ERIC Number: EJ711914
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Apr-1
Reference Count: 15
A Special Section on the Achievement Gap - Bridging the Achievement Gap: A Bridge Too Far?
Mathis, William J.
Phi Delta Kappan, v86 n8 p590 Apr 2005
Half a century after Brown v. Board of Education, the great progress made in education can be marked, but the gap remains. Some federal and state political leaders have made gung-ho proclamations about leaving no child behind. Yet they send in too few troops, too lightly supported, and with too little planning. The vaunted "historic investments" actually increase total education spending by less than 1%. The mandates were air-dropped into inner cities without social, community, school, or occupational networks to overcome the effects of ingrained poverty. The law then says the troops will be punished if they don't succeed. If the achievement gap is to be bridged, social and educational obligations must be viewed in a far richer and more expansive light. The achievement gap cannot be completely closed, however, by simply carrying out more intensely some program that zealous adherents claim will close it. Certainly, some whole-school reforms have shown positive long-term effects when administered consistently over time. In order to see all children succeed programs that are well outside the conventional ways of thinking about schools must be implemented. Issues such as health, mobility, housing, nutrition, unemployment, family structure, medical and dental care, and a host of other factors must be addressed effectively.
Descriptors: Early Intervention, Educational Quality, White Students, Academic Achievement, Equal Education, Hispanic American Students, African American Students, Federal Legislation, Economically Disadvantaged, Educational Vouchers
Phi Delta Kappa International, Inc., 408 N. Union St., P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789. Web site: http://www.pdkintl.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001