"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Achievement Gap in Madison: Money not the Answer.

Click on the link below to read how the new Superintendent for MMSD has spent her first few months studying a documented problem. Please note that, ala our own new superintendent, she has not spent the time since she was hired trying to argue that there is not a problem (open enrollment anybody?), or blaming any number of entrenched problems in order to minimize the effect it has had on the district. The title for the electronic version doesn't have the impact of that the paper version has: Money not the answer. Restructuring the resources already available is the answer, according to the consultants.

I have always had a serious issue with blaming lack of achievement on poverty. Students can come from economically disadvantaged homes that are headed by adults who recognize and support education as one of the tried and true mechanisms to overcome dire circumstances. Alternatively, students can come from economically advantaged homes that are led by parents that are emotionally and/or physically absent in the pursuit of the almighty dollar. Or, worse yet, parents who believe money can solve every problem. Which student do you believe will naturally excel in school? For better or worse, kids strive in many ways to please their parents in an effort to become them, which is the scary part of parenting. Every move you make is scrutinized by the little urchins and one false move will undo years of training, or at the very least ruin your credibility for a long time. This fact makes counting to 10 all the more important when dealing with the umteenth time your toddler asks "Why?"

I hope Dr. Cheatham has outstanding success with the MMSD. The bone structure is sound and she just needs to flesh out the programs to better meet the needs of the students.


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