Achievement gap cures have their own gap

  • Article by: MITCH PEARLSTEIN
  • Updated: December 6, 2012 - 9:10 PM

More focus is needed on culture's role and private schools' approach.

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pumiceDec. 6, 1211:37 PM

Regarding the Center of the American Experiment and its passion for vouchers: Whether in education or in Medicare, vouchers may be the ultimate goal for conservative think-tank types, but vouchers are not the panacea promised by Mitch Pearlstein and his ilk. Vouchers are but another in the long line of conservative policies which privatize profit and socialize losses.

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davehougDec. 7, 12 7:19 AM

What's more powerful -- up-to-date instructional techniques grounded in top-flight research, or the fear many young people of color have about being ridiculed by their peers for "acting white" if they take school seriously? - - - Amen. It is also an 'effort' gap. No matter how poor, parents who check homework make a difference in the effort put forth.

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jdlellis1Dec. 7, 12 8:43 AM

Attention on closing the achievement gap focuses on one program versus the other and of course more and more money. Using building a house as an example, where one cannot build a sturdy house without a strong foundation. No program or amount of money can resolve the issue without parental involvement. Parents who abdicate their child's educational responsibilities to teachers, administrators of others should be chared with child neglect. Furhter, and excuse the frankness, individuals who become entangled in the passions resulting in the birth of a child should consider the potential obligations before engagaging in such activity. Hey folks, be proactive and start with the basics in addressing this issue.

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bijoucatDec. 7, 12 9:07 AM

How shallow. Is this what the Center considers intellectual rigor? Problem: Attitude of those black kids. Answer: Vouchers! How do you bridge that analytical leap? Between the lines: Let's amplify the situation by funding a new form of school segregation through vouchers. And guarantee the public schools fail faster. Sad.

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gandalf48Dec. 7, 12 9:27 AM

pumice - [Regarding the Center of the American Experiment and its passion for vouchers: Whether in education or in Medicare, vouchers may be the ultimate goal for conservative think-tank types, but vouchers are not the panacea promised by Mitch Pearlstein and his ilk. Vouchers are but another in the long line of conservative policies which privatize profit and socialize losses.] *** So why do you disagree with vouchers? You didn't seem to actually explain that part...it appears you are against them because the idea was proposed by conservatives. Vouchers are a great idea for education since it gives the power to parents who can choose to send their kids to which ever school they choose. Vouchers would hold schools and teachers accountable, if parents want their kids to go to another school then that previous school loses funding for that child (which is quite fair since that school is no longer educating that child) while the new school gains funding. It all comes down to choice for parents, I understand many people want to take that option away from parents (and individuals) but letting people choose is the essence of freedom.

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lordhawhaw1Dec. 7, 1210:51 AM

I would love for some liberal to explain their distaste for vouchers. Tell me, a property tax payer that paid in to the system for years before I had kids of my own and will still be paying property taxes years after my kids have graduated why I can't take that money for the duration of my kids K-12 education, and send them to the school I think is best for them? I thought you liberals were all about freedom? Freedom to marry whom you choose, legalization of drugs, pro-choice ("Government keep your laws off my body")? What about government keep your poorly run schools away from my kids? Why is that a problem for you? Tell me why a low income minority parent(s) in Minneapolis with their kids chained to a bad government run school with a culture of failure shouldn't get to use a voucher to give their kids a chance at a better education? Because it would what, socialize losses? Well, do you liberals think maybe if that underperforming schools started to lose kids they wouldn't either shape up or close? How pray tell would that be a bad thing? What if all schools went private? As long as all kids had equal access to a good education what exactly is the issue? All our airlines are privately owned and operated; we have no government operated airlines. This is not a problem is it? The real reason liberals fear vouchers is they fear to lose the money going to elect Democrats from teachers unions (money that originated as tax dollars) and the liberals, a crushing majority of whom are democrats, will no longer be able to indoctrinate our children in liberalism.

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lucyariasmnDec. 7, 1212:24 PM

In Minnesota parents have alot of choice. That is not the issue...the issue is an achievement gap, that is persistent and needs to be addressed. We need the foundation so our future can succeed. Vouchers are a idea, but will not cure the problem. Because alot of middle to lower income families find and choose private schools for their kids. Others believe in the public school system and are active in their school community and their child's education. So let's applaud Generation Next for being bold, and as community support all kids.

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dubbleaDec. 7, 12 1:32 PM

We've had numerous chances over recent years to read in the Star Tribune what Mitch Pearlstein thinks about the Achievement Gap. There's really no suspense when I read the headline, wondering, "what will he say?" I would kind of like to read what someone else thinks about the Achievement Gap.

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jdlellis1Dec. 7, 12 5:46 PM

lordhawhaw, the disdain for vouchers resides in the loss of power. As long as a certain segment retains the money, the retain the power. If the emphasis was truly on the kids, it would be "easy" to allow parents the "choice" of directing their kids to an environment where they would succeed. Of course there is the public school proponent ascertain that private schools do not have to deal with children less fortunate (e.g. handicapped) which is not valid. But then of course public school proponents "never" speak to parental accountability for success in public schools. Nor do those proponents understand the concept of, "If you keep doing what you're doing. You'll keep getting what you're getting. By the way, if a sense of sarcasm and frustration are detected, the ascertain is correct.

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braxozDec. 7, 1210:27 PM

jdlellis1Dec. 7, 12 5:46 PM lordhawhaw, the disdain for vouchers resides in the loss of power. As long as a certain segment retains the money, the retain the power. If the emphasis was truly on the kids, it would be "easy" to allow parents the "choice" of directing their kids to an environment where they would succeed. Of course there is the public school proponent ascertain that private schools do not have to deal with children less fortunate (e.g. handicapped) which is not valid. ________________ Could you please provide the names of private schools that accept and have programs for autistic, level 4 and 5 EBD kids, and severe and profoundly handicapped?

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