Sunday, June 13, 2010

Inequalities in Education: Finn

Extended Comments

Nikki's blog mentioned some examples of inequalities in education, namely which teachers teach to privileged students and which teach to students in most need. Even in the best schools the most senior teachers who are usually better teachers, not always the case, seem to have the cream of the crop. They tend to have a lower number of students per class, with very few, if any, students labeled as "behaviors". On the other hand, the least senior teachers have larger class sizes, increased chances of having "behaviors" and they're usually teaching to a group with many diverse needs. This happens within schools, across districts, from urban communities to the suburbs, everywhere! I would argue that this practice although common, when in urban communities makes the biggest difference in shaping children's lives. Urban schools face the biggest challenges ranging from low socio-economics to parental involvement and support, to lack of resources and funding. I believe that any teacher willing to teach under those circumstances is a well-intentioned teacher but he/she needs extra support, more resources and more experience in the classroom to really make a difference. This relates to what recently happened in Central Falls, part of the reason administrators knew they had to re-hire all it's teachers was because they knew they weren't going to get more experienced or better teachers. Those teachers don't want to teach in CF, and the students of CF would have been worse off with teachers just graduating from college with little or no experience. For the record, I do not mean to sound like I am blaming the teachers for low-performance, I believe in my profession and know the challenges we face as educators.

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