Closing The Achievement Gap

1108 Words5 Pages
I want to congratulate you on completion of your first year as the Secretary of Education of the United States of America. I have not agreed with all of the decisions you have made in one short year, however, I promise I will not complain about your actions, I will simply give you one very important suggestion that could really help the students in this country. As I am sure you have learned, closing the achievement gap is one of the most important tasks leaders in education are currently facing. Closing the achievement gap cannot be fixed by small changes in a short period of time which is why the first step to closing this gap is to stop evaluating schools and students based on proficiency and start using the growth system of measurement.…show more content…
Rewarding schools based on proficiency allows schools that are plagued by poverty to be set up for failure. Schools that are in areas with high rates of poverty show lower academic success due to students facing difficulties in their home life can affect their performance in school. Judging schools based on proficiency levels not only reduces possible funding for schools in need, but it also gives a “false impression that all high-poverty schools are ineffective” according to the Thomas B. Fordham Institute (Petrilli, M., & Churchill, A., n.d.). Looking at the Minneapolis Public School District, as one example, we…show more content…
This task feels impossible as it is very complex and affects a large population of students in the United States. Closing the gap can’t be done overnight by simply changing one or two things, however, changing the way student success is measured is a necessary first step. Measuring students based on growth will help funding be distributed in a way that will benefit the students that need it most. Using the growth system of measurement also supports the school system in correctly identifying the best methods of teaching for the many different demographics within the United States school system. Using proficiency to measure the success of school causes a large amount of students to be forgotten. Schools only focus on students that are capable of meeting the proficiency level, which leaves out students that are already above that level or are too far below to catch up. These are the reasons why I am urge you to make the change from proficiency to growth to start closing the achievement gap and allow all students the opportunity to
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