Why school achievement isn't reaching the poor - The Boston Globe

Why school achievement isn't reaching the poor - The Boston Globe
Other research in places like Dallas and Houston that show how high-poverty students are so much more likely to receive ineffective teachers repeatedly confirm how the nation's school children suffer from a ''crushing impact of maldistribution" of teachers, according to the Education Trust. In Capitol Hill testimony two months ago, Education Trust director Kati Haycock asked, ''What's happened with all the new money and all the new focus on teacher quality? No one knows. . . . What we are left with is a bold policy initiative from Congress that has never seen the light of day." She said many states ''have yet to even acknowledge the disparities in access, let alone craft a plan to address the problems."

This, by the way, is from an advocate who praised No Child Left Behind in general in the same testimony for its ''dramatically positive impact on American education." The studies keep coming that show that schools can raise student achievement with stoic principals and dedicated teachers who toil in a ''shared culture" against all odds. It will be a great day when every child has a chance to share in the culture.

One possible problem might be with the unrealistic expectations of reformers who try to apply a 'single success' model to a whole significantly more complex system. Perhaps, system-wide changes should receive their own solutions rather than those derived from the system-is-person metaphor.