Imagine for a moment that you were given the power to close the gap between the academic achievement of the rich and poor in our country. This would be a tremendous opportunity, right?BUT what if you could only choose one way/method/approach to make it happen? If you only got one shot at it, what would you do?
The list of options is numerous. What really got me thinking were two articles I came across recently. One was sent via our friend Jessy from TenMarks. It details a charter school in Atlanta whose plan was to eliminate the all-too-common segregation that exists in urban schools (especially charters) by bringing lower and middle class students together into one neighborhood school. And it’s working. (View the article here.) So why aren’t others trying this, I wonder? And if they are, why aren’t we hearing about it?
But back to the one thing…would you choose the approach the Atlanta school chose? Or would you draw from the lengthy list of other options? Here’s another article that really got me thinking. It’s from Joe Bower’s blog, for the love of learning. I don’t always agree with everything Joe writes, but I think he’s right on target in this article about poverty. And he links to several other great articles, including one called “What the US can’t learn from Finland.” That article names three issues that need to be addressed in U.S. education before reform can move forward and our schools can look anything like Finland’s: school funding, well-being of children (i.e. poverty), and education as a human right. I think that’s what got me going on the “one thing” idea. I’m not crazy enough to think that we are going to get all three of those things done at once (feel free to prove me wrong, Congress). But would just ONE of those help? And how would you choose?
I don’t know the answer. But I do know there are other things on the list, such as improving teacher education programs, providing effective pre-K opportunities to all underprivileged families, and so on.
So what would you choose? Please let us know by leaving a comment. And please consider subscribing to our blog, too.
It’s been a thought-provoking week here as I’ve taken time to think about the vast morass that is the achievement gap. I hope the posts have added to the conversation. As more thoughts come to me, I’ll be blogging about them.
When it comes to the achievement gap, there are all kinds of great people and great organizations working tirelessly every day to close it. These stories, unfortunately, do not often receive the publicity they deserve. One thing I want to do a better job of is finding them and sharing them with my network. For one thing, I think they’re inspiring. They remind us that, yes, progress can be made. Change is possible. In addition, the stories help bring attention and effort to the cause.
So if you have a story, or know of a story, please share it with us. The easiest way is to tweet us (@engaginged) but you can get to us on facebook or you can email us (contact [at] engagingeductors [dot] com).
Thanks for reading.