Reville Writes on Poverty Gap Strategies in Ed WeekBy Paul Reville
My post earlier this week framed the piece that Jeff Henig and I contributed to Ed Week’s print edition and laid out the need for education reformers to review the evidence and admit that closing achievement gaps is not as simple as adopting a set of standards, accountability and instructional improvement strategies. While these strategies are necessary, the data on student achievement in Massachusetts, after nearly two decades of reform, makes it readily apparent that schooling solutions alone are not sufficient to achieve our aspiration of getting all students to proficiency. We have set the nation’s highest standards, been tough on accountability and invested billions in building school capacity, yet we still see a very strong correlation between socioeconomic background and educational achievement and attainment. It is now clear that unless and until we make a more active effort to mitigate the impediments to learning that are commonly associated with poverty, we will still be faced with large numbers of children who are either unable to come to school or so distracted as not to be able to be attentive and supply effort when they get there. In other words, we must create a healthy platform in the lives of all of our children if we expect them to show the learning gains expected to result from optimized instructional strategies.
The post generated a robust dialogue about the topic, a lot of interesting philosophical debate. However, the challenge now is to translate our analysis into action by implementing a series of strategies, coupled with measurable outcomes, to ensure success.
For full post, visit the Futures of School Reform Group on edweek.org.