Since so many Hispanic/Latinos and African-Americans live in poverty, you may believe poverty is the problem, and the facts support this progressive politically correct opinion. After all, in 2010, the National Poverty Center reported, “27.4% of blacks and 26.6% of Hispanics/Latinos were poor, compared to 9.9% of non-Hispanic whites [caucasions] and 12.1% of Asians.”
If you support this “politically correct” opinion, think again as we visit one “tiny” rural Kansas school district.
Liz Goodwin writes in The Lookout, “The average student at the Waconda school district of 385 kids scores better than 90 percent of students in 20 developed countries on math and reading tests, according to The Global Report Card, published in the journal Education Next.
In Waconda school district, “Most of the students are white, and no kids need English language learning classes.”
However, 65% of these white students qualify for free or reduced federal lunches, which is an indication that they live in poverty.
The formula for success in the Kansas Waconda school district is that “almost every parent shows up for parent-teacher conferences at the elementary school level and participation stays high in the older grades as well.
[Note—the public school where I taught (1975 – 2005) always had more than 70% Hispanic/Latino students, and less than 10% of parents came to parent-teacher conferences annually]
In addition, the district keeps its pre-kindergarten to third grade classes “very” small so the teachers may deal with a lot of problems quickly and early in child development.
A third difference is that the district keeps an assessment card of each student and that card follows the child from grade to grade. The card lists skills the state expects each child to master in each subject and teachers update the cards continuously.
Another factor is that this small Kansas district does not follow education trends. “We don’t believe in the next biggest thing or the next biggest theory,” the superintendent, Jeff Travis, said, “We’ve not made any major changes.”
[Note: the public schools where I taught in Southern California implemented many of the biggest theories and these education trends often made my job as a teacher more difficult and the situation worse]
In conclusion, according to Robert Weissberg, “Regardless of geography, everybody, white, black, and brown, knows what a bad school is — a school dominated by poor black and Hispanic students.”
However, it doesn’t matter if one is an American conservative, moderate or liberal, few muster the courage to speak this truth even when that truth is supported with solid facts.
Return to Blind, Deaf and Dumber to the facts and doomed to fail – Part 3 or start with Part 1
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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