Monday, November 1, 2010

MyNotes - Educational Leadership - Closing Opportunity Gaps

My November 2010 copy of Educational Leadership arrived are some the things that jumped out at me:

  1. Providing a group of low-income students with computers didn't close achievement gaps, but rather, widened the gap between the students and their more privileged peers. Instead of using the computers for homework and research the students used them daily for playing games. (page 8, "Home Computer Use and the Development of Human Capital" by Ofer Malamud, University of Chicago.).
  2. "The dramatically resurgent segregation of our public schools is the dirty little secret of urban education that President Obama has not dared to challenge in forthright and compelling terms." (Jonathan Kozol, p. 28).
  3. There is no evidence that vouchers result in better scholastic outcomes for kids. Rothstein (2004) as cited in Nisbett in "Think Big, Bigger...and Smaller."
  4. One principal's expectations for new teachers included 1) Participating in professional learning communities and 2) Keeping up with professional literature and research of several listed (p.18 (from Karin Chenoweth's article "Leaving Nothing to Chance")).
  5. "School leaders must be guardians of their students' future, not of their staff members' happiness." (from Karin Chenoweth's article "Leaving Nothing to Chance")
  6. "No one has the right to waste a day in the life of a child." (from Karin Chenoweth's article "Leaving Nothing to Chance")
  7. Around the time of the Brown v Board of Education of Topeka (1954) decision, nearly 90% of the U.S. Population was white. More than half a century later, the latest education data indicate that white students are just a bare majority of U.S. 1st graders. One quarter of students are Latino, one-sixth are black, and higher percentages of children are identified as being from two or more races (National Center for Education Statistics, 2008). (As cited by Orfield, Frankenberg, Siegel-Hawley in "Integrated Schools: Finding a New Path")
  8. High teacher turnover negatively affects student academic gains.

Some take-aways from Celano and Neuman's "Roadblocks on the Information Highway:"

  • As a Pew Foundation report found, many children are using out of school time o refine their technology skills.
  • Among those Americans who make less than $25,000, 65 percent lack broadband access
  • Low income children need greater access to technology in school to make up for their limited access at home.
  • Students could countinue to access information through books, as in the past, but this will not help them develop the technological savvy they will need in the future.
  • Middle-income children start using computers at a younger age and get more adult assistance.
  • Economically disadvantaged children tend to use computer time more for entertainment than do their middle-class peers, who use it more for information gathering. Over time, the difference accumulate, meaning that middle class children will zoom ahead and low-income children will be left behind.
  • Teachers in high-poverty areas use computers differently...they don't email students or use course or teacher web pages as much.
  • In "The Digital Disconnect," a Pew Foundation study, students report that teachers often will not assign projects requiring Internet access if many students do not have home computers.
  • Schools need to provide low-income children with more opportunities to use technology to its fullest capacity
  • This includes focusing less on using computers to practice basic skills and more on teaching students strategic ways to use the computer...create more complex in-school assignments that encourage students to use computers more effectively: 1) Teachers can invite readers to coauthor online texts as they navigate various paths through information; 2) Students can use digital tools to interact with others and gain access to different perspectives; 3) Collaborate with local libraries and after-school programs to ensure that computers are used efficiently to complete homework and other research assignments.
  • Without equal access to technology, a large number of children face the future with little hope of keeping up in today's increasingly complex world.


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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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