The role of the gaps in our schools: Today, we start the third week of our ongoing series, “Our month of the gaps.”
Our public schools display very large “achievement gaps.” In a recent New York Times column, Eduardo Porter described this remarkable state of affairs:
PORTER (5/21/14): Addressing the vast disparities between students’ abilities will not be easy. In some public schools, children who are entering the sixth grade with the measured proficiency of first graders are mixed in with children who perform well above the sixth-grade standard.Do middle schools really struggle with that wide range of achievement levels? Data from our most reliable testing program, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, suggest the existence of these large achievement gaps within the nation’s student population.
Schools struggle to teach this mix. Teachers are frustrated: Almost half leave the profession within five years.
(For painful examples, see last Thursday's report.)
These gaps create large problems within our public schools. Despite this fact, these gaps are often disregarded by our educational experts and our education writers.
All week, we’ll look at the way these very large gaps complicate matters within our schools. As we do, we’ll note the way the problems we describe are commonly disregarded, finessed.
Will people ever come to terms with the problems caused by the gaps? As matters stand, we don’t seem to care about the low-income kids who are often found at the short end of these punishing gaps.
Surely, that can’t be the case! But that’s the way it seems.