I am no fan of testing or test scores a way to evaluate students and schools, but it is nice to see that it turns out that many schools labeled as ‘bad’ are actually quite effective EVEN as measured solely on the basis of tests and testing. The so-called ‘achievement gap’ has always been primarily a function of the resources of the communities being served (whose race and class inequality has always had to do, with history and policy)– those gaps begin well before students arrive at school in preparation, support, enrichment beyond home or daycare, literacy exposure, access to pre-k, and so on, and are only exacerbated over time (private schools, tutors, lessons, activities, camps, trips, internships, SAT prep)…resources ARE proxy for educational achievement, and we mistake them for merit again and again. Low-income public schools, and the educators who serve deserving students there have never been ‘bad’– and never should have been labeled that way any more than majority white and middle/upper-income schools which rely for funding on middle and upper-income tax bases should be labeled ‘good.’ That’s like celebrating the performance of the ballplayer who starts on third base for making it home, while we boo the kid who’d never even heard of baseball, walked forty miles to the field without food, arrived without a glove or bat or uniform, and still managed to make it to third (to belabor a simile).

(posted from Facebook)

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