>>> But you are on record as saying that reducing these >>> gaps >>> is an admirable goal. >> >> Yes...and? > >Then what you cited as evidence of a problem is not >evidence of a problem.
The central organizing doctrine of policy in American public education is the reduction of The Gap between high achievers and low achievers. This policy explains almost everything about the public schools hence the moniker, "THE PRIME DIRECTIVE". The only "problems" I am aware of, in this particular context, are two. First, a great many people scratch their heads wondering why the schools do what they do and, second, a few people in this forum actually deny the existence of THE PRIME DIRECTIVE.
Both these problems are mighty strange because the Education Mafia do not make a secret of their central public policy goal. To the contrary, they publicly, loudly, and frequently proclaim their doctrine. It is true they do not call it "THE PRIME DIRECTIVE", that is my humble contribution, but short of that, they shout their doctrine from the mountain tops. It is in all their literature, you cannot read a newspaper article on education that does not have at least a passing reference to it, and it is even embodied in law. Really, you can't miss it.
Now, the original and ostensible purpose of Math-Teach is to discuss math education. But, as is widely recognized, math education does not happen in a vacuum and almost all discussions of math education evolve sooner than later into more general discussions on education. Discussing general education without reference to THE PRIME DIRECTIVE is much like discussing, say, human psychology without reference to sex, or physics without reference to the laws of thermodynamics. (Math and science, I mean real science, do not give such good rhetorical examples because fundamental results are not so much discussed as they are implicit in the discussions.)
Therefore, in my desire to be a constructive contributor, I will seize opportunities to remind the community of THE PRIME DIRECTIVE. Just such an opportunity arose with a front page article in The Paper of Record floridly (pardon the pun) illustrating THE PRIME DIRECTIVE. Here is a telling passage,