"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What's next...WalMart Elementary?

Earlier today I posted an entry from Mr. Talk at Accountable Talk about Oprah and her recent shows about Waiting for Superman.

I just went back there and caught some of the comments. Two really caught my attention. The first, from Katje who said,
When billionaires with political agendas shape education reform, we'll get more of the same. They have no interest in making the system better because they accrued their wealth through the system.

If (as a nation) we truly believed in educating our children, we would have informed voters who could separate fact from opinion. Then we (as a nation) would bring about meaningful reform through parents, teachers, and communities that truly care about children.
The billionaires (Gates, Broad, and now, it seems, Oprah) may be sincere in their attempts to improve schools, but they, along with the Obama-Duncan team running the show, don't know anything about education.

I get so tired of people who think they are experts on the public schools when their only experience in education was their own schooling, which for some, such as Duncan, never included a public school.

Back to the comments. My favorite was from Fred Kilgallin (who didn't seem to have a profile to link to). He was right on in his prediction of where this is all leading...
Hey, if you like what WalMart did for shopping, you're going to absolutely LOVE their new school system. What do we imagine it'll look like when they get done pouring their billions into it?
Maybe I could come out of retirement to become a WalMart greeter/recess monitor.

Waiting for Oprah

From Mr. Talk at Accountable Talk...

Stats on the Oprah Infomercials

If you watched the two Oprah infomercials for Waiting for Superman this week, you might have noticed the following stats. If not, I'll lay them out for you.
  • Total number of teachers on the panel: 0
  • Total number of public school parents on the panel: 0
  • Total number of billionaires on the panel: 3
  • Total number of billions of the panelists: 60
  • Total years of teaching experience of all the "experts": 2
  • Total minutes devoted to defending unions: 1
  • Total minutes devoted to humping charter schools: 119
I think that says it all.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tenure and Unions

It's perfectly clear in the new movie, Waiting for Superman, by film maker Davis Guggenheim. The problem with the public schools of the United States comes down to two things.
  1. Bad Teachers
  2. Teachers Unions
And it's not just Guggenheim. His movie, advertised as a documentary, but in actuality, an editorial, is part of a public relations plan. The "reformers," Arne Duncan, along with President Obama, Bill Gates, Eli Broad, and now perhaps Oprah Winfrey, are blaming teachers and their unions for the "decline" of our schools.

Tenure, they say, protects bad teachers. Unions support and protect the tenure system which, they say, gives teachers in K-12 a "job for life." The only problem with that statement is that it's wrong.

Tenure, as defined by these reformers and in turn, the general public who listens to them, does not exist. K-12 teachers who achieve tenure -- or permanent status -- do not have a job for life. According to Perry Zirkel, a professor of education and law at Lehigh University's School of Education,
Tenure is no more than a legal commitment (set by the state and negotiated union contracts) to procedural due process, ensuring notice and providing a hearing for generally accepted reasons for termination, such as incompetency, insubordination, and immorality.

Tenure’s primary purpose is economic job security, tied to the otherwise uncompetitive pay in comparison to other professions; however, tenure is not a lifetime guarantee.

Nor does tenure necessarily mean a costly and complicated process for terminating a poorly performing teacher. The balance between a teacher’s individual rights and the school board’s institutional responsibility can be a fairly efficient process. The extent of the procedural process that is “due” depends initially on the will of the public at the state legislative and local contractual level. It may be no more than reasonable written notice of the charges and a one- or two-night board hearing with prompt impartial review.
During 30+ years teaching in public schools I worked with a lot of teachers -- as many as 200. The last 15 or so years of my experience in education was as a non-classroom support teacher, a reading specialist. I was able to actually go into classrooms and see other teachers teach. I saw some bad teachers in action. I could name about 10 teachers I worked with who shouldn't have been teaching. Perhaps they were good teachers at one time, but when I saw them I felt that they weren't doing the job.

However...that's just my opinion. How do we know if a teacher is good or not? Test scores? There are dozens of variables that go into a student's score on a standardized test; their emotional state during the test, whether they had decent meals, their age, and their economic status. Their teachers are an important piece, but not  the whole answer. Over the years educators, school systems and teachers themselves have developed evaluation tools to determine if a teacher is doing their job. Most of the evaluation procedures included "remediation" for teachers who were struggling.

