That’s what Virginia and I were left wondering after this interview with Dr. William Schmidt, the author of the exciting new book: INEQUALITY FOR ALL: The Challenge of Unequal Opportunity in American Schools.
No, it’s not about rich versus poor or disadvantaged versus privilege. It’s a revelation of the fact that our schools, even within the same districts, cities and States do not have comparable curriculum content and standards on the same critical science and math subjects. And the greatest variations are in middle-income school districts; and it happens even within the same school.
In other words there is no equivalence between classes of the same Grade on the same subjects. And this results in many kids being short-changed or otherwise graduating with different knowledge than other kids who’ve done the “same” subject Grade classes elsewhere in the system.
Dr. Schmidt reveals that some teachers are not properly equipped or competent to deliver the math and science curriculum—and that is part of the problem.
Compared to this, the nations that are bettering us overseas have national standards of common core material that all kids are exposed to.
By “common core standard” is meant what is to be taught: not how it is to be taught.
Parents will ask: what to do?
The answer is go to the Common Core Standards website http://www.corestandards.org/ and see what their child should be learning at each grade, and take the action needed to have the material delivered to your child.
This is important because math is the language of technology and the information driven society we now live in.
Click here for more information on INEQUALITY FOR ALL: The Challenge of Unequal Opportunity in American Schools.
If that link doesn’t work go to http://promse.msu.edu/ and look in the “what’s New” section.
William H. Schmidt is University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University and co-director of the Education Policy Center.
Roger & Virginia at The Learning Curve.