“Easier to blame teachers for achievement gap than tackle poverty” – A Must-Read from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution


What is linked to is an an op-ed from a University of Georgia edcuation professor Peter Smagorinski in response to a recent study by Stanford’s Eric Hanushek who many may know as the economist who contributed to Waiting for Superman.

It starts,

Get Schooled recently ran an essay titled “New study: Achievement gap persistent and resistant to reform.” The story summarized economist Eric Hanushek’s dismal view of what is called the “achievement gap between low and high income students in the United States.”

The study relies on four sets of standardized test scores over a 50-year timespan, concluding that “A stark opportunity gap persists between America’s haves and have-nots, despite a nearly half century of state and federal attempts to provide poor children with extra resources to catch up. Yet, the gap hasn’t budged.”

To Hanushek, whose thinking is typical of policymakers, tests tell everything we need to know about teaching and learning, and by extension teacher education. Hanushek has a villain or two to account for the differences between the test scores produced by students from the lowest and highest SES levels: “a lack of meaningful reinvention of high school,” and “a decline in teacher quality,” which to Hanushek and colleagues “fell as women gained access to career opportunities outside of the classroom…We are shirking the issue of teaching quality. …There is no direct effort on a national scale to enhance the quality of the teaching profession.”

Please read the rest here.



One thought on ““Easier to blame teachers for achievement gap than tackle poverty” – A Must-Read from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  1. All Americans should take a look at SETDA (State Education Technology Directors Association). It receives funding from Gates. It promotes digital learning and private-public partnerships. And, it self appointed to “take action in important issues facing public education”. Is the organization lobbying for its venture philanthropy funder, or, for SETDA’s “Gold, Silver, Event and Strategic partners” or, for a subset of public employees in the states’ department of ed’s? Would this be similar to a select group of FDA employees fronting for pharmaceutical companies or, the two uniting to share the same lobbyist and agenda, or….?
    It’s disappointing that not one state considered the possibility that community interests did not align with SETDA partners nor Gates. An independent public school system may well be preferable to citizens, if they lived in a democracy.

    North Carolina is well represented, with among the highest number of SETDA representatives (13).
    By what democratic process within North Carolina, does the state’s SETDA reps. decide to reject or endorse SETDA policy positions and activities e.g. to sponsor “high energy pitch fests for ed tech startups” ….?

    Is SETDA what oligarchy looks like?

    Bill Gates and his Microsoft co-founder spent $500,000 to defeat the reelection of Washington state judges who had rendered verdicts favorable to public schools. Gates and Z-berg are investors in a for-profit seller of schools-in-a-box that had a forecasted 20% ROI. The founder of 4 Gates funded ed organizations stated in Philanthropy Roundtable that the goal of charters was “…brands on a large scale.”


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