Which Status Quo Should We Change?

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints

To the Editor:

In their Feb. 21, 2007, letter to the editor rebutting Diane Ravitch’s Commentary on the report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce ("‘Tough Choices’: Radical Ideas, Misguided Assumptions," Jan. 17, 2007), Thomas W. Payzant and Charles B. Reed build their case on the claim that the United States has the second-most-expensive system of education in the developed world, but only mediocre results. This oft-repeated observation is virtually meaningless, however, when viewed in proper context.

The UNICEF report “An Overview of Child Well-Being in Rich Countries,” released only last month, serves as a case in point. The United States finished dead last among 24 nations in terms of relative income poverty, the percentage of children in households with equivalent income less than 50 percent of the national median. Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden dominated the top half, with rates of less than 5 percent. It’s more than mere coincidence that these same four countries are also among those with the highest academic ratings, because of the tight correlation between poverty and performance.

Messrs. Payzant and Reed correctly point out that social revolutions occur when the people reach the limits of their frustration with the status quo. But what they fail to acknowledge is that the people’s disaffection is mistakenly directed at schools instead of at policies that exacerbate the underlying social and economic conditions responsible for the issue.

Walt Gardner
Los Angeles, Calif.

Vol. 26, Issue 26, Page 29

Published in Print: March 7, 2007, as Which Status Quo Should We Change?
Related Stories

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Student Engagement Lessons from 3 Successful Districts

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >