The achievement gap between white and minority students shows no sign of improvement nationwide. This is important to remember as debates about school change emerge in the 2007 legislative session.
This NYY Times article cites a study finding significant progress in only 700 of more than 16,000 schools nationwide. These schools are worth studying. I suspect we'll find succcessful strategies -- replicated on a broad scale -- would require a staggering commitment of money and time. The search is worth it. The point to remember is that just because some charter school organizer, or home school advocate or private school voucher advocate believes they have a better way, it doesn't mean they should be exempt from accountability or a front-end demonstration of why -- short of a desire for public money -- they deserve a slice of the pie. To date, there's been no statistical showing of superiority of charter or private schools in education in addressing the problem.
It's also worth remembering that race alone isn't a telling factor in school outcomes. So, too, is education background of a family and poverty. It's enormous and vexing, this the overriding issue in education today.