Don't hold the applause

“Dramatic” progress in narrowing racial learning gaps on the National Assessment of Educational Progress received only tepid applause, a USA Today editorial observes.

Long-standing achievement gaps between white students and black and Hispanic students fell to the lowest levels ever. Plus, the gains didn’t come as a result of white students falling behind. Everybody won.

The news was nearly as good for 13-year-olds. Black and Latino students showed big gains in math.

Loudly cheering were Democrats and Republicans who championed the No Child Left Behind law that set out with a mission of closing racial learning gaps. No cheers, however, came from the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers’ union, which has filed suit to cripple No Child Left Behind.

Also silent was the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University. Earlier this month, the group issued a report essentially accusing the federal law of being racially discriminatory because its accountability net caught too many poor and minority school districts. Huh?

For years, poor and minority students have suffered from attending schools that have failed them. Holding those schools accountable is the law’s bedrock.

Via Russo, who also wonders why NPR thinks school reformers should give up on children in poverty.

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