Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Young men of color" don't have an achievement gap

School Board President Analee Maestas attended an event in Washington DC where APS joined 60 other school districts, link, pledging to improve the academic and social outcomes of boys and young men of color.

They will not succeed.  They will not succeed because they intend to address a problem that does not exist; a group achievement gap.

All achievement gaps are individual.  The gap is the difference between where a child is, and where the child could be.  Grouping them is a mathematical machination, the only point of which is to group children with individual problems in order to apply a "group" solution to their individual achievement gaps.

If we simply identified and then met the individual needs of every student, there would be no more individual achievement gaps.  If there are no individual gaps; there are no "group" gaps.

All meaningful solutions to achievement gaps ultimately address individual gaps.  There are no group solutions to individual problems.  If the educational problems of children could be solved by group solutions, the problems would be solved. They would be long solved.

The only advantage of identifying a group that supposedly needs attention, is to justify the creation of yet another bureaucracy to deal with it; build a bigger machine even if the machine is demonstrably a failing.

The solution to individual achievement gaps is to identify the factors that keep the individual students from reaching their potential, and then mitigate or eliminate them.

Unless of course, your interest is in further growing the machine.

photo Mark Bralley

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