Reforms that could help NARROW the Achievement Gap
Susan Notes: This paper is excerpted from Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic, and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap, by Richard Rothstein (Teachers College Press 2004). Why isn't anybody listening? Of course, it is more convenient for Corporados and their political handmaidens to blame teachers.
Policymakers almost universally conclude that persistent achievement gaps must result
from wrongly designed school policies-- either expectations that are too low, teachers who
are insufficiently qualified, curricula that are badly designed, classes that are too large,
school climates that are too undisciplined, leadership that is too unfocused, or a combination of these. This exclusive focus on schooling is wrong. Without complementary investments in early childhood preparation, health care, housing, after-school and summer programs, and other social and economic supports, the achievement gap will never be closed.
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