Minnesota's achievement gap: Asking the right questions

  • Article by: TED KOLDERIE
  • Updated: June 8, 2013 - 5:03 PM

Standards for aircraft differ based on what a plane is going to do. Why not for students?

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jdlellis1Jun. 8, 13 5:48 PM

The real question to ask is even simpler, "Why are not parents (in plural) held accountable for the success of their child's education?" Solve the parenting accountability and all other things fall into place!

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badcopperJun. 8, 13 6:52 PM

The achievement gap is really a gap in parenting skills and income.

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pumiceJun. 8, 13 8:14 PM

Two really good questions which need to be addressed: "Why don’t we define the 'gap' as being below-proficient and close that gap first?" and "Why don't we have as broad a definition of achievement in learning as we have in other aspects of life?" Aspects of success mentioned in the article go beyond cognitive learning to "interpersonal (e.g., leadership) and intrapersonal (e.g., resiliency); critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration (both gazelles and lions collaborate)."

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SnippetJun. 8, 13 9:02 PM

>>> "Why don't we have as broad a definition of achievement in learning as we have in other aspects of life?" Aspects of success mentioned in the article go beyond cognitive learning to "interpersonal (e.g., leadership) and intrapersonal (e.g., resiliency); critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration (both gazelles and lions collaborate)." <<< I'm all for it. Let's just redefine every concept related to academic achievement until the problem just goes away. Then, can we PLEASE stop talking about it??

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bluedevil101Jun. 8, 13 9:13 PM

Mr. Kolderie: The name is James Lyile. Not James Lytle.

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mlgraysJun. 8, 1311:26 PM

For once a piece that strives to see the complexity of what being educated means, asking the important questions, and calling into question society's great desire to define a successful education as one that shows students have passed a standardized test. Bravo!

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badcopperJun. 9, 13 5:01 AM

Most children have the same ability to learn when they are born. (E.g nature). Why do some children fall so far behind in the next 5 years? There is no other answer than "nurture". Who provides "nurture" to these children during these critical years? Their parents, their larger family unit, and their community/culture. Isn't the logical conclusion that their support structure is what fails them and therefore needs to be altered in some way, shape, or firm?

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comment229Jun. 9, 13 5:32 AM

mlgrays: I agree with everything you said; however, I will add this little historical tidbit of information. For the last 20 plus years, we have tried to fix this "achievement gap" with politically mandated programs, from the top down. Each and every one, including the current NCLB and MCAII testing programs, has failed to significantly close any achievement gap. When are we going to learn, that this problem cannot be fixed from the top down? And when are we going to ask the failing students WHY they are failing? I think you will get some honest answers if you persist. I have. The politically motivated mandates are a band aid on broken leg. We have devalued education in many parts of our society, and now complain about it? All you have to do is ask yourself why Finland is succeeding and we are failing. It is obvious. So why don't we do it? You figure it out. I have quit trying. Simply, my kids got a great education in public schools, and succeeded doing very well. So should I really care that other families have the attitude that education is important (lip service) but we are not responsible for our kids doing well? It's the schools that are failing? and let's blame teacher salaries, and unions, and pensions, and video games and.... you get the idea. You will never ever see one of those parents wearing a t-shirt that says, "The Buck Stops Here."

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unionbossmanJun. 9, 13 6:58 AM

why Finland is succeeding and we are failing. ---- wait, teachers on other boards say we are beating Finland when compare apples to apples. Which is it?

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jbpaperJun. 9, 13 7:02 AM

Using his track references, while doing the high jump, running a race or throwing the discuss are all completely different events they all require a certain amount of athletic ability. Moving on to his artist/engineer comparison, while the engineer will need more math skills, they both need to have basic math and language skills in order to succeed in work and in life.

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