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Posted at 6:00 PM ET, 01/23/2011

Is KIPP abandoning the neediest students?

By Jay Mathews

The Knowledge Is Power Program, the nation’s and the District’s most successful charter school network, has a new official name, KIPP, and a new approach to raising achievement for disadvantaged children.

In its first decade the network---with 91 schools in 20 states and another eight in the District--focused on creating middle schools that started with fifth graders two or three years below grade level and got them up to speed by eighth grade. Now it is opening elementary schools, including three here, so it can start raising achievement in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

The thought is that by fifth grade there will be no need for hero teachers who work ten hours a day, plus summers and some Saturdays, to save kids who have fallen so far behind. There will be less stress on staff and more hope for kids.

It makes sense, and conforms with a movement in many city school systems and charter networks to create kindergarten-through-eighth grade schools that will give urban and rural children the consistent support and high standards found in many suburban public schools. But I see a problem. This envisioned clean progression from making pre-K the main intake point overlooks the messiness of life in the communities being served.

Schools like KIPP, the subject of my book "Work Hard. Be Nice," are likely never to enroll more than a fraction of the population. What happens to the many fifth graders who are still far behind but find the doors to KIPP, or Uncommon Schools, or Achievement First, or any of the other successful charters, are closed because they filled those classes back in pre-K and kindergarten?

The most effective regular and charter public schools have been experimenting with every promising way to rescue kids who have reached middle or high school still unable to read and write well enough to study independently. If they no longer need to deal with struggling older children, we have lost a great resource for figuring out how to help them.

In my blog at washingtonpost.com/class-struggle, and my colleague Valerie Strauss’s blog at washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet, we've had a debate over a related issue, the attrition rate at KIPP. Strauss ran a thoughtful piece by Century Foundation senior fellow Richard D. Kahlenberg suggesting that KIPP’s record of achievement, raising students on average from the 32nd to the 60 percentile in reading and from the 40th to the 82nd percentile in math in just four years, was inflated because many of its lowest performing fifth graders moved or went back to regular schools before completing the KIPP middle school program.

I also posted Kahlenberg’s piece and some of his follow-up comments. He compliments KIPP's work, but says it is wrong to compare its schools to regular public schools that must fill up empty spaces with more students, many of them low achievers. In the same way, If KIPP focuses just on those students who start in pre-K and kindergarten, it will be ignoring the needs of fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders who could also use nine-hour school days and imaginative teaching.

Two KIPP Foundation administrators, Jonathan Cowan and Steve Mancini, responded on our blogs that KIPP schools have been lowering their attrition rates, and are also in many cases taking in sixth, seventh and eighth graders who are below grade level. KIPP co-founders Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin said they share my concern about their new approach freezing out middle schoolers who need them and promise to admit older students if their families continue to enroll them. “We’ll keep starting up the game in the fourth quarter, two minute warning, down by a touchdown,” Feinberg said.

Susan Schaeffler, leader of KIPP in the District, said she took in kids at every grade level this year, and looked for ways to raise them to KIPP standards. KIPP is too small to ever be the savior of inner city schools, but it can help the regular schools that must play that role see how they might do it.

By Jay Mathews  | January 23, 2011; 6:00 PM ET
Categories:  Metro Monday  | Tags:  Jonathan Cowan, KIPP, KIPP officials promise to still admit older kids, Knowledge Is Power Program, Mike Feinberg. Dave Levin, Richard Kahlenberg, Steve Mancini, Susan Schaeffler, change could hurt older children, main intake will be pre-K not fifth grade, new KIPP structure  
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Comments

"The most effective regular and charter public schools have been experimenting with every...way to rescue kids who have reached middle or high school...unable to read and write well enough to study independently."

I think it would be more accurate to say that the most effective public school TEACHERS have been experimenting with ways to help barely-literate students. I've spent my entire career working with these kids, hoping to recruit members for the "literacy club." But the insidiousness of the "reforms" that have arisen as a result of NCLB makes it increasingly difficult. I had hoped the situation would improve under Obama, but it's gotten worse. There is not one thing being done or proposed in the name of accountability, rigor, world-class standards, or improving teacher evaluations that is going to help kids become better readers.

