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Eager to Learn or Not – Part 9/10

During the 30 years that I taught English, reading and journalism in the public schools, I worked with thousands of students from every ethnic and socioeconomic group.

My family, although of White/Caucasian heritage with roots to England, Ireland and Europe would have been placed in three of the categories that the Academic Performance Index (API) identifies.

My brother and I would have been labeled as White (Caucasian), Socioeconomically Disadvantaged and Students with (learning) Disabilities.

A student that is labeled “Socioeconomically Disadvantaged” is defined as “a student neither of whose parents have received a high school diploma or a student eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program”.

A “Student with Disabilities” is defined as student who receives special education services and has a valid disability code on the student answer document (or) a student who was previously identified as special education but who is no longer receiving special education services for two years after exiting special education. This student is not counted in determining numerical significance for the SWDs subgroup.

The API monitors and measures the schools to see if the NCLB Act’s goal of reaching an average and/or norm for all Ethnic/Racial subgroups that is 800 or better on the API is being met.  Failure for schools and teachers to reach this goal for all subgroups may lead to being fired and/or having schools shut down while students will be bussed long distances to schools that have been successful.

For 2010, in California, the norm/average for Students with Disabilities was 544; for Socioeconomically Disadvantaged that norm/average was 701 while the norm for White/Caucasian was 842.

During the thirty years I taught in a public classroom, the subgroups that (on average) resembled my brother Richard and I are found mostly in Black or African American (API 676) and Hispanic or Latino (API 706) subgroups.  Source: 2010-11 APR Glossary-Base API

Continued on July 21, 2011 in Eager to Learn or Not – Part 10 or return to Part 8

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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