27.4.04

THE SOFT BIGOTRY OF LOW EXPECTATIONS
Students in the schools we visit are not turned on. Black, brown, speaking broken or accented English, with cultural values clashing with those of the white middle class, they are seen as needing elementary instruction in secondary school; as capable only of drawing and coloring; as in need of discipline rather than encouragement. They are asked to make acrostics in middle school social studies; to write eight sentences in high school English class; and to fill out endless worksheets in math class.

Teachers say they have to teach the students where they are, which means at sixth-grade level in high school if they can't read well. Their attitude may be compassionate, but it is misguided. There's ample evidence that accelerating instruction works better than retarding it in the name of remediation.
That's from the aptly headlined Dumbing Down Our Schools (via Betsy's Page.)

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