Children are unable to read and write well enough to study independently because of certain, predictable deficiencies -- most of which occur before they ever enter the classroom. The achievement gap will continue as long as there are children who grow up in homes without books or access to quality neighborhood libraries. If parents don't understand how critical it is (or have the time because they're working two jobs to make ends meet) to read and talk to their kids, some kindergarten teachers will have classes full of 5-year-olds who don't know their letters, who enter school already years behind. Turning the primary grades into "test-prep lite" won't help them catch up. By the time they get to high school (where I teach), their negativity toward reading is a challenge to overcome, but they must if they're to have options. Their disdain is easy to understand: for these kids, reading has ALWAYS been a struggle. They don't have enough (if any) of the satisfying experiences with text that got kids like me and my peers through the less-rewarding reading we demand of students in the upper grades and secondary school.

Alas, I fear that most teachers don't grok this concept, or they lack the background necessary to design classroom activities that will increase student literacy. For administrators, it's all about finding some fool-proof method to increase test scores; to heck with creating lifelong readers. There are always exceptions to this, but in general, people who read a lot do very well on almost any kind of high-stakes test. If more people respected the idea that we must support these students so they discover that reading CAN and should be rewarding, the test scores would take care of themselves. My educational heroes have been saying this for years, but they don't get much press. Frankly, anyone who claims to have an opinion worth listening to who does NOT have an intimate knowledge of people like Stephen Krashen ("The Power of Reading"), Kelly Gallagher ("Readicide"), Donalyn Brooks ("The Book Whisperer") or Steven Layne ("Igniting a Passion for Reading") is a dilettante. In more ways than one.

Posted by: Coachmere | January 23, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Coach. That is a very thoughtful and useful comment.

Posted by: Jay Mathews | January 23, 2011 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Kids fall through the cracks because we widen the cracks. We test at specific points instead of continual testing throughout school. It is tough for both parents and students if students are sailing downstream, then suddenly the white-water rapids appear and it's test time.

If a worker was evaluated only twice in 12 years it would be difficult to implement corrections and adjust the employee's behavior.

I agree with the writer that many kids lives are impacted deeply BEFORE they register for school. The family culture is pressed on the child, regardless what others think, and so the child learns a specific culture. Suddenly, they are forced into a social setting possibly far from their norm. They are now required to adjust twice daily. That is a "heap" of learning for a child.

Another way to view KIPP is whatever they are doing it both alleviates teachers to provide more time to their students, and allows the child to gain more attention from the teacher.

Posted by: jbeeler | January 24, 2011 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Let's address the elephant in the room: schools as a business. This illustrates that when market forces are changed or manipulated, there will be shifts in the system. It's okay if you are talking about consumers but these are children here.

There is a social responsibility to educate our kids. For their own good and the good of society. That may be socialism. But it's better than treating kids as consumers.

Charter schools were invented as laboratories. Outlaw them as a replacement for working public schools. Embrace the neighborhood school as a community center.

Posted by: zebra22 | January 24, 2011 7:40 AM | Report abuse

KIPP going lower into elementary schools is parallel to Green Dot opening middle schools; both are seeking to alleviate the painful reality of young people coming to school woefully unprepared to succeed in the traditional timeframes of school. It's very difficult for a 14 year old, if not impossible, to master Algebra 1 in 180 days when you cannot multiply fluently past your 6's, let alone have a 5th grade vocabulary. Yet this trend would take us to assuming responsibility for educating a child from the moment the child is born; when does the parent assume responsibility?
While I respect folks' desire to 'save the neediest children,' it cannot be only educators assuming this responsibility. Instead of folks bashing KIPP for what they don't do or whom they do not serve, other entities should model their passion and commitment to provide these 'neediest children' the support they need outside the classroom to succeed.

Posted by: pdexiii | January 24, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

KIPP is too small to ever be the savior of inner city schools, but it can help the regular schools that must play that role see how they might do it.
.................................
Lessons from KIPP:

Maintain discipline in the classrooms so teachers can teach.

Throw back the problem students to the public schools.

