GUEST EDITORIAL High Expectations Are Not High Enough By Dr. John J. Russell, Head of The Windward School
Dr. John J. Russell, Head of The Windward School
In a New York Times Op-Ed piece (November 4, 2016), David Leonhardt argues that students who attend charter schools with “high expectations, high support” outperform their peers in other schools. He cites data indicating that these schools close the achievement gap that exists for underserved students, most notably students of color and those with special education needs. Research confirms that expectations and support are necessary, but they are not sufficient to close the achievement gap. What matters most is teacher expertise. The most powerful ways to improve student learning identified by study after study depend on what a teacher does in the classroom.
Stanford economist Eric Hanushek’s research demonstrates that during an academic year students taught by teachers at the 90%tile for effectiveness learn 1.5 years’ worth of material, while those taught by teachers at the 10 percentile learn a half years’ worth. So having a highly skilled teacher teaching your child is a matter of the utmost importance.
Highly effective teachers combined with high expectations and high support are a particularly potent combination for closing the achievement gap for underserved students.#