Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

‘Cultural Odyssey’ Gives Children What They Lack

April 05, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Edmund W. Gordon’s ambitious plan to nurture the intellects of disadvantaged children through enriching out-of-school activities is a realistic recognition that schools, even at their best, cannot do everything alone (“A Cultural Odyssey,” March 23, 2005).

Through no fault of their own, many African-American children bring huge deficits in socialization, motivation, and intellectual development to school. By compensating for these factors, Mr. Gordon carries in his hands the potential to narrow the persistent achievement gap that has so far defied well-meaning attempts by others.

In this context, it’s hard to understand Abigail Thernstrom’s statement that Mr. Gordon is “writing off the hours children are in school.” On the contrary, he is trying to make those hours more effective by creating the kind of environment that middle- and upper-class children enter when the school day is over. It is precisely this atmosphere that makes such a tremendous difference in learning outcomes.

While nothing is ever as powerful as what parents do to reinforce the lessons taught in school, surrogate figures can play an important role.

Mr. Gordon may not be the first to recognize the value of outside-of-school educational experiences, but he is not just writing about supplementary education; he is actually providing it.

Walt Gardner

Los Angeles Calif.

The writer taught for 28 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attend to the Whole Child: Non-Academic Factors within MTSS
Learn strategies for proactively identifying and addressing non-academic barriers to student success within an MTSS framework.
Content provided by Renaissance
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum How to Teach Digital & Media Literacy in the Age of AI
Join this free event to dig into crucial questions about how to help students build a foundation of digital literacy.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: June 19, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: June 12, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 29, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 8, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read