Of course, what else should we expect?
Demanding that our schools improve is noble. Testing students to measure progress is likely a necessary step.
Punishing "low performing" schools seems short-sighted, especially in view of urban environments and history.
I came across these words of wisdom recently, ". . .Congress cannot declare that no child be left behind without taking major steps to improve the experience of schooling for the children who have long been left behind, without addressing institutional racism and discrimination against poor children in non-dominant groups, and without directing significant financial resources to these ends" (Whose Child Left Behind? Why?--Final Report of the United Church of Christ Public Education Task Force--2001-2005, page 7).
Many factors figure into the current discouraging status of our public schools.
- Inadequate school finance
- Racial and economic segregation
- Rural isolation and poverty
- Urban isolation and poverty
- Language, culture, identity and how the child's expression of each meshes or does not mesh with that of her school
- Quality of instruction and quality of teacher preparation
- People of faith being committed to public education and defining faith and morals, at least in part, in such community and social terms