Evaluations are, for the most part, done by building level administrators. Principals visit classrooms and watch teachers teach. They plan visits, conduct surprise visits, interview the teachers and perhaps students as well, and then, use the evaluation tool as an instrument to "grade" the teacher's performance.

What happens when teachers get poor evaluations? Several things are possible, including rebuttals or re-evaluations by another administrator, but the most common thing is for a teacher to begin an improvement plan to help them succeed.

Once the improvement plan is completed the teacher is re-evaluated, sometimes by the same person. If they receive another poor performance they may be terminated for incompetence.

So why is it so hard to "get rid" of bad teachers? It's the administrator's job to identify and document the "badness" of a teacher. If that's done, then the termination can be made. Tenured teachers have recourse to "due process" meaning that the school has to prove that they are, indeed, incompetent. If the administration can prove this, then the teacher is dismissed.

What often happens though, is that teachers are evaluated haphazardly. Even a good evaluation tool is worthless if it's not used correctly or to its full benefit. If a bad teacher gets good evaluations year after year from lazy, overworked, or incompetent administrators a poor evaluation then becomes suspect if it suddenly appears. Due process is the way teachers are protected from retaliation by or personality conflicts with administrators. To deny due process is to deny the basis of the American legal system. Everyone deserves the right to defend themselves against their detractors.

Administrators must evaluate teachers honestly, and bluntly...the same ways that teachers have to evaluate students. If there's a bad teacher in a school, confront them...help them improve...and terminate them if they don't. To do that, they have to document exactly what's wrong with the teacher's pedagogy or in what way they did not sufficiently do their job, as well as steps which were taken to improve the teacher's performance. Administrators, like teachers, have to be trained...and have to do their job.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Waiting for Superteacher

This article about the movie Waiting for Superman does a nice job of explaining how corporate "reformers" are throwing money into charter schools while at the same time blaming underfunded public schools for failing.

There's still no discussion, however, of the fact that children in poverty live in a world that prevents educational advancement at every step...from pre-natal care, health care, nutrition, and access to appropriate reading materials.

Read it. Then, read on...

There are some good comments as well. Aside from the usual "teachers are overpaid," "teacher unions are evil," "America's schools are failures," "America's schools are failures and it's the fault of the teachers," we can read comments from people who have obviously been in the classroom and actually understand what's going on in the public schools of the USA.
...I've been in the classroom long enough to know what teaching was like before standards testing. We had time to read and write and think critically. We could discuss and debate and process information and...well...learn...Standards testing has turned school into assembly-line factories making mental widgets...Where is the critical thinking, problem-solving, or innovative thinking that's going to solve our world's economic problems, or invent things to make the world a better, healthier or more interesting place?
Remember Psychology 101? Daily survival does not really include drill and kill for the standardized test [included link mine].
Schools serve as social service agenices just trying to help many kids survive their circumstances -education becomes seconday. Remember Maslow's Heirachy of Needs.
When you understand the issues of poverty you can draw comparisons to other aspects of society's infrastructure. High crime rate and it's partner, overcrowded prisons, stem from the same social problems that cause the "achievement gap."
...the social issues that prevent us from being crime free, fire free, and prisoner free are the same issues that prevent teachers from ensuring that every student gets an education. Teachers work extremely hard in extremely difficult situations...
Just to give some time to the "other side," here's a comment about the easy life of teachers.
Check out the "fast track" program for teachers in NYC...They wanted to be teachers, not because they wanted to educate or because they were good at it but because the system facilitated giving them a degree..So they can have a nice job with benefits and summer vacation...
Right...people teach in NYC because it's a nice job with benefits and vacation. Mrs. Mimi...are you listening? I was under the impression that the "fast track" program for teachers in NYC was due to the fact that it was hard to get and keep people to staff the classrooms of the nation's largest school system...something about the difficulty of the work. That's not to say that it's NOT a nice job...if you can hack it. Why do 50% of teachers quit within the first 5 years of starting their careers?

