I have no doubt the majority of educators would agree, that by time a student reaches the third-grade the markers of success and failures are evident.
For years there was the debate on school-wide Title 1 vs targeted assistance Title 1. Target assistance is were students are pulled out of class to attend Title 1 reading class. This is how Title 1 started out back in 1965. Then the debate began! Title 1 pullout program presented a racially identifiable program. Then came school-wide Title 1 programs where all students within poor and not poor could be served by Title 1. Also, there was the debate and support for funneling Title 1 $$$ into K-5. This was all about early intervention! Educators complained Title 1 was an underfunded program and it might just be. For YEARS the formula for dividing up the federally funded Title 1 pot of goal was based on the district’s % of free and reduced lunch application which measured poverty. Somehow Title 1 a supplemental federal funded program became a cash cow where schools district use federal monies to pay district level administrators, Title 1 coordinators and even Title 1 parent liaisons. And OMG Title 1 funding was / is being used to send school and district administrators to Title 1 conventions national and regional.
The war on closing the achievement gap has grown into billions of dollars a year industry whereas, testing companies many who are also education supply vendors for things such as textbooks, software and consultants. Folks poverty in education has become a profit center and sadly as the data supports, majority of students continue to falling below the achievement gap are minorities.
If we were analyze student testing data for the last 20 years we’ll see the same pattern. African-American lags behind their whites peers and African-American males tend to rank the lowest in achievement. How many reinventions of standardized test do we need? A simple classroom observation at the third-grade level will reveal student’s reading level and math level. Reading is the key to real achievement. If one weren’t proficient in reading and reading comprehension one surely wouldn’t be proficient in other subject matter such as science, social studies, history and even math.
The billions of dollars spent nationalized standardized student assessment tests, attempts to reform education every 7-10 years and buying new texts books from the same vendor selling standardized test could be better served by providing more reading teacher and more para-professional in grades k-5.
Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s education agenda is nothing more than selling snake oil to a clueless community. If now is the time to take action perhaps now is the time for the many in minority community to stop kissing Jack Markell’s ass! I assure you, demanding funding for lower class sizes, more reading teachers for grades K-5, we could see remarkable improvement in student reading proficiency. But schools can’t do it alone. We need funding for community-based education centers monitored by the state.
As far as Jack Markell the gatekeeper for Wall Street and Washington profiteers, I still stick by concerns about rich white million and billionaire male pushing education agendas for minority children. Corporate American hasn’t been all that fair to racial diversity in the workplace. Discrimination is alive and well in the workplace. Markell sees China as America’s number one market place competitor! Markell supports the notions jobs go overseas because America can’t meet the skilled labor requirements needed. Many of us know its all bullshit because jobs go overseas because of CHEAP LABOR! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work on an assemble-line doing repetitious task like assembling parts. Yes unions or rather union wages in America drove many job offshore! But what about a livable wage? And guess who is profiting here in America? See Jack’s stock portfolio and you can be it include education related tech stock!
America’s war on the achievement gap will never end until the ability to profit on those efforts are eliminated. America teachers are being abandoned and being used as scapegoats via testing data that is so skewed because of the constant changes in test methods that makes year to year comparison invalid!
The biggest insult to America’s civil rights movement is the NCLB Waivers which pretty much null and voids Title 1 Section 1118. The works of William Hicks Anderson has come under attack and his own kin dances with Markell. Taking away real parental empowerment and placing such trust in a self-proclaimed proud card carrying capitalist is a fool’s journey.