Get Real in the new American Educator describes what we already know about how to improve high-poverty schools.
Much trustworthy research has already identified five essential steps we should take: 1) Focus on teaching quality, and in particular, create the conditions and incentives that would stem the exodus of teachers from high-poverty schools and attract qualified teachers to them; 2) Improve student behavior by using effective approaches in the earliest grades to establish a positive, respectful school culture; 3) Diagnose reading problems early and intervene right away; 4) Provide a knowledge-rich, grade-by-grade core curriculum; and 5) Make sure that the schools that serve the neediest students get the extra attention, expertise, staff, time, and resources they need to meet the greater challenges they face.
As Antonia Cortese writes, low-income children start out behind.
If we truly want to close the achievement gap, we have to find ways to make sure these children get a better-than-average education. They will need more, and they will need better: time, teachers, effective methods â€” the best we have to offer.
It makes sense to me. And these are not really big-budget items, especially steps 2, 3 and 4.