Hey...what's so hard about teaching? Just sit with kids for a few hours a day...read them some books and "tell them what they need to know." [this quote is from a parent of one of my third graders during my first year of teaching in 1976. How hard could it be...just "tell them."]

But I digress...

We pay hypocritical lip service in the US to "equal opportunity" but don't attack the root problems of the country.
...everyday the education field is attacked by the same people who always are at the forefront of attacking unions. Now we get to add a movie to confuse more people about what is going wrong with our country. It is frustrating to see education always being attacked by the outcomes of poverty stricken inner city school districts. It doesn't take much of a scientist or statistician to see that the problems of these district don't boil down to teachers or teachers unions. Sadly, we have a country that doesn't mind wasting money blowing up other countries and investing money in rebuilding those countries, but when it comes to rebuilding or investing in our country we balk at any cost.
Finally the resources provided in the comments were equally wonderful. Here's a quick list. I think I'll add some of these to the list of Articles at the right...

Re: Charter Schools
Charters are:
1. Compounding racial and socioeconomic disparities
(http://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/k-12-education/integration-and-diversity/choice-without-equity-2009-report)

2. Not performing well academically (http://credo.stanford.edu, www.usnews.com/blogs/on-education/2009/06/17/charter-schools-might-not-be-better.html, http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2006460, & http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2005456),

3. Causing a massive increase in CEO salaries and decrease in teacher pay (http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/education/2009/12/13/2009-12-13_chartin­g_new_terr­itory_in_e­d_salaries.html, & http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/10/education/10schools.html)

4. Increasing school violence (http://cbs2chicago.com/local/fenger.school.fight.2.1234130.html) - note this was partially the result of Arne Duncan's privatization scheme when he was head of Chicago Public Schools.

And more...
The experts on school reform: http://zhaolearning.com/2010/09/03/master-of-myth-what-arne-duncan-says-and-does/

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/diane-ravitch/ravitch-welcome-back-to-school.html

The reviews by experts: http://teacherrevised.org/2010/06/30/movie-review-waiting-for-superman-or-just-another-clark-kent-playing-dress-up/

http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2010/01/philanthro­capitalist­s-go-hollywood-with.html (follow the money)

The truth about charter reforms: http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2010/09/obamas-charters-profit-centers-for.html

A Crisis in Math and Science?
You may be interested in this article written by Stephen Krashen - a respected authority on education and a Professor Emeritus at USC. Enjoy. http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2010/09/is-there-crisis-in-mathscience.html

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why new tests at all?

On September 2, the administration, through Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, announced "a new generation of tests" (also see here). These tests will be better, he said because teachers will be involved in their creation, development and scoring. They will measure critical thinking skills and complex student learning.

The tests will also be just one of multiple measures used to evaluate teachers. Duncan stressed multiple measures so that we all know that test scores will not be the only thing used to evaluate teachers.

The tests are slated to be ready for the 2014-2015 school year. According to Duncan, their use will be voluntary.

Stephen Krashen responds,
Why new tests at all? Why new standards? Duncan has managed to make us forget these questions. The discussion now only seems to be "which standards" and "what kinds of tests"?

Why invest billions in test construction when schools are so short of money, and when poverty is by far the most powerful factor in student achievement?

There is no evidence that the kind of testing Duncan is talking about will increase achievement. It is an expensive experiment with millions of children serving as test subjects.

Why not dump all the tests and rely on teacher judgment? There is research evidence suggesting that teacher evaluation does the job of evaluating progress and achievement quite well. And if we need a standardized test to make comparisons, we already have the NAEP.

First we had standards.

Then to enforce the standards we have national tests.

And to teach the standards, will we soon have national textbooks?
I also have a few questions.

