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National Center on Time and Learning is Launched

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A new organization is being launched today to promote an extended school day and school year.

The National Center on Time & Learning will provide research and support for efforts to increase academic and enrichment opportunities for students, which some experts say can help improve student performance and close the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and their better-off peers.

There is currently a bill in Congress to fund district-level programs for expanded learning time, and the strategy is included in the discussion draft for the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act that was released by House education leaders last month.

The center will be co-chaired by Paul Reville, the president of the Rennie Center and director of the Education Policy and Management Program at Harvard University, and Chris Gabrieli, an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. It is being funded by the Eli and Edythe Broad Education Foundation, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

5 Comments

If you want the truth about something, don’t ask your friend, minister, local politician, activist group, or consulting company looking for big bucks contracts. Instead, consult the peer reviewed literature (publish or perish) where professional reputations and careers are on the line, big time. Any flawed reasoning is quickly challenged and exposed.

It is uniformly found in the literature that cognitive performance potential has genetic roots. That’s why, e.g., sperm banks prefer medical students as sources and Ivy League grads are the prized egg donors. Ask any molecular biologist. The truth is not always a pleasant thing, but that is no reason to bury one’s head in politically-correct sand. Whenever two groups go head-to-head on a cognitive playing field as with the "achievement gap," the differences in results are fundamentally based in genetic differences between the two groups.

Poverty and disadvantage is not an explanation. It is to be naturally expected that low cognitive performers will tend to be found in lower income families. Low-performing students are overwhelmingly the offspring of intellectually-challenged parents whose earning capacities, and less-responsible life decisions leading to poverty, merely reflect genetically-rooted cognitive deficiencies. Really no surprise here. Genes and environment synergize, they are not independent variables.

The achievement gap is mostly hereditary. Thus, no amount of legislation, massive funding, special programs, or litigation can ever close it. You can provide equal opportunity, but you will never get equal results. Best to identify the superior performing students, regardless of race, and ensure that they have all possible educational advantages and programs. These students are the most precious resource: those who will ultimately be most effective in solving society’s problems down the road. Squandering resources on genetic losers results in The_Best_Children_Left_Behind...

If you want the truth about something, don’t ask your friend, minister, local politician, activist group, or consulting company looking for big bucks contracts. Instead, consult the peer reviewed literature (publish or perish) where professional reputations and careers are on the line, big time. Any flawed reasoning is quickly challenged and exposed.

It is uniformly found in the literature that cognitive performance potential has genetic roots. That’s why, e.g., sperm banks prefer medical students as sources and Ivy League grads are the prized egg donors. Ask any molecular biologist. The truth is not always a pleasant thing, but that is no reason to bury one’s head in politically-correct sand. Whenever two groups go head-to-head on a cognitive playing field as with the "achievement gap," the differences in results are fundamentally based in genetic differences between the two groups.

Poverty and disadvantage is not an explanation. It is to be naturally expected that low cognitive performers will tend to be found in lower income families. Low-performing students are overwhelmingly the offspring of intellectually-challenged parents whose earning capacities, and less-responsible life decisions leading to poverty, merely reflect genetically-rooted cognitive deficiencies. Really no surprise here. Genes and environment synergize, they are not independent variables.

The achievement gap is mostly hereditary. Thus, no amount of legislation, massive funding, special programs, or litigation can ever close it. You can provide equal opportunity, but you will never get equal results. Best to identify the superior performing students, regardless of race, and ensure that they have all possible educational advantages and programs. These students are the most precious resource: those who will ultimately be most effective in solving society’s problems down the road. Squandering resources on genetic losers results in The_Best_Children_Left_Behind...

Mr. Anderson,

Actually, if you read the latest research you'll find that that's not true at all. Fryer and Levitt (2007) found that no achievement gap between races at age 1, but that one starts to form in later years. Other studies have shown that the achievement gap grows during the summer when children of different classes have different experiences.

When you factor in health problems, exposure to vocabulary and other knowledge, parenting styles, social norms and a myriad of other factors it becomes abundantly clear that achievement is related more to social conditions than it is to hereditary intelligence.

The main finding of the Coleman Report way back in 1966 was that there was more variation within schools than between schools in achievement. This means that the best students in the worst schools (a.k.a. students from poor families) outperform the worst students from the best schools (a.k.a. students from wealthy families). To argue that rich people are rich b/c they're smarter would be false -- they are usually rich because they had good parents, attended good schools, knew some important people, and worked hard at making money.

In short, you are wrong on two points:

1. Academic achievement is the product of a lot more than simply hereditary intelligence.

2. There is not an absolute correlation between social class/income and IQ. There are plenty of smart poor people and dumb rich people.

Kevin I love articles on helping kids from all backgrounds as this is one of my passions with my blog. I have done an assignment on a topic that really touched my heart and it was Teen Suicides. We really need to change the thinking of the younger generations or we'll loose too many to the ignorance of society as a whole. Firstly we must educate the parents who then, in turn, instruct and motivate their children.

Don this responsibility does not lie with genetics as each individual is given the same hardware when we are born no matter which side of the DNA chain you are from. It lies with us all firstly as a family, then the community and then the nation til it encompasses the earth. It is the software that outside influences have that also make up a large part of who we are and what are our beliefs. If as you say it is genetics then why do we constantly see greatness come from the meek and lower social classes (I loathe to use this phrase). A classical example is Michael Jordan here is a quote from him:

"I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying."
Michael Jordan

This is what motivation is all about, not where you've come from but where you are going!

I would love to share more thoughts on motivation in my personal blog here Thank You.

Don,
I think your comment suggests that peer reviewed scientific literature holds the monopoly on what the larger public views (or should view) as the most relevant truth. Truth is, most folks I know could care less about the research of thousands of scientists armed with the latest research and statistics on genetic differentiation. Most folks I know do care deeply, however, about the welfare of their children regardless of any percieved deficiencies that may be brought about only in part by the mistakes, unwise choices, or genetic attributes of their parents. This is why we consult friends, ministers, activist groups, and sometimes politicians. They care about (or their job is to care about) what we care about - the success of our children.

Now, for the person who takes your view, there is but one response - let what will be, be - at least for now. Leave children to dogs until some as of now unidentified child geniuses get the academic nurturing they so desperately need, then feel an undeniable urge to apply their genius to pressing societal issues, and become saviour to those poor souls squandering their neanderthal lives away in unfortunate ghettoes.

But for those who believe in the sanctity of a a.s.a.p boost in quality life for every child - and the potential of every person to effect positive change in this world, regardless of IQ -we believe in quality education for every child.

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