Narrowing the Achievement Gap

Some one recently sent me an email about narrowing the achievement gap. Below is his question and my response.
“I don’t think that “narrowing the achievement gap” is necessary nor natural. What we need is MORE students exceeding expectations. Only motivated and rewarded teachers will be able to do that.
When more students begin achieving at levels that are above and beyond expectations, education will change. At present, what we have are more and more achieving below expectations. This leads to the trend that you’d like to prevent.”

How do we get students to achieve at levels “above and beyond expectations”?
We need to employ all our resources. We need the business public to start valuing the diplomas that K-12 schools issue by stating they will first hire those students who came to school regularly, on time and prepared as well as those who did well on tests.
We need parents to prepare students for school by feeding them and clothing them properly, by teaching them the alphabet and how to count and add. We need the parents/guardians to supply a properly lit, environment where child can study without interruption or distraction.
We need policy makers and politicians to stop paying lip service to how committed they are to improving education and start realizing that they can’t do so without vesting proper amounts of money and not cutting school budgets.
We need educators who believe, in their heart of hearts, that all children can learn; that some take longer than others and that we need to help those who most need our help.