1. Evaluation Tool
Will the tests be developed as a teacher evaluation tool? If so, how will that be done? If not, then they shouldn't be used that way. Tests and measurements, and statistical computations, are not that simple. You can't just say "We're going to use this to evaluate that." It doesn't work that way. An evaluation tool needs to be adapted for different uses, and the tool itself has to be evaluated for it's effectiveness. What are the plans for making student achievement tests effective teacher evaluation instruments?
2. Less Government?
Why do people who continually harp about less government interference, more local control, and more state control think national standards and national tests are a great idea? The tests are going to be voluntary, but given the past record of the department of education the term voluntary is suspect. Race to the Top is/was voluntary, but if you didn't jump through the right hoops (i.e. evaluate teachers using test scores, increase charter schools, close schools) you lost the contest. Reading First allowed states to choose their own materials but states that didn't choose DIBELS for assessment had their programs denied.
3. What if we refuse?
What happens if states choose not to use these tests? Do they still get federal dollars? Does the state get to choose what kind of assessment to use? How will teachers be evaluated?
4. Rankings
What will the results of the tests be used for besides teacher evaluation and instruction? Will schools and school systems still be punished if they "fail?" Will schools, school districts, and states be ranked using the tests? Will there be multiple measures to rank schools and school systems? Will rankings determine the amount of federal money a school or school system receives? Will "failing" schools still be closed to make way for privately run, for-profit charter schools?
5. Poverty is still the problem
Where is the parallel program to reduce the number of students who live in poverty to fewer than 25%? Where is the parallel program to improve health care for our children who live without it?
6. How many tests? How much time will it take?
What grades will be required to take the tests? What subjects will the tests cover? Will there be a test for every subject in every grade? How much instructional time will be lost? In 2007 candidate Obama told a group of teachers, "You didn't devote your lives to testing. You devoted it to teaching, and teaching is what you should be allowed to do."
7. Who's paying?
Where is the money for the test development, teacher training, and publishing going to come from? Will the costs of the new tests reduce the amount of money that schools get for proven methods of increasing achievement like subsidized breakfast and lunch programs, early childhood programs, medical and dental programs, library support and smaller class sizes?
I'll think of more questions...It will be interesting to hear the answers over the next few years.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Education is a Civil Right

Diane Ravitch in her latest Bridging Differences column reminds us that Race to the Top is inherently unequal. She writes about "Why Civil Rights Groups oppose the Obama Agenda."

The groups, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under Law, The NAACP and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the National Council for Educating Black Children, the National Urban League, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and the Schott Foundation for Public Education, have joined together in the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign. Earlier this summer they released a report -- a framework that provides all students with the opportunity to learn.
Secretary Arne Duncan often says that "education is a civil right," but if that is the case, then states and districts should not have to compete for federal funding to guarantee the civil rights of their students. Logic suggests that the neediest students should have the greatest claim on federal funding. But, as we saw in Race to the Top, the children in 39 states saw no benefit at all from billions in federal education spending. Poor and minority children in states such as Mississippi, Alabama, California, Texas, Louisiana, and Illinois were left out. If the money were truly intended to strengthen education as a civil right, then it should have gone to those who needed it most, not to those who wrote the best proposal or had the best consultants. "The civil right to a high-quality education," say the civil rights groups, "is connected to individuals, not the states, and federal policy should be framed accordingly." By delivering extra funding to states that compete and win, they warn, "the majority of low-income and minority students will be left behind."
But Obama and Duncan don't take their orders from those who understand poverty and the damage it causes. They don't take their orders from educators who understand how children learn.
If the Obama administration won't listen to the groups who are most assertive in defending America's neediest children, if they listen instead to hedge-fund managers and venture philanthropists, what hope is there for a more thoughtful approach to federal policy?
Race to the Top takes our federal education money and invests it according to the opinions of millionaire businessmen. To get Race to the Top funds a state needs to agree to try unproven educational strategies;  evaluate teachers based on student test scores, close high poverty schools where the test scores are low (or fire their staffs) and invest in more charter schools.

President Obama needs to start listening to us...

...to Stephen Krashen:
American students from well-funded schools who come from high-income families outscore nearly all other countries on international tests. Only our children in high-poverty schools score below the international average. Our scores look low because the US has the highest percentage of children in poverty of all industrialized countries (25%, compared to Denmark's 3%). American education has been successful; the problem is poverty.

The solution is not to blame students for being lazy (our elders said this about us). The solution is to protect children from the damaging effects of poverty: better nutrition (Susan Ohanian suggests the motto "No Child Left Unfed"), excellent health care for all children, and universal access to reading material
Where have I heard this before?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Stephen Krashen nails it one more time...

