[This was posted from the Kettering Foundation meeting on September 20-21, 2007 with 12 sites working on the project, “Too Many Children Left Behind”. For more information about the project visit the Project Home Page.]
Here are the ways that people in this room are hearing others in their community talk about schools and the Achievement Gaps.
“Those Black kids don’t want to learn, teachers don’t have high expectations. I can’t make changes”
“Put more resources into programs.”
Specific examples: kids can’t do elementary math.
“Fear of violence has priority over any conversatoin about achievement gaps.”
“The education system is a funnel for the prison system.”
“Those parents don’t care.”
“They (Black Administrators) messed it up so the state has to fix it.” (State has taken over this particular school system.)
There are all measures of achievement gaps. It is not just an issue of Black/White
There is a gap between the teaching style and learning style.
“We all don’t know the role that expectations can play.”
“I don’t want my kids to go to school with those kids.”
“We’re doing as well as and in some cases better than other urban schools in our state.”
“The test scores are disappointing. The standards keep changing.”
“Segregation is directly related to the achievement gap.”
“Black teachers don’t have high expectations for kids either.”
“If parents would do more for education than gym shoes they’d be better off”
Mobility, peer pressure not to learn, “it’s not cool to be smart.”
“Kids ride the bus 4 hours per day.”
“Standards are brought down by the disability students.”
“It’s better to have the kids start at a two-year institution or take two years off because they just can’t cut a four-year university.”
“I can’t make my kid go to school.”
“It’s the teacher’s job, not mine.”
Uncertified and unqualified teachers.
“All schools are horrible, but mine is great.”
“What I’m learning in school is not relevant to my learning.”
“What I’m exposed to is not on the test. They are teaching me what’s on the test.”
“Problem is that Asian and White students are learning too rapidly.”
“To be smart means you have to act white.”
“Too many substitutes.”
“The college entrance exams don’t test what we teach.”
“I don’t do it because I don’t have to. There’s no reason why I should do anything.”
“There are bullies at my school. I don’t want to go to class.”
“My schools are so broken, they’ll never be fixed so I’m taking my kids elsewhere.”
“The whole system should be trashed and we should start over.”
“They don’t come to me prepared.”
“Private schools are worse than public schools.”
- It’s accurate.
- It’s negative
- None of them are forward moving – none said, “we have to do something about this.”
- Only toward the end, did we hear the student’s perspective
There is a wide disparity in the quality of guidance counseling and it is particularly poor for Black children. Also kids don’t realize the importance until their senior year. Then they panic.