>GS, you often say that we should bring all the >stakeholders together and from this gathering will >emerge the answers we seek. Why does that make sense to >you? Wouldn't it make more sense to just look at the >top 20% of the students and do as they do?
Ok, Robert, which is it? Do you not read a newspaper or do you not believe what you read? The Education Mafia does not want a "top 20%". Although the No Child Left Behind law is just under ten years old, the ideology of "no child left behind" is much, much older than that.
As I have tried to point out to you before, the central organizing doctrine of modern American education theory and policy is the elimination of "The Gap". I.e., the difference in academic achievement between low achievers and high achievers. While the evident racial element is certainly important---low achievers tend to be black and brown, high achievers tend to be white and yellow---the central issue is Difference. The education ideologues are just as exercised about the differences between boys and girls as they are exercised about the differences between blacks and whites.
If people did as you suggest, The Gap would not go away. If anything, The Gap would worsen. Any education policy or practice that would actually be effective in improving student achievement would tend to improve the achievement of the high performers more than it would improve the achievement of the low performers. This would exacerbate The Gap.
Nothing that you, or I, would suggest would ever be acceptable to the Education Mafia.