Class Struggle: achievement gap

Posted at 06:00 PM ET, 08/29/2010

Forget about the achievement gap

The D.C. mayoral race is deeply split on most issues, but everyone agrees on one thing: We must reduce the achievement gap between minority and white students. It is too bad, then, that that the gap is such a mindless measure of school progress.

By Jay Mathews  |  06:00 PM ET, 08/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Metro Monday | Tags:  achievement gap, all DC officials say it must be closed, focusing on gains for all, gaps narrow if whites don't improve, numbers show it is a mindless measure

Posted at 01:40 PM ET, 03/14/2010

Obama plan flaw: achievement gap

I see a problem in the president using the achievement gap as a measure of schools in his suggested revisions. This could mean that a wonderfully diverse school like T.C. Williams High in Alexandria, a recent subject on this blog, would be motivated to ignore its best students, who want to get even better, and focus all its money and time on those at the bottom of the achievement scale so they can narrow the gap. That is not a good idea, and I hope the president will get it out of his proposal.

By Jay Mathews  |  01:40 PM ET, 03/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Obama education plan, achievement gap emphasis wrong

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 12/11/2009

Finally some sense about 21st century skills--part two, the Wagner book

Then comes his "Schools That Work" chapter, a remarkable piece of education reporting. He describes, based on long visits, two of the most important public school models in the country for more effective teaching, particularly students without the natural academic skills that get the most praise. These are High Tech High, a growing network of project-based-learning schools born in San Diego, and the Big Picture Company, an even larger network of schools designed to teach students through internships that began in Providence, R.I. This part of the book is a must read.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 12/11/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  21st century skills, Advanced Placement, Big Picture Company, High Tech High, Tony Wagner, achievement gap, new global economy

Posted at 10:00 PM ET, 12/02/2009

Would suburban parents send their kids to D.C. schools?

“Nationally, there were 2,736 magnet schools educating roughly 2 million students in the 2005-06 school year,” Kahlenberg said in his paper. “By comparison, in that year, there were 4,000 charter schools educating about 1 million students. Like charter schools, there are good magnet schools and bad ones — and not all, by any means, are able to attract middle-class students into schools located in disadvantaged areas. But the best ones can serve as models for turning around failing schools.”

By Jay Mathews  |  10:00 PM ET, 12/02/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Extra Credit | Tags:  Knowledge Is Power Program, Richard Kahlenberg, Tobin school, Wexford elementary school, achievement gap, charter schools, economic backgrounds, economic integration, magnet schools

Posted at 10:00 PM ET, 11/15/2009

Want to eliminate at-risk kids? Call them something else.

I sympathize with those who may not be comfortable with the latest plan to rid our schools of at-risk kids. Several educators across the country, including Alexandria city schools superintendent Morton Sherman, have decided not to call them that...

By Jay Mathews  |  10:00 PM ET, 11/15/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Metro Monday | Tags:  Alexandria City Schools, achievement gap, at-promise students, at-risk students, political correctness