What about other disadvantaged populations?

Linda Perlstein has a good post over at The Educated Reporter, re: the charter/integration dust-up.  She thinks there’s another story to be examined, namely about the proportion of English language learners (ELL) and special education (SPED) students in charter schools.  There are a lot of baseless claims about whether or not charters under-serve these children systematically, and folks need to do real research before lobbing bombs.

Linda’s post is also illustrative of the way we perceive relative advantage and disadvantage in schools.  In our research at Mass Insight, we always talk about the “achievement gaps,” plural.  There are at least three:

1) That between Caucasian/Asian students and their African-American/Latino peers.

2) That between low socioeconomic status (SES) and high SES children.

3) That between non-identified children and their SPED/ELL peers.

It’s a reduction to look at achievement through the lens of just one of these gaps.

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