Posted by: bsallamack | January 24, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

First and foremeost, the neediest children cannot be rescued solely by education. KIPP helps kids from tough communities go to college. A primary reason: They spent more time with these students than your typical public schools; it's not rocket science. A note to parents: If you want your kids to value education and you value education, KIPP schools are a great choice. But, the people at KIPP schools are not miracle workers. There are certain families that will not value education and the public schools have to teach these students; charter schools do not. It frusterates me that public school teachers are villified in this current school reform debate. They are often teaching kids that come from families that do not value education at all. Some of the times parents are sending their kids to school so they can get meals and so the parent does not get pestered (or worst case scenario - incarcerated) for having a child that is always absent. Kids are getting read to and there is no enrichment coming from some households.

Imagine being a public school teacher and trying to teach a student totally uninterested in education. Is that their 7th grade Science teacher's fault? Or should we blame there 2nd grade music teacher? Lets get realistic when it comes to school reform. Teachers are still admirable people and they deserve to be valued in society; just as the people who work at KIPP schools need to their credit to.

Posted by: ribatoni | January 24, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes, parents who don't prepare their children for literacy leave a bigger job for the teacher. And yes, we need more early intervention for those children so that they are not so far behind when they enter school. All true. But it is clear that many schools are not doing the job that needs to be done. I suspect that many parents of students in the lower grades will find, as parents of middle school students found, that KIPP can do a better job of preparing their children for the future than their traditional neighbofhood school could do. If the educators in the neighborhood school are doing a comparatively good job, they have nothing to worry about. Competition can be frightening, as the squeals of protest from the education establishment attest, but this is the 21st Century, and people expect to have a choice in matters as important as their child's education. Get used to it.

Posted by: k12reboot_com | January 24, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"Competition can be frightening, as the squeals of protest from the education establishment attest"

"Squeals of protest" indeed. Shows how much respect you have for public school teachers. Consider that that they aren't afraid of competition - that they see how kids who are unable to get into or stay in charter schools are being thrown away, while public school teachers are blamed for not being miracle workers.

Your attitude makes me sick.

Posted by: efavorite | January 24, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The achievement gap will continue as long as there are children who grow up in homes without books or access to quality neighborhood libraries. If parents don't understand how critical it is ... to read and talk to their kids, some kindergarten teachers will have classes full of 5-year-olds who don't know their letters, who enter school already years behind.

Coachmere, you must not have been teaching for very long. It is NORMAL for kids to enter kindergarten not knowing their letters. That's what kindergarten is FOR. Or at least it was for me, and I'm not that old. Somehow, classmates and I managed to learn to read just fine. (And no, my parents did not read or speak English to me, nor did they have books in the home.)

Actually, scratch that. It wasn't _somehow_. It was through explicit instruction with synthetic phonics. It still works, if teachers are willing to try it.

Posted by: hainish | January 24, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

jbeeler, why do you imply that students are only evaluated twice in 12 years? These days, students take state tests in math and English in every grade starting in 2nd or 3rd, and tests in science and history at least 3 times. Students are also tested multiple times per year on district and school benchmarks. We have so much data on the students! We know exactly the reading and math level of every student at all times.

hainish, students are expected to come to kindergarten already knowing their letters and numbers and a whole bunch of other things that we didn't have to know at that age. Kindergarten is the new first grade. Some districts even have summer school for students who failed kindergarten by not reading at the required level by the end of the school year. Students who don't attend a quality preschool program or have parents who make sure they know these things are already behind by the first day of kindergarten.

Posted by: landerk1 | January 24, 2011 11:10 PM | Report abuse

KIPP has afforded poor parents and students the same opportunity as their affluent peers:

If your child is in a school with a lot of low-scoring and poorly behaved kids, pull him out and place him in a school that has good parental support and well-behaved students. This approach works from preschool to Harvard. "Everybody" does it but "nobody" admits to it.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | January 25, 2011 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Working from the end backwards, we all want capable, employable graduates. Reading is the single most important basic skill in creating this population; most other competencies depend on it. Let's start there.

In every grade, students who cannot read at grade level are frequently discouraged, turned off, and convinced that they suck at school. And this starts in kindergarten. If KIPP or anyone else wants to head this off by focusing resources on young children, more power to them! It is too bad when a student of any age doesn't get the support and attention to bring them up to competence, but if struggling students are caught early so that more of their school years are spent successfully, why is that not even better than catching them later?

