Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Secret to Improving Inner City Education....

Is not much of a secret? Seriously, if the answer to educational deficits is a longer school day, what can be achieved by charter schools that cannot be accomplished simply by extending the school day in troubled public schools? Assuming taxpayers are willing to pay the price.

I personally don't think the answer is that simple, but in a world in which school innovation often seems to translate into "more of the same", I can't profess surprise that the most significant factor affecting the performance of inner city schools boils down to classroom hours.


  1. Most of the kids at my school would just walk out at 3 anyway. Most of the school was gone by the end of May, so don't look to longer years either. Longer school days aren't going to work unless we get family involvement and make education a priority again.

  2. That, of course, is one of the things that they skip over in relation to KIPP. However the students compare academically to their peers, to succeed at KIPP the parents and students must commit to the extended school schedule. They know that going in the door. Even if the attrition rate, once students are enrolled, is similar to that of other schools there are going to be differences between the student body of a KIPP school and students whose families aren't interested in KIPP.

    Between those accepted and those applicants rejected on account of insufficient space, we're back to it being no real surprise that more time in class (and more orderly schools) correlate with improved performance.

  3. They never talk about how charters cherry pick their students and kick the ones who don't measure up to the curb. After Count Day of course.

    Now, if we could just require parents to be as involved in public schools....

  4. The secret to improving inner city education is improving the inner city. When the majority see no corralation between education and social mobility what do you expect.

  5. Do you have any actual evidence that "the majority" of inner city residents see no connection between academic achievement and social mobility, or is that simply your assumption?

    What measures do you propose that we utilize in order to improve inner city life?

  6. "The secret to improving inner city education is improving the inner city." - Wow, that's just brilliant.

    Let me guess, the secret to improving American health care is improving American health?

    So, Orin T, how would that work (improving the inner city)? We would build better public buildings and make better services available and then . . . what exactly would happen? The parents would all suddently get more involved?

    The last time I checked (which I will admit was quite a while ago) there was a positive correlation between education and income - I'm not sure how you measure "upward social mobility" (. . . and I'll assume upward was what you meant.) but I'm guessing it is at least related to income - which is a long way of saying that although the problem you sight might be a perception, it isn't reality. (. . . and good luck fixing perceptions.)



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