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April 24, 2009

Light weekend reading

McKinsey & Co. released a troubling report this week called "The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America's Schools." It concludes that:

"If the United States had closed the international achievement gap between 1983 and 1998 and raised its performance to the level of such nations as Finland and Korea, US GDP in 2008 would have been between $1.3 trillion and $2.3 trillion higher, representing 9 to 16 percent of GDP."

"If the United States had closed the racial achievement gap and black and Latino student performance had caught up with that of white students by 1998, GDP in 2008 would have been between $310 billion and $525 billion higher, or roughly 2 to 4 percent of GDP. (The magnitude of this effect will rise in the years ahead as blacks and Latinos become a larger proportion of the population.)" 

If you don't feel like spending time this sunny weekend reading the whole report, here's a good summary from Tom Friedman.

Posted by Sara Neufeld at 5:49 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Around the Nation, Study, study!


the nytimes other aticle on the topic (by hernandez) stinks. hard to to trust friedman any the issue either given his history of having an opinion without information (e.g. on the iraq war). anway, the mckinsey data will get twisted and stretched. hernandez in the nyt, for example, holds up texas as a model for reducing the racial gaps. texas achieves this reduction by widespread, blatant, and well know cheating on standardized tests. that's not a model we want to spread across america. a call to action isn't any good if it inspire self-defeating actions.

"In particular, the wide variation in performance
among schools and school systems serving similar
students suggests that the opportunity and output gaps
related to today’s achievement gap can be substantially
closed. Many teachers and schools across the country
are proving that race and poverty are not destiny; many
more are demonstrating that middle-class children can be
educated to world-class levels of performance"

I plowed through most of this report.The above quote is what gives me hope! I do believe if we can create "the perfect storm" in our given school, we can close the gap! Careful, targeted staffing and instruction coupled with inspired leadership and adequate instructional resources will go a long way to help. Community and family support completes the picture. So here I am on a sunny Sunday planning for the week.Last week we celebrated amazing community involvement.Saturday was a chess tournament. Does it get better?

("The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America's Schools." )

Percents of GDP increase depend on this formula M3 + Ed Incentives +Ed Priority = The United States closing the racial achievement gap black and Latino student performance.

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