A few weeks ago, the New York Times published their often-blogged article on the growing achievement gaps between rich and poor children. In contrast to otherwise careful analysis, the article ended with the unfortunate and widely criticized quote:
The problem is a puzzle, he [Douglas J. Besharov, a fellow at the Atlantic Council] said. “No one has the slightest idea what will work. The cupboard is bare.”
Among those begging to differ are the scholars at the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College who recently released five white papers around the theme “Achievable and Affordable: Providing Comprehensive Educational Opportunity to Low-Income Students”.
Poor kids and their families are neither exotic nor inscrutable, and until we’ve begun to provide at least the minimal levels of support taken for granted in other Western countries, it’s intellectually and morally dishonest to pretend that their marginalization in US public schooling is a mystery beyond solution.