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Why Aren't We Closing The Achievement Gap?


I "teach" early childhood. I remain frustrated, because teaching in an urban area I am to focus almost exclusively on social skills and the children are supposed to learn "via play"...which is fine, but direct instruction, I believe, is the key to having the children prepared for kindergarten. Out of my new crop of 11 children, only two are able to spell their name...and these are kids I had last year. The rest of the children (who are 4) can't identify their name...which is normal at the begining of the year. BUT this year our district has adoped the "High/Scope" curriculum (don't EVEN get me started" and there is almost no direct instruction involved. Everything revolves around the children's interests (THERE's a way to make a self-centered child) and if they don't want to do something...then they don't have to. Plus a comment about HeadStart. I've found over the years that when I get a child from HeadStart they know virtually nothing. I had a child who transferred into my class in April who didn't know how to paint, cut with scissors and couldn't ID his own name. HeadStart, while better than nothing, is NOT all it is cracked up to be.

I am a 43 yr.old custodian,@ a school that has plenty of funds,& I can agree coming from a poor background.Some answers have been boundary waivers 4 students,etc.,but the problem w/ that,is star athletes,or kids thaty have the higher I.Q.,(better resume),kids.We better wake up soon,or the gap will be worse when our children's,children have to fix it!There are answers,but there must be governmental influence,to make well to do schools abide!4 now they cloak there affairs behind committees,who serves The Districts best interests!The Lord only knows how long before the proper people are listened to,instead of figure heads of districts,who might as well be media mogules,when does No Child Left Behind,become a reality!Call me a surrealist w/ a conscious,call me a liberal,call me a voice 4 the poor,but don't call me late 4 dinner,HA-HA! Seriously,I hope The President,(who just happens to be from my home state),will follow through w/ policies that have been dumped into his lap,but still need his urgent insight.I truly don't believe he has forgotten his roots,as he brings them up all the time.Thank You for allowing me to be a part of your Forum,&God Bless all!


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