Re "State summit targets ethnic gap in student achievement," Nov. 18
How many more expensive and time-consuming studies are going to be done to determine the reason for learning gaps among various ethnicities and economic groups? A simple three-question survey will give the experts all the information they need: How old was the child's mother when she gave birth to her first child? Is there a consistent, positive male role model living in the home? What is the education level of the adults who live with the child? I will bet that all the underachieving schools have a high percentage of students whose answers to those questions will make the cause for failure clear.
Rancho Palos Verdes
It's not white teachers or black and Latino parents at the root of the divide between white and black and Latino children in our schools. It's our narrow and uninformed idea of "achievement" and how disrespectfully we treat our students' brain biochemistry, teacher aspirations and parental roles. The time spent finger-pointing and bickering among 4,000 educators would have been productive, healing and exciting if the gathering had been based on neuro-scientific evidence on childhood's optimal learning timeline that transcends socioeconomic circumstances. This information is readily available to even the layperson today, but largely ignored by policymakers. It's time we take politics and our personal guilt trips out of the classroom and look at what every child's brain requires, when it needs what and how it is best taught. Why is brain science hot in every field but education?