Saturday, March 7, 2009

What is Closing the Achievement Gap?

Today I engaged in an email exchange with a reporter from our local newspaper. Her stance was our mandated statewide testing, imposed from No Child Left Behind, was our only way of measuring how schools are meeting the challenge of closing the achievement gap. I stared at her response in shock.
My surprise subsided, other emotions washed over me, then I was left with the feeling that as an educator, I had an obligation to address her lack of knowledge. Just how would I do that? As I went about the day, this was not far from my thoughts.
I finished the rubrics and the final mini lessons for my fourth grader's newspaper article writing unit (some irony there). I worked on my schedule for the next two weeks. It contains much time devoted to test taking skills, so we will be prepared for the impending achievement test. More irony.
I planned my email response to her. But the thought lingers that as an educator, I need to start taking steps to educate the public, especially those with power, such as newspaper reporters. I have been a part of a staff that has made significant steps in closing the achievement gap and the word needs to be spread.


  1. Are you going to write a letter to the editor?

  2. Not sure just yet. This is a dialogue with a reporter who was covering education in our town. I was prompted to contact her as the website of her new employer was about school reform in ways I questioned. I invited her to visit my school, thus her response. I'll keep you posted.