Monday, January 18, 2010

A diverse problem

  Miller Middle School in Marshalltown, IA was marked by the US Department of Education as a persistently low achieving school. Here is a link to the article. More than a third of the students are not proficient in math and reading as judged by the Iowa Test of Basic Schools. Miller is one of 35 schools in the state listed as a low performing school.

  Marshalltown’s school superintendent Marvin Wade made the following 2 comments about the listing:
    “They didn't take into consideration poverty level and diversity, just student achievement”.
    “We will work for student achievement to improve but at the same time we are committed to develop the total child”.

  Disturbing comments, in my opinion. What role does diversity have in children not being proficient in reading and math? Would the scores be better if the school was less diverse? Or would the superintendant not have a ready excuse? I can relate to the ‘develop the total child’ talk. Maybe the sign welcoming visitors to Marshalltown can say, “Welcome to Marshalltown, home of well developed children who can’t read, write, or add”.