December 19th, 2013

Interaction of Teaching-to-the-Test and Socioeconomic Status

Here’s an excerpt of an essay by University of California at Davis Professor Norman Matloff, titled “Let’s Not Panic Over U.S. Students’ Global Rankings“:

“Even former Premier Wen Jiabao has complained about China’s rote-memory approach to education. Chen Lixin, an engineering professor at Northwestern Polytechnic University in Xian, has warned that China produces […]

April 30th, 2013

The Rich-Poor Student Achievement Gap Has Grown Over the Decades

In this NY Times Opinionator article titled “No Rich Child Left Behind“, Sean F. Reardon, professor of education and sociology at Stanford, explores how wealth has taken over race as the dominating factor in determining students’ success. The rich-poor gap in student achievement has widened significantly over the last 50 years. Here’s an excerpt:

September 28th, 2012

Education for All Shouldn’t Be About Rationing Limited Resources

RiShawn Biddle’s editorial board, who cover the reform of American public education in blog Dropout Nation, compiled three excerpts about the difficulty of trying to meet students’ advanced learning needs without exascerbating race- and class-driven acheivement gaps. The piece is called — The Power of Challenging Young Minds. Excerpt authors are: Sara Mead of Bellwether […]

April 14th, 2012

High Stakes Testing for Advanced Learning Programs in NYC

The practice of basing entry into advanced learning programs on a single aptitude test — taken by pre-kindergartners — creates very high stakes, and broadens the opportunity gap between parents who can afford expensive tutoring, and those who can’t. Karson Yiu and Edward Lovett report on this phenomenon in “Parents Spend Thousands on Test-Prep to […]

March 9th, 2012

Research Shows Poverty Creates the Biggest Achievement Gap of All

Jordan Weissmann wrote recently about the poverty gap in the Atlantic — “Occupy Kindergarten: The Rich-Poor Divide Starts With Education”. Here’s an excerpt:

Economic class is increasingly becoming the great dividing line of American education.

The New York Times has published a roundup of recent research showing the growing academic achievement […]

January 25th, 2012

CALA Members Respond to Academic Challenge Plan

Last week Cambridge Superintendent Jeffrey Young published his administration’s Academic Challenge Plan, which will be voted on by the School Committee on February 7th. Last night the Committee hosted a hearing for public comment on the Plan. More than 70 people attended, including several CALA members, many parents and students from the ISP community, and […]

December 22nd, 2011

Community Tackles Racism and Achievement Gaps

In St. Paul, Minnesota, nine teams of parents, educators, community leaders, and local business people are tackling the issues of racism, white privelege, and achievement gaps, as covered in this Twin Cities Daily Planet article: Action teams tackle St. Paul achievement gap, recommend other big changes at SPPS — Dec 20, 2011. Here’s an excerpt:


December 18th, 2011

Confronting the Advanced Learning Race Gap

This Nov 6, 2011 Washington Post article — Washington-area schools confront the ‘gifted gap’ — is about reforming identification and referral of advanced learners in Washington DC area schools, including Alexandria, and Fairfax Country. Here’s an excerpt:

A fourth grade class for gifted students in Alexandria, VA. The class is part of a program […]

December 17th, 2011

Closing the High-Low Achievement Gap, at a Cost

Excerpt from the Washington Post, Dec 15th, 2011 — opinion piece titled Closing the achievement gap, but at gifted students’ expense, by Michael J. Petrilli and and Frederick M. Hess

In September [2011], the president offered states and school districts flexibility around onerous provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act — linked […]

December 14th, 2011

Students on US Military Bases Do Well

Why do students on military bases do better than those at regular public schools in the US? Why is the achievement gap between African-American and white students narrower on military bases?

Photo by Don Bryan from the Camp Lejeune Globe, North Carolina

– at least one parent in the family has a job – […]