The Supposed Trouble With Helping Poor Students Learn
Kevin Carey with a great rebuttal to dimwitted left-wing apologists:
In the course of stridently critiquing the education manifesto recently put forth by the superintendants of the New York City, Washington, DC, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, Denver, Philadelphia, Kansas City, New Orleans, Charlotte, and Indianapolis schools systems, among others, University of Colorado education school professor Kevin Welner says:
It is disgraceful for these leaders who are in charge of 2.5 million students – disproportionately students in impoverished, urban areas – to act as enablers for those who dismiss the need to address issues of concentrated poverty.
I highlight this because it's crucial to understanding the worst intellectual pathologies of the education establishment. People like Welner don't just think that Joel Klein, Michele Rhee, Andres Alonso, and Arlene Ackerman are making bad decisions in the course of helping poor children learn. Welner believes that by asserting that poor children can learn, the superintendents are hurting the cause of making poor children less poor. While many people believe this, most choose not to say it so clearly.
The question of how to think about the intersection of poverty and education is important–in many ways, it has dominated the education discourse for the better part of two decades. A journalist asked me about it recently after a previous post and here's the email I sent in reply: