Just read this blog post
titled "Voices of Concerned Citizens: The Twilight Zone
and How Affluence Perpetuates the Achievement Gap". I think you should too.
Here's a teaser:
"So why am I writing this post?
In one of my many roles, I meet with parents and teachers to discuss student progress. The following is a typical conversation between a parent and I:
Parent: “My child needs extra time on standardized
tests.”Me: “Ok. Why do you think so?”Parent: “She might have ADHD.”Me: “Might?”Parent: “My neighbor’s son has it. My daughter is hyper.”....This is not an exaggeration. This is typical. In the Twilight Zone, parents use Section 504 to give their children an unfair advantage over other students (within the same school and district) during
state/national standardized testing (including gifted, norm-referenced,
and SSAT testing)."
I was wondering how it is in other places, in the US and outside the US.
I sort of know how it works in Israel already...
But what I was really wondering about is this key phrase repeated in this blog
"to give their children an unfair
other students" -
this "unfair advantage". It sort of puts us all in a the same crazy competitive boat. What is this "unfair advantage"?
Here are some wild thoughts I have about the accommodation my kids get: I don't think you have to prove you have ADD to get extra time in your tests. I would have preferred it if there was no time limit at all to anyone in tests: if the purpose is for the student to demonstrate knowledge - the let him or her do it without irrelevant pressure."She’ll also need to be in a small group setting and can have the
directions paraphrased or repeated when necessary"
- again - this is obviously what most kids need. Why not give it to all, and then delete the "unfair advantage" of this
Sure, I know this is naive, and budgets are limited, and this is why we are stuck with an education system that doesn't fit its target audience (in most cases, and does its best in some other cases). But the bottom line is - there will always be an "unfair advantage" because we are different and because you can't really equalize society: people with more resources will always be able to give their kids more - whether it is private tutors or ADD diagnosis or even cloths and food that other students might actually lack.
So perhaps the question is not about the unfair advantage, or exploiting various ADD accommodation and how it is done all over the world, the question is - what can the education system do change things? The school in the blog
(have you read it?) is a public school: why not "twin" public schools from the same district for collaboration and mutual help and socializing - this can be an interesting gap narrowing activity and a very basic education. What do you