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Morning Video: Best-Off Districts Often Generate Biggest Achievement Gaps

"There's some deep ... problems that we as a society haven't faced up to yet.," says"Sean Reardon, a professor of poverty and inequality in education at Stanford University in this EdWeek video and article (Achievement Gaps and Racial Segregation: Research Finds an Insidious Cycle)


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I'm commenting on the faulty reasoning from those who are looking at the Racial Achievement Gaps "information" derived from the Stanford Education Data Archive. I'm critiquing one of the assertions made from comparing the poorest districts with the richest districts. My recent slide presentation at the state level in Oregon, posited the "real" culprit for the very real & widespread inequality; it's the "30 million word gap"! Reporter Dennis Perce wrote an excellent article about this phenomenon, which I cut & pasted below:
"... Suskind is the director of the Thirty Million Words Initiative and author of “Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain”. Her work refers to the groundbreaking research by Hart and Risley in the mid-90s, who found that children living in poverty have been exposed to about 13 million words spoken in the home by their fourth birthday. But children growing up in homes with parents who are professionals—doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers—have heard an average of 45 million spoken words by age four. That means children from poor homes have had more than 30 million fewer opportunities to learn vocabulary and become accustomed to grammar, sentence structure, and the other aspects of language that are so important. The children who heard more words were better prepared for learning when they started school, Hart and Risley found—and these same children, when followed into third grade, had larger vocabularies, were stronger readers, and got higher test scores. ...."
From my reasoning, I assert that it would have been, perhaps not obvious, but logical, that the richest, most well-endowed districts have the greatest discrepancies in achievement between poor and rich students. The principle known in education literacy research is I believe, called: "The Mathew's Principle" = the rich get richer & the poor get poorer.
Dr. Samuel Ortiz, at St. John's University, N.Y., contends that, unless we change paradigms, educators will always be "behind the 8-ball" with offering remediation learning to students from poverty.

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