Most parents want academic success for their children, and many have to work very hard and very long to support their families, and may not have the time, the education themselves, and the knowledge to give their kids the sort of start that brings them to school prepared to deal with the current requirements of kindergarten. Children come into kindergarten with vastly different backgrounds and degrees of readiness. Get over it. That's what we have to deal with.

We know how. Children read when they have enough experience with language, books, reading, and readers to want to. When they are talked to enough to have internalized a language map rich with meaningful words to attach those letter combinations to. And when they are physiologically mature enough to make the complex connections required for reading. Many of the most widely literate countries in the world, Finland and the other Scandinavian countries, don't teach reading until the students are seven. Until then they read to the children, they talk to them, they provide books to be read to them at home. Sure, some kids read when they're four. Good, let them, support them, be glad they've got the pieces to put together. And meanwhile fill the others up with language and the delight of story.

Yeah, hard, labor intensive, time consuming, doesn't show up on tests, seems to slow down the whole process. But this way is more likely to be more successful for more children than our current determination to teach and test reading to children who aren't ready, and in the long run I think would serve them well. Or at least better. And that's a step up.

Posted by: mikih | January 25, 2011 1:59 AM | Report abuse

@landerk1: Kindergarten is the new first grade.

Please tell me something I don't know.

My point is, it is not inevitable or necessary that it be. Kindergarten can be kindergarten, and kids can learn to read just fine.

In fact, making achievement depend _less_ on what students get outside of k-12 would help to close the achievement gap.

Posted by: hainish | January 25, 2011 6:36 AM | Report abuse

"Is KIPP abandoning the neediest students?" is a ridiculous, tabloid headline question. KIPP is a private nonprofit organization with a public charter to educate students. If it chooses not to serve the "neediest students" as defined my Mathews, it is not "abandoning" them as he suggests unless the charter requires KIPP to serve the neediest students as defined by Mathews, which it doesn't.

Posted by: pensaed | January 25, 2011 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Coachmere, you must not have been teaching for very long. It is NORMAL for kids to enter kindergarten not knowing their letters. That's what kindergarten is FOR. Or at least it was for me, and I'm not that old. Somehow, classmates and I managed to learn to read just fine. (And no, my parents did not read or speak English to me, nor did they have books in the home.)

Posted by: hainish
............................
This is the normal illogical argument where the exception is supposed to make the rule.

If I survived the plague then the plague was not really a serious problem.

Meanwhile national tests indicate through out the country at different schools over 50 percent of poor children that can not read. At the same time national tests indicate that children that are not poor can read.

So many Americans are fixated on testing but are so willing to ignore the problems indicated by testing. If tests such as the existing prepared for school test were given to children entering public schools there would be seen a strong correlation between between the children who do poorly on this test and children that later fail the 4th grade reading test.

But this will never be done since Americans will not admit the learning obstacles that occur because of 5 years of neglect before entering public schools.

By the way Mozart was writing music at a very early age. Since he could do it should we not expect by the reasoning of hainish that every child can write musical scores at an early age.

Public education in this nation will be substandard as long as so many like hainish are willing to reject reality.

Posted by: bsallamack | January 25, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

In fact, making achievement depend _less_ on what students get outside of k-12 would help to close the achievement gap.

Posted by: hainish
.........................
I guess according to hainish all parents should simply neglect their children before and while they are in school.

This certainly would remove the achievement gap since we would have non poverty children that are just as neglected as the poverty children and these non poverty children would fail in school.

Remember the achievement gap is not caused by the neglect that many poverty children have to deal with before entering public school, but rather the lack of neglect that non poverty children have to deal with before entering public school.

Neglect all American children before entering public school and we will close the achievement gap according to hainish.

The critical thinking of individuals such as hainish is awesome.

Posted by: bsallamack | January 25, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

In fact, making achievement depend _less_ on what students get outside of k-12 would help to close the achievement gap.

Posted by: hainish
.........................
Changes that hainish sees as necessary for public education in America.

Prison sentences for parents that do not neglect their children before entering public schools or while their children attend public school. A mandatory sentence of two years of imprisonment for the parent of any child that knows their ABC's upon entering public school.

