October 28, 1992

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Vol. 12, Issue 08
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Earlier this year, Sonya L. Anderson, a 1992 graduate of Yale University and a native of Oxford, Miss., turned down a job offer from Teach For America, the highly publicized national organization that trains liberal-arts graduates to teach in inner-city and rural schools.
A crucial link is missing between the goals of current reform initiatives and the strategies used to implement them. This missing link is significant enough to impede achievement of the goals, for without it reform initiatives will remain simply that: initiatives from without, rather than understandings shared by those integral to the delivery of education.
The recent educational literature has been filled with discussions of the effects of ability grouping, tracking, etc., and new virtues have been found in the concept of heterogeneous grouping of students. The homogeneous grouping of slow-learning children does not appear to be profitable, but the homogeneous grouping of bright students is a very different matter, and often ignored in these discussions.
As Presidential candidates crisscross the nation on tour buses talking about a "new covenant'' between individuals, communities, and government, Americans are putting the power of community organization to work for education.
Robert F. Sexton is the executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, a Lexington, Ky.-based citizens' group advocating long-term education change.
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CME Group Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the Noyce Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations. Additional grants in support of Editorial Projects in Education’s data journalism and video capacity come from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. (Updated 1/1/2017)

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