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View Diary: Rich Kid, Poor Kid - Who gets the education? (36 comments)

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  •  Don't worry (11+ / 0-)

    The last time I looked in the state of Washington, there were about 133 different "cut" points, or score comparisons of different racial/ethnic and socio-economic groups, across grade levels.  Failure to meet "Adequate Yearly Progress" on closing the achievement gap around any of these cut points puts a school into the "needs improvement" category.

    That term (needs improvement) has rapidly been turned into "failing school," even if the shortcoming represents just one or two students in one particular ethnic category. (Say, two non-English speaking Hispanic kids who arrive in fourth-grade mid-year.)  Or it could be three dyslexic kids or a child suffering from moderate autism, because, of course, there are supposed to be no learning gaps between students not challenged with disabilities and those with disabilities.

    But not to worry. The inexorable logic of No Child Left Behind (Dubya's legacy that establishes these cut points and disaggregated comparisons) is that EVERY PUBLIC SCHOOL IN THE UNITED STATES will, in a matter of a couple of years be labeled as failing -- because every school (even those with few low-income or minority students) enrolls a significant proportion of students with disabilities.

    How the politics of that play out will be interesting to see.  It's one thing to label inner-city schools as failing; middle class white America shrugs.  But people on Mercer Island, Washington, or in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, New Trier, Illinois, or Scarsdale, New York will not be pleased to see their local high schools (often on national lists of outstanding  schools) labeled as failures. So there might be some blowback.

    But the real thing to look out for is the predictable right-wing response: Public schools are all failing; let's move to vouchers.

    •  This quote from you says it all! (10+ / 0-)

      But the real thing to look out for is the predictable right-wing response: Public schools are all failing; let's move to vouchers.

      The Conservative/Republican agenda has always been to kill public education.

      Oh Barry, they are turning Health Care into an Actuary's wet dream.

      by fredlonsdale on Tue Sep 15, 2009 at 02:41:49 PM PDT

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      •  Absolutely! nt (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raster44, Orinoco, SciMathGuy, miss SPED

        Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul. - Plato

        by Only Needs a Beat on Tue Sep 15, 2009 at 02:44:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassandra Waites, SciMathGuy

        I was just about to write a response congratulating the author of the article for a very relevant academic skill (and spatial relationships are academic-type skills needed by certain professions, such as dentistry) that is not evaluated on any standardized test.  Of course, one might argue that such skills are merely inherent, and cannot be taught. Could be, but certainly they could be developed.

        Anyway, then I read this comment again about vouchers, and I have to say, all my thoughts of rationally pointing out the flaws of the system just fly out the window, because the people pushing these things don't deal in rational argument. Their plan, as you say, is to destroy the public schools, just as they're trying to destroy social security and health care. And in California, one of the biggest economies on earth. 100 state parks are likely to close this year. They really are single-minded at achieving their goals. <sigh>

        Sorry for drivvling on like this, but basically, yes, I agree with your points.

        None of this makes a bit of difference if they don't count your vote.

        by Toddlerbob on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 04:57:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Blowback (5+ / 0-)

      You're absolutely right about the potential for blowback, and that's part of the bigger problem.  

      The majority of my students' parents are not the ones that will rise up in protest over the fact that their children are labeled as "failing" because they hardly have time to sleep at night let alone worry about how their child is doing in school.  There again is the breakdown, and that is the true "Shame of the Nation," to quote Jonathan Kozol.  

      I'm not saying that students of low socio-economic status should be given more opportunities than other children, but they should, at least, get the same ones, and they're definitely not getting that.

      Thanks for reading.

      ~~~~~~~~ "There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them." - Joseph Brodsky

      by Shakespeares Sister on Tue Sep 15, 2009 at 05:49:24 PM PDT

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    •  Blowback is the point of NCLB, IMHO (5+ / 0-)

      Because that could help build support for vouchers and an end to public education.

      Forcing schools to fail is precisely the point, IMHO.

      Those mandatory letters to all parents are intended to make people mad.

      Governing well shall be the best revenge

      by Bill White on Tue Sep 15, 2009 at 08:39:29 PM PDT

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    •  And the private schools can refuse disabled (6+ / 0-)

      children. The public schools have to keep them around.

      So of course the private school numbers are shiny happy sparkly things. They don't have to deal with the kids who need the extra help.

      Hoping and praying that the empty chairs and empty tables in Iran when all is said and done are as few as possible.

      by Cassandra Waites on Tue Sep 15, 2009 at 09:01:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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