1/03/2006

More Than Lip Service for High Expectations

There's an interesting post about the expectations and achievement over at A Constrained Vision, in which Katie weaves together her thoughts about what I wrote earlier this winter about PovRacers and SchoolRefs with the writings of various scholars -- and comes to the opposite conclusion I did.

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In the post (Poverty and school reform), her conclusion is that "the SchoolRefs and the No Excuses crowd are winning the debate. The sooner the PovRacers recognize that, the better."

Yikes. I'm not sure I agree with that.

My main thought (PovRacers vs. SchoolRefs) was and is that poverty and race in education continue to have tremendous resonance among teachers and the broader public as explanatory factors for student/school performance, and that large-scale progress likely won't happen until school reformers understand and address this persistent belief.

In short: It's not just low-income minority kids who aren't sure they can achieve at high levels, or the teachers who teach them, or those who follow Kozol and Orfield. It's parents, the public, the press -- a much broader group who often give lip service to high expectations and achievement that I'm not sure I buy.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Ed Crowe said...

Interesting discussion about SchoolREfs and PovRacers. To some extent, these positions both set the other up as a "straw person" (to be PC). On the other hand, I think it is no big secret why teachers believe that poverty and race trump high expectations, teaching quality, and meaningful accountability. They are taught these dysfunctional values in education schools by faculty whose definition of "social justice" excludes achievement, ambition, and expectations from the equation. Their students are taught the "lesson" that the pupils they will teach after graduation are victims. Little wonder that the victim myth drives so much poor instruction and fuels so many excuses for failure on the part of students, parents, teachers, and schools.

11:23 AM  

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