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Aug. 29, 2011

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David Wilson talks a brave game but the article lays out some of the bare facts:

1) two years of developmental delay for poor students
2) 45% turnover in one year

not to mention:

3) English not a first language
4) no support at home - parents working or otherwise absent
5) until recently, a poor physical learning environment.

Let's also add high crime rates, physical intimidation, and lack of learning basics, such as textbooks.

So who do we blame - the teachers and administrators! Come on, how many of these factors are really under his control?

It's like telling a paraplegic to run a 100 yard dash in under 30 seconds. "Hey, it's three times as long as the world record and if you don't make it, we'll fire your coach. Heck, Forrest Gump did it".

Yes, we are spending a boatload on education, much of which doesn't go into the classroom. But the basics are broken. Until the root causes of the problem are acknowledged then progress can not be made.

My bet: an English speaking child from a stable and supportive two parent household with food on the table every night will probably graduate.

It's no secret that poverty and academic underachievement go hand in hand. Too many in America are happy to point fingers and call it a "moral failing". It feels good doesn't it? If only those "people" would live the same way I do then all their problems would go away (and in the meantime I'll just ignore all the advantages I had in life). After all, if you're not making it, you're just not trying hard enough, right. Gumpism at its best. Pass me my wheel chair.

(Suggest removal) 8/29/11 at 5:26 a.m.

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