ArticleRead&Respond_Closing the Racial Achievement Gap.docx

ArticleRead&Respond_Closing the Racial Achievement...

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Closing the Racial Achievement Gap: The Best Strategies of the Schools We Send Them To by Pedro Noguera New York, New York America expects a lot from its frequently maligned public schools but we do relatively little to make it possible for schools to meet our expectations. Our schools are expected to educate the neediest children and are blamed when students whose most basic needs for housing, nutrition and healthcare are not met, do not do as well academically as more privileged children. Our politicians want schools that will enable the United States to maintain its economic and technological dominance in the world, even though we continue to pay teachers salaries that make it unlikely that our top college students will enter the profession. We expect schools to provide students with the knowledge, understanding and frame of mind to participate intelligently in civic life, but increasingly the curriculum is so focused on preparing students for state mandated exams that there is little time for critical thinking on topics like war and civil liberty, that are essential to our democratic order. We call upon our schools to play a role in solving a wide variety of problems that confront our nation, from global warming and substance abuse, to sexually transmitted disease and race relations, yet we rarely provide the resources schools need to even come close to meeting these challenges. Given our unrealistic and unfair expectations, it
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