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[Susan notes: It's great to be able to find an article you can praise--and then emphasize the point that the nation's children would be far better served by investment in initiatives to address poverty than in any more standards programs or standardized testing in schools.]

Submitted to Education Week but not published
12/06/2006

To the editor

RE: Outsider in the Locker Room

What the Stories We Tell Ourselves About High Expectations Leave Out
By William A. Proefriedt



It was gratifying to read this commentary, after so many years of the suppression of the opinions and views and indeed, even the research findings of all those educators who attempt to discuss SES factors in student achievement, only to be ruthlessly shouted down. Teachers who are willing to speak of these issues are told in a variety of ways that they are not confident in the abilities of children of students who have historically done poorly in school, or have left without graduating. Worse, it might be implied you are a racist who holds negative views about the children of ethnic minorities. All to support the notion that simply upholding standards, planning lessons "aligned" with standards, and measuring outcomes according to the standards is enough. Mention children who lack sufficient food, sleep, a place to call home, have no books or access to books, or suffer the effects of poverty in other ways, and you may find yourself accused of espousing a deficit view of these children.



I concur with others who believe that the nation's children would be far better served by investment in initiatives to address poverty than in any more standards programs or standardized testing in schools.



Juliet Luther

Bilingual Educator/ESL Specialist

Juliet Luther


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