Are Lifting All Boats or Only Some?

Posted by: Bostonian

Are Lifting All Boats or Only Some? - 06/10/11 01:26 PM
Are We Lifting All Boats or Only Some?
Equity versus excellence and the talented tenth
By Richard A. Epstein, Daniel Pianko, Jon Schnur and Joshua Wyner
Education Next
Summer 2011

For a decade, at least since the passage of No Child Left Behind, the nation’s foremost education goal has been to erase achievement “gaps” in which African American, Latino, and low-income students dramatically lag behind their peers. This emphasis has enjoyed broad support through the Bush and Obama administrations, and from major funders, but it raises the question of whether high achievers and gifted students have been overlooked along the way. Has a focus on reading and math proficiency, and on boosting graduation rates, meant less attention and support for the “talented tenth”? Richard A. Epstein, professor of law at New York University School of Law and senior lecturer at the University of Chicago, and Daniel Pianko, a partner at University Ventures Fund, argue that high achievers have paid a high price for our attention to struggling students. Jon Schnur, chairman of the board of New Leaders for New Schools, and Joshua Wyner, of the Aspen Institute, see no tension, and argue that equity-focused efforts to improve teaching and learning benefit students across the board.

<rest of article at link>
Posted by: ginger234

Re: Are Lifting All Boats or Only Some? - 06/16/11 10:41 PM

Great article..lots to think about. I work in supplemental education & have children in gifted education so I tend to see both sides of the coin. I am convinced that every child needs & deserves to be given the chance to realize their potential by meeting them where they are and building them up educationally, emotionally, physically. Do I think the government is solely responsible for that? Absolutely not. But a free public education is part of this country & the powers that be should realize that the system is fluid & changing. When things are not working, tweak them.
I know, it's the government. My husband was in the military. But I can dream, can't I? wink
Posted by: La Texican

Re: Are Lifting All Boats or Only Some? - 06/24/11 01:23 PM

Non-related FB quote that vaguely applies,
" nothing raises the water level quite like a fleet of sinking ships. "
Meanwhile I think part of the problem is that the educational standards have to be set globally instead of within the community.  Ok, it's only fair that kids in one community are taught to the same standards as kids in another community for national proficiency.  Now to further muddy the waters standards have to become truly a global bar rather than "just" national coherency.  Didn't we see this planetary unity coming from our own childhood dreams?  Maybe we didn't see the matrix-style computerized project it would become.  (I envisioned jet packs and sky-ways).  
What does "a fair chance" even mean when we have more resources, capabilities, and opportunities than any previous century?  Not everybody wants their kids to leave their community or get a better education.  I'm thinking of mothers who do not want their kids to leave the state to go to college, of previous generations who did not want to sign the release for their minor sons to join the military early, and even parents who don't want to consider boarding school.  
Then, what are you going to do with your education?  Get a better job?  Not everybody finishes school before they need a job.  Most people say, "then raise the standard in all the communities".  How, just, how?
I skew optimistic.  
Posted by: La Texican

Re: Are Lifting All Boats or Only Some? - 06/26/11 10:30 AM

Oh yeah, here's the old SENG Cheetah article expressing the same sentiment.
Posted by: RobotMom

Re: Are Lifting All Boats or Only Some? - 06/27/11 06:20 PM

I was at professional development last week for middle and high school science and math teachers and this subject came up. I was talking with 2 other teachers, one science and one math, (the math teacher has been teaching almost as long as I've been alive (a pretty scary idea) and the other one has about 15 yrs experience in the classroom) at lunch and we were talking about all of the changes coming to education in our state (Fl) and how it is really squishing all kids into a square tube and if the child doesn't fit into the square they will suffer.

I was giving an example of how this applies to DD8, and had to explain to them about her LOG and all and it was interesting to see and hear their responses. The math teacher was very empathetic to DD's situation but said, she didn't see that there would be anyway for the public schools to serve her needs with the new changes. The science teacher was quiet for a bit and then said "wow, now that you describe her, I can think of probably 6 students that I have had in the past that were probably like her and I really did them a dis-service, because I thought that they must be fine because they are happy in class."

We all agreed that the idea of lifting all boats is a valid one, but the reality of it for kids like ours is that it really doesn't lift their boat like it should.

(The science teacher did say that our conversation will make him look more closely in the future for kids on the upper end of the spectrum and try to find a way to help them. smile )