> Kirby, > > I do not begrudge you your desire to discuss whatever educational issues are near and dear to your heart, but please do not hijack mine. I discuss one and only one "Gap", The Gap that is the central organizing principle of Education Mafia policies and practices. And if you are not clear on what that is, then you have some homework to do. > > Haim > Shovel ready? What Shovel ready?
There's the achievement gap, i.e. performance on tests.
If the tests are normalized, like the SAT, then the mean is always about the same. IQ tests, same thing.
To say the kids in Lake Woebegone are all above average is an ironic joke, although I suppose one could say compared to state benchmarks.
We discussed awhile back how humans seem to be getting stronger in some skills, globally, and the IQ tests have had to be continually renormalized as a result.
But then weren't you quoting some teacher talking about classroom power relationships and/or training for life in a democracy or something like that?
- - ------------------------- "Equity" is a hot topic in mathematics education these days. However, for many people, addressing equity issues rarely moves beyond the goal of closing the achievement gap (Gutiérrez, 2008). For me, equity is ultimately about the distribution of power--power in the classroom, power in future schooling, power in one's everyday life, and power in a global society (Gutiérrez, 2002). - - -----------------------------
When parents want the school to provide a school bus for the team, like other kids have in more well-to-do zip codes, that's a different kind of gap they're trying to close.
If a school provides the same level of access to computers, library books, teachers, to a kid with less personal wealth at home than some other kid, that's narrowing a different kind of gap.
My understanding of your Education Mafia is it pretty much accepts the fact of bell curves when it comes to performance.
But when it comes to offering students opportunities, ways to test themselves and develop their various capacities, I think there are more eggs in that basket.
Consider an analogy of a gym. If all members of the gym have pretty much equal access to the machines, free weights, tread mills etc., then that's equal opportunity.
If some members choose to spend way more time working out and bulking up, go for special drinks, diet, become body builders, that's their prerogative. Not everyone will do that. A bell curve will be the result.
I'm interested in closing the gap when it comes to having a safe place to study, bandwidth, nutrition. We won't know Johnny's full potential if we don't at least level the playing field in that way.
I'm not interested in eliminating the bell curve as a phenomenon, or pretending that everyone will be able to score above average on every test.
My assumption is Global U students living in dire poverty will in many cases become high performance mechanics, teachers, doctors, engineers, if given an opportunity.
The same is true of many students living in the lap of luxury. The goal of matching people with programs should to some extent ignore socio-economic circumstances.
Equality of opportunity (whether one has the ability to take advantage or not) is very mixed up with the ideology of the United States. "We hold these truths to be self evident..." and so on.
Right, they might have only meant propertied men in those days, in practice.
But insightful men such as Thomas Jefferson could see the future even then. Someday, the slave class would be free. Nowadays we're looking even further ahead.
So, do you think it's corrupt and mistaken to uphold American ideological values in this way? Should the USA be disbanded then? Tell people to pack up their marbles and go home?