Explaining Low Performance in Schools

The greatest cause of of low performance or  failing schools  than poverty.  The point was well made by Joe Greenberg, Principal of Lehman Alternative Community School in the Ithaca City School District of Ithaca, NY wrote in an Letter to the Editor of Education Week (August 29, 2012, P. 20).

“According to ‘Wealth Gaps rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics’, the Pew Research Center’s report from July 2011, the median wealth of white households was 20 times higher than that of African-American households, and 18 times higher than that of Hispanic households in 2009… If counties and states failed to make adequate yearly progress in ensuring economic growth for all families, those elected officials would be judged failing and removed from office.  This would hold them to the same standard as our public school educators.”

At the very least, people should expect that when comparisons of schools are made, that there is a “level playing field”.  But expecting Camden New Jersey to perform as well as Asbury Park New Jersey when the Asbury Park School System spends $24,428 per pupil and Camden spends $16,131 per pupil is not only wrong, it is deceitful as well.