Thanks to Ms. Ravitch for yet again bringing research into the dialogue. While I agree with many of the replies that it’s not only poverty plagued students that are unmotivated. We have a generation of students who think showing up and filling in the dots is what education is all about. Even the best efforts of educators to provide creative, critical thinking, synthesizing , practical assignments, the push toward scripted curricula and high stakes testing has damaged students’ motivations in the classroom over the past decade. Ravitch is correct though that we must address the issues of poverty and income inequality if we are to make any attempts at putting a dent in the problems that persist in U.S. classrooms.
At a meeting in Los Alamos, Bill Gates said it was easier to find cures for malaria and other diseases than to “fix” American education. Being the richest man in America, people hang on his every word.
Gates again knocks U.S. education. He said that technology should help, but it only benefits motivated students, and the U.S. has lots of unmotivated students. Usually, he blames teachers. Now he blames students.
My favorite line in the article: Gates could not land his private jet at the Los Alamos airport because his plane is too big for the runway.
What Gates needs to know:
1. The terrible effects of poverty on children’s ability to succeed in school. The fact that the U.S. has the highest child poverty rate of all advanced nations. He should read Richard Rothstein’s enlightening book, “Class and Schools,” which summarizes the social science on this issue…
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