When administrators and government officials look for the top-secret, Core-aligned magic that will somehow enable academically-lower children to catch up in the learning game, we all lose. Academically- and financially-disadvantaged children who have only three-fifths as many vocabulary words at their disposal as the “average” kid cannot catch up using any secret, as-yet-unidentified sorcery disguised as “best practices.” The targets those administrators and officials are trying to hit are not standing still. Kids with bigger vocabularies are simultaneously embarked upon their own learning adventures — and they are learning new material faster due to the greater ease with which they can read and interpret written text.
No academic alchemy can solve the problem created by those vocabulary deficits. Leveling the playing field requires extra instructional time for students who have fallen behind. Those students may need another one or two hours a day in school as well as a longer school year. While exact hours will vary, no substitute exists for instructional time.
Eduhonesty: If we are serious about fixing the educational inequities in America’s educational system, we must find the resources necessary to create those longer days and extra weeks.