Despite years of conversations and research studies, so many Americans believe that the problem with student achievement is that schools are not doing their jobs. Any classroom teacher, on the other hand, will tell you that the difference between students that succeed and those that don’t takes hold long before they enter our classes.
The achievement gap begins before the age of 4, as discussed in a new study from Paul Morgan at Penn State,
“First, we found that very large gaps in general knowledge were already evident among children entering kindergarten classrooms in the U.S. For example, about 60 percent of black children scored in the bottom 25 percent on the general knowledge measure. The contrasting percentage for white children was 15 percent.”
So, the real question for America is not “How do we improve education?”, but “How do we fix poverty?”.