Children not allowed in public libraries or book stores.

Parents not allowed to buy books for their homes.

Banning of the sale of children books.

Banning of the sale of all education items or toys.

Banning of Sesame Street or any educational program for children on tv.

Cash rewards for Americans who report to the government parents who do not neglect their children while in public schools.

hainish for President.

Posted by: bsallamack | January 25, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

NOBODY WANTS TO ADMIT THAT TWO LARGE MINORITIES IN THIS COUNTRY ARE PULLING OUR WHOLE COUNTRY DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL.WE DON'T HAVE THE TIME OR THE MONEY TO WASTE ON THEM.BEFORE THEY BECAME SO LARGE WE LED THE WORLD.THE OTHER COUNTRIES DON'T HAVE THIS MILLSTONE TO BEAR.IT'S A SHAME NOTHING CAN BE DONE,UNFORTUNITELY WE ARE ON OUR WAY DOWN AND OUT THANKS TO OUR SOB POLITICIANS!!!

Posted by: jamesweisbecker | January 25, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

NOBODY WANTS TO ADMIT THAT TWO LARGE MINORITIES IN THIS COUNTRY ARE PULLING OUR WHOLE COUNTRY DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL.WE DON'T HAVE THE TIME OR THE MONEY TO WASTE ON THEM.BEFORE THEY BECAME SO LARGE WE LED THE WORLD.THE OTHER COUNTRIES DON'T HAVE THIS MILLSTONE TO BEAR.IT'S A SHAME NOTHING CAN BE DONE,UNFORTUNITELY WE ARE ON OUR WAY DOWN AND OUT THANKS TO OUR SOB POLITICIANS!!!

Posted by: jamesweisbecker | January 25, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

NOBODY WANTS TO ADMIT ...
Posted by: jamesweisbecker
....................

I will admit that there are two minorities tearing down this nation.

These two minorities are the Democratic and Republican politicians that will not solve problems and deal with reality but would rather instead play to the prejudices and hatred of Americans. But then most Americans now are not looking for answers to problems but really are only interested in blaming others.

Posted by: bsallamack | January 25, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

If jamesweisbecker is concerned about minorities he could work very hard to make effective family planning available to everyone in the world. Otherwise the standard of living, already abysmal in many places, will continue to drop and more and more people will do as I'll bet his own ancestors did and try to come here searching for a better life for themselves and their children.

Posted by: mikih | January 25, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

So is CarolineSF sick or on a desert island? I can't believe a posting about KIPP existed on the Internet for two entire days without her weighing in with her story about finding attrition at a few California schools several years ago.

Posted by: educationobserver | January 25, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I think one of the main problems is that there is this persistent idea that all children of the same age should be treated the same and placed in the same grade. If there were grade divisions based on ability alone, teachers would have more time to devote to those students on both ends of the spectrum who need the additional attention.

No more of this nonsense about making kids who don't meet the standard feel bad. The real world won't pretend that you are just as good as everyone else if you're not. It's best to address short-comings early so that students who are achieving below their capacity can be raised up, and those who can't aren't just pushed along.

Posted by: Wander099 | January 25, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

bsallamack, you seem to have some trouble comprehending what I have stated in my earlier comments. I would try to correct that, but from what I have seen here, I think it would be futile.

Posted by: hainish | January 25, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

bsallamack, you seem to have some trouble comprehending what I have stated in my earlier comments. I would try to correct that, but from what I have seen here, I think it would be futile.

Posted by: hainish
..........................
You are quite right.

There really is no achievement gap in this country. Rather there is a neglect gap.

Do not prepare children for school and neglect their intellectual development for the first five years of their life and it is not surprising that they perform badly in public school in comparison to children that have not been neglected. In fact their difficulty in being able to learn is actually the expected result of this type of treatment. It would startling if these children performed well in school.

Given the 5 years of neglect of these children and the lack of real programs to deal with the problem it is inevitable to expect that over 50 percent of these children will never learn and not complete high school.

There is a real problem of Americans to accept and deal with problems in this nation. It is far better to pretend that these intellectually neglected children will simply overcome their obstacles to learning in the public schools. Meanwhile for years testing has indicated that these neglected children will most likely fail but Americans are loathe to accept reality.

