Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Saturday, May 28, 2005

This sounds good

Education is not my area of expertise, but I've long felt that the biggest obstacle for disadvantaged groups was low expectations. This (via Eduwonk) sounds like I might be right:
Spurred by President Bush's No Child Left Behind law, educators across the nation are putting extraordinary effort into improving the achievement of minority students, who lag so sharply that by 12th grade, the average black or Hispanic student can read and do arithmetic only as well as the average eighth-grade white student.

Here in Boston, low-achieving students, most of them blacks and Hispanics, are seeing tutors during lunch hours for help with math. In a Sacramento junior high, low-achieving students are barred from orchestra and chorus to free up time for remedial English and math. And in Minnesota, where American Indian students, on average, score lower than whites on standardized tests, educators rearranged schedules so that Chippewa teenagers who once sewed beads onto native costumes during school now work on grammar and algebra.

One can only wonder why these things didn't happen before, but I suspect there is a lot of underlying racism in the U.S. educational system that doesn't think minorities are capable as achieving as much as whites. I think Bush called it "the soft bigotry of low expecations."

Remeber this movie.

I was surprised to see this article in the NY Times which seems resolutely opposed to education reform, but even more surprised to see it referred to as "President Bush's law" as it was actually a bipartisan effort. I wish politicians would spend more time on things like this and fighting poverty and less on bickering.


At 6:30 AM, Anonymous ollie said...

About that movie: it was good, but remember the following happened in real life:

1) the class was carefully selected (NOT just a random group); these were the best students out of many.

2) these kids were taught over more than one year

This program required RESOURCES. Yes, that means money.


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