Then there is the dirty secret that if one member of a subgroup doesn't show up on test day, your school has already lost.
The only number that matters is the individual's report card. If he or she is American Indian, it doesn't matter that 10,362 other merican Indians were tested, it doesn't matter that 100% of the subgroup was tested and that 56.1% are proficient. [info from http://ayp.ncpublicschools.org/2010/app/nclb/AypDetail.cgi]
What matters is what the individual did. What effort did I put into my education?
Although some students have difficulty learning, school is not set up to make students fail. School is set up with challenges; you must make the individual commitment to meet those challenges.
Is it a shame that only 56.1% are proficient? Yes. I submit to the reader that a great deal of the discrepancies fall on the extent to which each subgroup values education.
And yes, a lot of that comes from not seeing the value in the neighborhood or family in which you grow up. If I lived in a household or neighborhood where generations of women don't work, that probably becomes my role model; if I grew up in a household whose adults are always scraping every penny together working in jobs that require little experience and little education, and still seem to be buying everything in sight (mostly trinkets and items of little value or usefulness)that's my model. If I grow up in a houselhold, even a single parent househld, where the parent had finished a four year degree and got up and went to work every day, well then, that's my model. That's what I value.
Here are the subgroups divided by way too many distinctions that in other industries would be called racist. If I were the owner of Wilmington Widgets and broke down sales calls and sales successes and posted them like this, I'd have far too many agencies investigating.
Limited English Proficiency
Students With Disabilities
How many students are in multiple categories?
Are comparisons valid?
Can we really expect an Economically Disadvantaged Limited English Proficiency student to make the same growth as the student who's not?
To what extent do each of these subgroups value education?
Why are we teaching everyone as if he or she is going to a 4 year college.
Are the trades not honorable?
Why doesn’t every district have a trade and technical high school?
Imagine me sending out a press release from the Widget Co. announcing that the white sales force was 83% proficient with growth, but that the black sales force was only 56.3%. [figures from same Webpage]
What happens at the next rah-rah sales coach meeting?
“C’mon now black folks, you’re not going to let the white sales team make all the commissions are you? Let’s see a little hustle out there. Let’s make them phones ring. Of course you’re economically disadvantaged, you’re not English proficient. Talk English to your prospects and rack up those sales. Multi-racial employee, why did I even hire you?”
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