Posted by: bsallamack | January 25, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

I think what we need in education are some really experienced people that have taught for many years to become journalists that specialize in writing about education. Then maybe we wouldn't have so many acronyms, like kipp, that someone thinks might make any kind of difference, or trite labels for massive adventures like "leave no child behind" getting any kind of press. Education should be made sacred(by putting it in the Constitution as a national priority) and anyone trying to manipulate it should be shunned and/or stoned.

Posted by: dmyers412 | January 26, 2011 3:47 AM | Report abuse

I like these lively discussions. For pensaed, your point is well-taken and accurate. But I was referring in the headline (and unlike the newspaper, you can generally blame headlines in this blog on me) to the fact that KIPP itself has announced in every way possible that providing for the neediest students is its number one priority. Abandoning them would be denying its central mission, so I thought it a good idea to point out that the switch to pre-K as the prime intake point could adversely affect that goal.

Posted by: Jay Mathews | January 26, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Jay, I have to disagree with you. What you see as a lively discussion, I see as people just being nasty to one another. I was just accused of wanting to ban Sesame Street, and that was in response to saying that children should be taught the alphabet in Kindergarten. I feel that it really detracts from the quality of the discourse here. When I see commenters becoming unhinged, it makes me less likely to comment here myself.

Posted by: hainish | January 27, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

When I see commenters becoming unhinged, it makes me less likely to comment here myself.

Posted by: hainish
..........................
I was really hoping that my comments would start to make you think but I see I was not effective.

I was responding to your comment:
"In fact, making achievement depend _less_ on what students get outside of k-12 would help to close the achievement gap."

Your ideas regarding education seem to follow the idea of a teacher who becomes annoyed if a child reads an entire book instead of simply reading only the chapter that was assigned.

The aim of public education should not be to have each students achieve a certain level since this simply turns public education into teaching at the lowest common denominator.

Posted by: bsallamack | January 27, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Your ideas regarding education seem to follow the idea of a teacher who becomes annoyed if a child reads an entire book instead of simply reading only the chapter that was assigned.

If you actually understood what I had written, you would see that this does not logically follow from it.

And yes, an unhinged screed does not generally induce me to take a person's arguments more seriously. In fact, it tends to have the opposite effect.

Posted by: hainish | January 27, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: hainish
..........................
Sorry but you are the one who wrote:

"In fact, making achievement depend _less_ on what students get outside of k-12 would help to close the achievement gap."

So far you have not presented anything to defend this idea, that You_Put_Forth.

Is it my fault if I simply point out some of the absurd actions that follows from accepting this idea or it that the idea was absurd to begin with?

Banning Sesame Street from TV simply follows your idea of making "achievement depend _less_ on what students get outside of k-12" and supposedly would close the achievement gap.

By the way, "I was really hoping that my comments would start to make you think but I see I was not effective.", was an attempt to be polite.

My comments regarding what you wrote were simply to show to others the absurdity of the ideas you put forth.

Absurd ideas such as yours regarding public education are in many cases accepted. Public schools in this nation have been degraded for 10 years by the idea of mandating that all children be proficient while totally ignoring that large numbers of children who have been intellectually neglected for five years prior to entering public school will probably never learn.

Instead of dealing with the problem it is far easier to accept the absurd idea that the five years of a child's life before entering public school is not important since supposedly there are cases of individuals learning their letters without books at home and/or being read to as a child.

Posted by: bsallamack | January 27, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse

an unhinged screed
Posted by: hainish
.........................
To be honest I was really amused while writing my response to your idea
"In fact, making achievement depend _less_ on what students get outside of k-12 would help to close the achievement gap."

I thought that the funniest action that derived from your idea was:
"Prison sentences for parents that do not neglect their children before entering public schools or while their children attend public school. A mandatory sentence of two years of imprisonment for the parent of any child that knows their ABC's upon entering public school."

"Cash rewards for Americans who report to the government parents who do not neglect their children while in public schools." also cracked me up when writing.

Posted by: bsallamack | January 27, 2011 7:20 PM | Report abuse

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