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Friday, September 10, 2021

Achievement Gap my Ass, It is America's Moral Gap


I often hear experts talk about the "Achievement Gap" and pointing to Standardized test scores as proof of massive public school failure. Some blame schools, teachers, parents, and some even the children themselves for not having the rigor it takes to do well in school.
While we might agree about massive failure. I place little faith in standardized data or seek to blame schools, teachers, parents, or children.
As for Rigor, well, that word's root is Rigor Mortis, associated with death and pain. 
Having said I agree with the massive failure of our public school system, but not with who to blame or how to measure it.
I say use real logistical school-based data, class size, the ratio of pupils to the number of counselors, art teachers, music teachers, librarians, access to books, social workers, and specialized support services in a school. The size of their sports programs, the physical condition of their school buildings, and libraries. 
Truth to power moment America. Wealthy schools have smaller ratios to pupils for all the above., and much more. As for Race, well, No big secret people, White Schools also have lower ratios as well. You can measure failure in more meaningful ways besides test scores. 
What are we afraid of? Well, we might discover it is less an achievement gap and more a Moral Failure of a nation not willing to give all our children an equitable, high-quality public education.
Dr. Jesse P. Turner 
Uniting to Save Our Schools
Proud Badass Teacher

If you like to listen to the song that inspired my morning walk today...its Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes "Wake Up Everybody" <


  1. Any assessment that is not designed by and/or at least vetted by the classroom teacher for appropriateness is unethical. Any assessment not designed specifically to help the student learn is unethical. Any assessment in which the student does not get a chance at reviewing their test to see where he/she may have made a mistake is unethical. All assessment should be done with the primary goal of helping the student learn the subject matter.

  2. ...another topic - one of the most common modifications for an IEP student or ELL student is "extra time on assignments and tests", where exactly does this "extra time" come from if another assignment is given each day? My son struggles with this as teachers tell him there is no homework, but his "extra time" usually means just that...

    1. I have often seen extra time equaling extra work without real side by side help. Defeats the whole purpose of an IEP.