Well friends welcome to the wonderful world of ignoring poverty, where it is just an excuse that poor teachers make and not the number one quantifiable factor for determining how students do in school.
Should teachers at schools wracked with poverty be held accountable? Of course and nobody not even those terrible unions that Mary Laura Bragg makes fun of later in the piece says differently. However to judge those teachers the same way Mrs. Bragg was evaluated when she worked at her lily white suburban school that was filled with children from two parent families, where they didn’t have to worry about where their next meal was going to come from or violence in their neighborhood is a both unfair and a terrible idea.
As long as the people that pay Mrs. Braggs salary, ignore poverty we will never have real improvement in those schools but that’s not to say there isn’t quality instruction going on. Instead of blaming those teachers for where their kids are academically, I thank God they are there because I know those children would be a lot worse off without them.
Mrs. Bragg while trying to prove her point that poverty doesn’t matter went on to write: A few weeks ago, the Florida Department of Education released data showing:
• A teacher with a classroom of gifted students does not have an advantage over a teacher with a classroom of students with disabilities.
• A teacher with a classroom of affluent students does not have an advantage over a teacher with a classroom of low-income students.
• The same goes for non-native and native speaking students, white and non-white students, students on grade level and students three grade levels behind.
In other words…wait for it…kids are just kids. It doesn’t matter one bit – zilch, nada, null set – what your class of students looks like; every teacher is starting from the exact same place when it comes to being evaluated on the performance of their students.
Wait, what is the most amazing thing is that any serious follower of education in Florida would take seriously anything the department of education has to say. A broke clock has been more accurate than the Department of Education over the last few years.
She is right though, all children do start in a classroom on day one. However what happens between the different groups of kids over the next 179 days is very different but since poverty is just an excuse to her, that doesn’t matter.
If you would like to read her tired, old, drivel, follow the link here: http://excelined.org/2013/02/making-the-tired-old-argument-obsolete/