Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Elephant in the Room

As I read through my twitter messages this evening, I came across Will Richardson's post to read this article. When will we confront the elephant standing in the corner? Read on below:

"Despite some of the highest levels of education spending in the entire nation, New Jersey’s public schools continue to confront a critical achievement gap that shortchanges our children. For example, the achievement gap between wealthy and low-income 8th graders in math is nearly the same as it was 19 years ago; the gap between at-risk 4th graders and those not at-risk has remained nearly unchanged over the past 13 years. Likewise, New Jersey’s education system has failed to prepare vast numbers of students with the critical skills required to be competitive in college or the workforce. In 2009, nearly 30 percent of all 8th graders statewide lacked basic math skills."

How can we continue to believe that continuing to throw money at schools and not discuss the problem between wealthy towns and low-income towns as perhaps the real issue here? This is not about taxing the "haves" and re-distributing that to the "have-nots." This is about the so-called "education reform" movement thinking that teachers and their unions are the problem, when some of the students that we teach didn't have a bed to sleep in last night, or a breakfast to eat that morning, or any number of other issues they show up with every day. Certainly, there are some that are able to overcome the issues that they face, but how often does that happen? When those people who are making the decisions about how to fix schools actually show up at a school and talk to a teacher and a student about what needs to happen to make schools better, maybe then school reform will work.

1 comment:

Ms_Herzl said...

Amen! As it has been proven time and again top down solutions to these types of problems rarely have an effect on the outcome. We can't keep putting bandaids on broken legs when it comes to education.