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Teachers’ Lounge - Those Kids

Prakken Publications

My friend and former boss Sharon Strean (who, since her retirement from the affluent Plymouth/ Canton Schools, has worked in a large, impoverished urban school district) wrote to say she disagreed with what I seemed to conclude in the February “Teachers’ Lounge.” In that column, I discussed an array of failed attempts to improve American students’ academic achievements. Near the end, I described the situation described by Helen F. Ladd, professor of public policy and economics at Duke University and Edward B. Fiske, former education editor of The New York Times, in the December 11, 2011, NYT. They wrote: “Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress show that more than 40% of the variation in average reading scores and 46% of the variation in average math scores across states is associated with variation in child poverty rates.

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