Read Diane Ravitch's address to the National Opportunity to Learn Summit. It capsilizes most of the ills of public education policy of the last 10 years well (link)
THIS ARICLE IS FROM AN ADVOCATE FOR JUSTICE IN PUBLIC EDUCATION, JAN RESSEGER. SHE ALSO WROTE A POIGNANT PIECE ON "WAITING FOR SUPERMAN" (link here)
I send links to two blog posts this morning. Both are thoughtful reflections after the hoopla in the media this past week on the opening of the film, “Waiting for Superman,” and the special coverage on NBC, “Education Nation.”
Both writers are well respected and extremely thoughtful generally, but their comments yesterday explore two subjects that have been skimmed over with virtually no attention that I can see this past week.
The first is from Valerie Strauss, “Answer Sheet” blog in the Washington Post: “The Poverty Gap: There Are Always Exceptions, But They Make Bad Policy.” http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/school-turnaroundsreform/obama-and-the-elephant-part-2.html#more What does it mean for public schools that in Washington, DC, “Among black children… childhood poverty shot up to 43 percent, from 36 percent in 2008 and 31 percent in 2007”? Most particularly what do such statistics mean for schools? Of course all children can learn, but how can we realistically consider the impact of children’s lives outside school on their academic achievement and address those children’s needs---to ensure the children can learn?
These columns explore deep and important issues the media has ignored. I hope you will read and think about them.
"That all citizens will be given an equal start through a sound education is one of the most basic, promised rights of our democracy. Our chronic refusal as a nation to guarantee that right for all children.... is rooted in a kind of moral blindness, or at least a failure of moral imagination.... It is a failure which threatens our future as a nation of citizens called to a common purpose... tied to one another by a common bond." —Senator Paul Wellstone, March 31, 2000