Poverty is not destiny, but it affects learning in ways that make comparisons between schools unfair.

Does the same misbehavior trigger the same response by school officials when race is involved?

Admitting students to elite high schools should be based on proven academic ability.

Many parents reluctantly keep their children in underperforming schools simply because too much time and energy are required to make an informed decision.

If teachers are indeed overpaid and the job is such a plum, then why is there not a rush by the best college graduates into the profession?

Collaboration rather than competition works best in education because teachers thrive in an atmosphere of trust.

Even the best teachers cannot consistently overcome the chaotic backgrounds that disadvantaged students come from.

Gold stars and detention were behavior apps a generation ago.

Making licensing totally dependent on supervisors' ratings will backfire by discouraging top talent from making teaching a career.

Admission to elite colleges has never been based on pure meritocracy.

The opinions expressed in Walt Gardner's Reality Check are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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