Monday, April 12, 2010

Why great teachers matter to low-income students

A GREAT op ed in the Washington Post by Klein, Lomax and Murguia from the Educational Equality Project:

In the debate over how to fix American public education, many believe that schools alone cannot overcome the impact that economic disadvantage has on a child, that life outcomes are fixed by poverty and family circumstances, and that education doesn't work until other problems are solved.

This theory is, in some ways, comforting for educators. After all, if schools make only a marginal difference, we can stop faulting ourselves for failing to make them work well for millions of children. It follows that we can stop working to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (currently known as No Child Left Behind) and stop competing in the Obama administration's Race to the Top initiative, which promises controversial changes.

Problem is, the theory is wrong. It's hard to know how wrong -- because we haven't yet tried to make the changes that would tell us -- but plenty of evidence demonstrates that schools can make an enormous difference despite the challenges presented by poverty and family background.


 Why great teachers matter to low-income students

By Joel I. Klein, Michael Lomax and Janet Murguía
Friday, April 9, 2010; A19

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