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Too Many Children Left Behind

How Can We Close the Achievement Gap?

Fannie Flono

9781943028238
26 pages
National Issues Forums Institute
Overview
In a nation that prides itself on providing equal opportunity for all, too many low-income and minority children are falling behind their peers in school. In an increasingly competitive global arena, the United States cannot afford to ignore this widening achievement gap. What can be done to close it?
This issue book presents three possible approaches for dealing with this problem:

Raise Expectations and Demand Accountability
African Americans, Hispanic, and Native American students in many schools have become victims of what President George W. Bush calls ""the soft bigotry of low expectations."" If we are to close the achievement gap, we must push for increased academic performance of all students, and make educators accountable for the results.

Close the Spending Gap
Schools in low-income, high-minority districts often lack science labs, computers, up-to-date textbooks, and well-qualified teachers who most often choose to work in better-paying, better-equipped suburban school districts. We cannot realistically expect more of poor, minority students until these resource and funding inequities are addressed.

Address the Root Causes
Problems that show up as poor academic performance begin long before low-income minority children come to school. And they cannot be remedied unless we address underlying causes, such as unresolved health problems, poor nutrition, stressful living conditions, and lack of parental support, which are the source of these deficits.

Author Bio

Fannie Flono is a long-time award-winning journalist who has worked at newspapers throughout the Southeast. She retired in 2014 after 30 years at the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer where she was associate editor and columnist and a member of the Observer’s editorial board.

She is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University. She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1999 and the Batten Professor of Public Policy at Davidson College in 2008. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina Charlotte in 2016. She has traveled extensively on fellowships to Europe and Asia, and has received several honors including the Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Award.

She is the author of the 2006 book, “Thriving in the Shadows,” and has written and edited several issue books for the Kettering Foundation.
Fannie Flono is a long-time award-winning journalist who has worked at newspapers throughout the Southeast. She retired in 2014 after 30 years at the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer where she was associate editor and columnist and a member of the Observer’s editorial board.

She is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University. She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1999 and the Batten Professor of Public Policy at Davidson College in 2008. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina Charlotte in 2016. She has traveled extensively on fellowships to Europe and Asia, and has received several honors including the Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Award.

She is the author of the 2006 book, “Thriving in the Shadows,” and has written and edited several issue books for the Kettering Foundation.