Achievement Gap Elimination Plan
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I am an African American grand parent who has lived a curved block from King School for the last 40 years. Many years ago one of my Asian neighbors told me after she heard the loud argument between members of the Black Parent Support group about how to get Ann Arbor Public Schools to be more responsive to our kids, her culture’s secret to success. She said to me, ” You expect too much of school. Asian parents not care what school does. Send kids to school already knowing.” Perhaps if you shifted your focus from ” what is wrong with those economically disadvantaged and minority kids” ” to what is right for those Asian and economically advantaged kids”, perhaps you would find that the only successful kids in the Outstanding Ann Arbor Public Schools are those who can come to school “already knowing”. There is a vast network of expensive options that help some kids in this neighborhood come to school “already knowing”. You are not teaching them either. You are merely being buoyed along by the successful intervention of these outside agencies. It is only when you have the resources to go outside the classroom can you withstand the rigors of a pacing timetable advanced by textbook companies and not the students who sit before you, teaching styles that don’t suit your learning style and parents who haven’t a clue as to what you are trying to learn. Without these outside interventions how long will it be before you “give up” even trying to “keep up? And how long after that do you become too angry to participate in the charade called school? Your committees and commissions might begin by asking the parents of successful students what they have to put in place before their students can successfully navigate the Outstanding Ann Arbor Public Schools. What do they have to “withstand” before they can “understand” and then “outstand”. If you don’t understand this piece of reality, you will be as unsuccessful at closing the “Gap” as all the rest have been. I suspect that minority parents and economically disadvantaged parents (who might be the same parents) are sending their precious children into a football game with unfastened flippers on. I am a retired teacher who taught in the Livonia Public Schools from 1967 until 2000. Three of my children graduated from Huron High School. My granddaughter currently attends Clague Middle School. All have attended King School. I have a vested interest.