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Document Type

Article in Response to Controversy

Abstract

Schools in the US continue to fail our most marginalized children. We know children of color, poor children and English language learners often receive the smallest pieces of the educational pie. One does not have to look far to see that reality. Forty-five percent of Latino children did not graduate in 2002 (Olson, 2006). Children of color continue to lag behind in college attendance (Hallinan, 2001), NAEP test scores (Madeus & Clarke, 2001) and access to demanding courses (Darling-Hammond, 2000). Regardless of the breadth of these issues, when we talk about the achievement gap, we tend to focus on the technical. Politicians argue for new computers, principals ask for more funding, teachers request instructional aides or updated materials. Conversations about school improvement often hinge on these more tangible changes. While such technical considerations are surely part of the equation, I would argue that fundamentally, addressing the achievement gap means unearthing the norms that allow this gap to continue.

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