NYC educator offers some provocative comments on a new ETS study findingsurprise, surprisethat children's home environments have a major impact on their achievement levels in school. He writes:
The reason why this study is important is because it emphasizes something educators already know--our classrooms and our schools do not exist in vacuums. Our students come to us with lives and backgrounds that are far more influential upon their academic potentials and performances than whatever I do for 45 minutes a day, 183 days a year ....
The findings likewise suggests, NYC educator opines, that efforts to improve achievement by keeping kids in school longer are counterintuitive:
What we hear from the billionaire businessmen, computer company execs and hedge fund managers masquerading as education reformers is that students do not perform well in school because the school day is not long enough, the school year is not long enough and the teachers are not good enough. So if we just increase the school day and school year and add more standardized testing/accountability mechanisms for both teachers and students, we can fix the problems with education.
But as the ETS study found, these solutions are false.
A better idea, he suggests, would be to "rebuild an American society," especially as reflected in school and work schedules, so that hard-pressed parents could spend more time with their children.
Correction: NYC Educator informs us that the post was actually written (on his blog) by reality-based educator. See comments.