What a shock? The results of a new set of New York State math exams show about two-thirds of students performing at grade level, with striking disparaties between rich and poor school district. Shocking that the number of students on grade level of in wealthy areas was more than twice the number as in impoverished urban area. The courts have ordered at least $4.7 billion more a year for city schools to help close the gap, but good old Richard Mills insists that money is not enough. Of course, why would the city schools need money? For tutoring? For smaller classes? Mills wants schools to review their programs. I think he is the one that created some of the new standards that teachers are being forced to teach to. He wants better teacher training. I vote for more staff development days being lead by the 20 something teachers, just out of college.
Aside from the issues of money, Mills fails to realize that there are major differences in students living in poor areas as opposed to living in wealthier ones. An affluent parent will easily pluck down $100+ an hour to provide their child with a tutor. There are kids in some parts of Long Island that have tutors in every subject, just as a precaution, in case they need help. No amount of state aid will ever be able to bridge this difference. And, although politically incorrect, I have to talk about differences between people in poor areas vs. affluent ones. Aren't poor neighborhoods often filled with recent immigrants? Can their childern't progress be compared to that of the doctor or lawyer's child? Although I hate to generalize, it true that people move away from the poor areas as their incomes increase. People left behind are struggling. Even if they are just as bright, parents are often working multiple jobs at long hours and are just not around to provide needed help.
If Klein is really serious about NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND he must provide smaller classes for city students. No one can expect him to do anything about socio-economic conditions, but he can at least make it feasible for children to get a good education and to get help in areas where they have deficits.