Thursday, August 9, 2007

Klein's comments about poor children

See this NY Times column about the controversy over the administration's plan to pay poor kids for higher test scores, covered previously in this blog. Only now the Chancellor apparently has a new rationale for this experiment:

“... Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein esponds to skeptics by arguing that no one has figured out how to get more poorer children engaged in learning. Trumpeting the long-term benefits of education, the better jobs and lives well lived has not worked. Cash just might.”

No one has figured out how to get poor children engaged in learning? Perhaps he might try improving classroom conditions.

The truth is that many experts have indeed figured out how to achieve this. Increased access to preK and smaller classes are two, proven programs that research has repeatedly shown results in more engagement and learning, especially for poor and minority children . Unfortunately, DOE has shown little interest in providing either option; in particular, our classes remain the largest in the state and among the largest in the nation.

The truth is that if some students are disinvested in the learning process it is because the system has not invested in them; their lack of caring – to the extent that it exists -- results directly from the fact that the people who run our schools do not care sufficiently about them.

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