, patriotism, respect for others, doing a good job, being on time, working well with others, and being a good citizen.

Teachers Provide More Schooling

By 2015, 118 million young children in the world will still not be able to attend a school and over 200 million young people will have no secondary school to attend, a total of over 300 million.  Yet, in America schooling is provided for more people for longer periods of time than any other country.

America is the world leader in high school completion rates, with more Americans than ever before, across diverse backgrounds, completing high school and earning a bachelor’s degree.

Teachers educate millions, improving social mobility among individuals, and preparing immigrants to participate and succeed in America and contribute to the world.

You teach common values and democratic principles and instill a culture that supports America as a unified, dynamic, and flourishing nation of diverse people.

You provide a wide range of services and special education programming unparalleled by other nations.

You have played THE major role in imprinting equality and respect for diversity as a value and practice among students of all races, abilities, and genders.

America is the world’s super power because of what its people know and can do.  The country has succeeded not in spite of education, but because of it.

For more details on the above, please see Michael J. Resnick, “Public Education—An American Imperative: Why Public Schools Are Vital to the Well-Being of Our Nation.” Policy Research Brief. National School Boards Association. Spring/Summer 2004. Available at

What Teachers Need to Accomplish

Although you have accomplished much, there are still challenges facing the profession, and we know you are up to these challenges:

Six million students throughout America are currently at risk of dropping out of school.

High school dropouts are unable to enter the workforce with the necessary skills to meet the demands of our nation in the global economy.  By increasing the number of graduates with a quality education, this will raise national revenues and will reduce billions of dollars in public and private expenditures currently spent on rectifying the shortcomings of a failed high school education.

By increasing minority students’ participation in college to the same percentage as that of Caucasian students, this would create an additional $231 billion in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and at least $80 billion in new tax revenues.

If literacy levels in the United States were the same as those in Sweden, the U.S. GDP would rise by approximately $463 billion and tax revenues would increase by approximately $162 billion.

The quality of instruction in reading, writing, and mathematics needs to improve because American business currently spends more than $60 billion each year on training, much of that on remedial reading, writing, and mathematics.

In 2001, the National Association of Manufacturers reported that 80 percent of manufacturers continue to experience a moderate-to-serious shortage of qualified job candidates.

More than 70 percent of both college professors and employers said that recent high school graduates were unable to write clearly and had only poor or fair grammar and spelling skills.

In 2000, the unemployment rate of African Americans twenty to twenty-four years of age with less than a high school education was 32 percent, compared to 6 percent for African Americans in the same age group with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Employment projections indicate that jobs requiring only a high school degree will grow by just 9 percent by the year 2008, while those requiring a bachelor’s degree will grow by 25 percent and those requiring an associate’s degree will grow by 31 percent.

In 1973, 36 percent of Americans in skilled blue-collar and related fields had not finished high school, while just 17 percent had some college or a degree. By 1998, only 11 percent of Americans in skilled blue-collar and related careers had not finished high school, while 48 percent of such workers had some college or a degree.

At Harvard, Lawrence F. Katz and Claudia Goldin found that the increases in educational attainment in the labor force from 1915 to 1999 resulted in at least a 23 percent gain of the overall growth in productivity, or around 10 percent of growth in gross domestic product.

Today, more Americans attend college than ever before, but the rest of the world is catching up.  The once-large education gap between the United States and other countries is closing—making it increasingly important to understand what education is really worth to a nation.

Education is not just part of the cost of maintaining a functioning democracy, but a source of wealth creation for all.  There is a definite relationship between education and the economic health of a nation!

For a fuller elaboration on the above statements, please read “The Impact on Education on: The Economy.” Fact Sheet November 2003. Alliance for Education. Available at

You ARE the Difference

Please read “The Miracle of Teachers.” (

Education is the most important business around.
Teachers are the landscapers of the human race.

                                          Anna Quindlen

What teachers do is nothing short of a miracle that humbles and inspires us all.

For what you do, know that you are respected, indispensable, and loved.

You don’t make a difference as much as you ARE the difference.  It only takes one person to make a difference and blessed to that person who does.

Thank you for your energy, your dedication, your commitment, and your love for children.

Most importantly, thank you for your passion to BE the difference.

For a printable version of this article click here.

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