In case you missed it...

How many times does it have to be said? American education is not in crisis...American society is in crisis! Solve the societal problems and the achievement gap will take care of itself.

From Schools Matter and Stephen Krashen.

A call for accuracy: A response to "A call for action"
Sent to Time Magazine, September 11, 2010

"A call for action" (September 20) is based on two incorrect claims: American students are poor in reading, with 69% of 8th graders "below proficient", and the US "trails most other rich nations" in science and math.

The late Gerald Bracey published compelling data showing that the "proficient" level on our national reading test is set far too high: Bracey reported in 2007 that only 29% of American children scored at the proficient level or higher. According to Bracey's analysis, only 33% of Swedish children would have scored proficient or higher on our tests, and Sweden consistently ranks at or near the top of the world in reading. Setting the proficiency level unreasonably high is an excellent way of making our students look bad.

Our science and math test scores are unspectacular, but the problem is not science and math education. Studies show that American students from well-funded schools who come from high-income families outscore all or nearly all other countries on international tests. Only our children in high poverty schools score below the international average. Our scores look low because the US has the highest percentage of children in poverty of all industrialized countries (25%, compared to Denmark's 3%). Our educational system has been successful; the problem is poverty.

"A call for action" is a call for tougher schools and longer school days, a painful and hopeless path. Instead, we should be focused on protecting children from the effects of poverty: Proper nutrition (no child left unfed), health care, and access to books. When this happens, all American children will have the advantages that middle class children have and our test scores will be among the best in the world.
Stephen Krashen

Sources

The proficient level
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gerald-bracey/proficient-readers-dear-s_b_54086.html

Test scores in math and science:
Payne, K. and Biddle, B. 1999. Poor school funding, child poverty, and mathematics achievement. Educational Researcher 28 (6): 4-13.

Impact of poverty

Berliner, D. 2009. Poverty and Potential: Out-of-School Factors and School Success. Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit. http://epicpolicy.org/publication/poverty-and-potential


Bracey, G. 2009. Education Hell: Rhetoric vs. Reality. Educational Research Service

Krashen, S. 1997. Bridging inequity with books. Educational Leadership 55(4): 18-22.

Martin, M. 2004. A strange ignorance: The role of lead poisoning in “failing schools.” http://www.azsba.org/lead.htm.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Good schools...Kindergartens...Pre-Schools

Lots of stuff today…

First.

(From the web site - August to June):
An 88 minute documentary that celebrates values we are on the brink of losing in the single-minded pursuit of higher test scores.

Come inside a public school happily and purposefully going against current trends! Join 26 8-10 year olds, their teacher, and their parents for a year bursting with opportunities for curiosity, creativity and compassion.



Second and third - Two entries from The Answer Sheet.

Why kids in school need to play.
Since when did the word "play" become outlawed in kindergarten? I remember a time when kindergarten classrooms were stocked with wooden blocks, paint, and dramatic-play corners complete with costuming, furniture, appliances, and play food. Not so long ago, there was a period during the day when we encouraged kindergarten students to freely explore, create, and interact with the materials and people around them.

On the surface, children may appear to be only "having fun" during this unstructured time, but take a closer look and you’ll discover what I know: Play is so much more than idle entertainment. Play, including the ability to make your own choices, helps children develop and use essential social-emotional and academic-learning skills.
Tutors for 3-year-olds and more preschool nuttiness
Parents are:

*Begging school directors to let their 1 1/2 year olds into programs for 2 year olds because Danny and Olivia are so incredibly advanced.

*Demanding to know why their 2-year-old isn’t being given the alphabet to copy over and over and memorize.

*Afraid that any services their child needs, such as speech therapy, will go on the youngster’s “permanent record” and harm their chances of getting into a private school.

*Enrolling their 3 year olds in so many activities that the kids are falling asleep on their preschool desks.

*Buying toys for 2 year olds that are labeled for older children.

I learned this after some preschool directors called me after I wrote several weeks ago about how academic kindergarten had become--complete with test prep and homework but no recess.

These directors wanted to discuss the worsening anxiety they see in preschool parents who see that children are being required to read and write in kindergarten and want to make sure little Johnny and Joanie stay on track--whether or not they are developmentally ready (and lots aren't).

“It’s not that we don’t think learning is important,” said Mara Bier, director of the Early Childhood Development Area of the Rockville, Md.,-based Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning. “We do. Where we disagree is how that is achieved.”

There is solid research on the benefits of well-designed play that teaches kids to ask questions and find their own answers. Unknowing parents see their kids playing at a water table and think they are wasting their time.

“I don’t blame the parents,” said one preschool program director. “In public school kindergarten, the kids better hit the ground running. These pishers are supposed to write 3- and 4-word sentences.”

The reason for all of this is "No Child Left Behind," which has pushed down curriculum into the earliest grades and put the focus on high-stakes standardized tests that start as early as third grade.

That’s why the preschool directors I spoke with (who did not want to be identified because, obviously, they didn’t want their students’ parents upset) said they have great sympathy for the parents.

“I’ve had parents sit and agree with me,” said one. “They say, ‘I know you are right but I can’t do it.’ ”

What they “can’t do” is stop pushing so hard that they kill the joy of learning in their child before second grade.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rank order...

The LA Times has added a new level to the concept of "teacher bashing." They recently published rankings of LA teachers based on their students' test scores.

Its been repeatedly shown that student test scores are not reliable indicators of teachers' performance. Studies have shown that the so-called "Value-Added" methods are unstable and inaccurate. There are too many other factors involved. The same people who insist that teachers teach in a way which is "scientifically" or "Research" based seem to have no difficulty evaluating teachers using a measure that is NOT based on any research or scientific study.

In a letter, complete with references (listed at the end of this post), sent to Ebony on August 26, Stephen Krashen said,
...we should be focused on protecting children from the effects of poverty: Proper nutrition (no child left unfed), health care, and access to books. When this happens, all American children will have the advantages that middle class children have and our test scores will be among the best in the world.
Sam Smith, in his blog, Undernews, reported on the Economic Policy Institute's report dealing with using Value Added Modeling for evaluation of teachers.
Why Value Added Testing is a Bust

Student test scores are not reliable indicators of teacher effectiveness, even with the addition of value-added modeling, a new Economic Policy Institute report by leading testing experts finds. Though VAM methods have allowed for more sophisticated comparisons of teachers than were possible in the past, they are still inaccurate, so test scores should not dominate the information used by school officials in making high-stakes decisions about the evaluation, discipline and compensation of teachers.
Are any other professionals evaluated using this sort of unscientific criteria? Are any other professionals subjected to the public display of their evaluations? I don't think so...Here's Sam Smith again in "Personal to the Los Angeles Teachers Union...
The planned release by the Los Angles Times of the test score standings of individual teachers in your system is one of the worst acts of journalism I've run across in a half century in the trade. It's unfair, cheap and disgusting.

Here are a few suggestions for dealing with the problem:

Journalists like to think of themselves as highly ethical. To prove this, how about asking LA Times reporters Jason Felch, Jason Song and Doug Smith to publish all personnel reviews they have received over the past seven years, any notes from mental therapy, and the results of all their physical exams. That way we will know how much to believe them.

Even more productive would be a law suit demanding the release of similar information from all other city workers, including the mayor and the police, fire and sanitation departments. The successful arrest records of all police officers and all public complaints against city officials would be included.
Yeah...I think that would work.

----------
Stephen Krashen's Sources:

Berliner, D. 2009. Poverty and Potential: Out-of-School Factors and School Success. Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit.
http://epicpolicy.org/publication/poverty-and-potential

Bracey, G. 2009. Education Hell: Rhetoric vs. Reality. Educational Research Service

Krashen, S. 1997. Bridging inequity with books. Educational Leadership 55(4): 18-22.

Martin, M. 2004. A strange ignorance: The role of lead poisoning in “failing schools.” http://www.azsba.org/lead.htm.

Payne, K. and Biddle, B. 1999. Poor school funding, child poverty, and mathematics achievement. Educational Researcher 28 (6): 4-13.