Tuesday, February 14, 2012

No surprise -- AP pass rate mirrors family income

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the gap in student achievement across the region tracks almost exactly the differences in wealth between the state's richest and poorest jurisdictions. -- Baltimore Sun
Maryland leads the rest of the nation in AP test scores. But what the test results really show is that kids from wealthy Maryland districts like are scoring high while the gap between them and their fellow students from low-income communities is growing ever wider. Fewer than 3 percent of Baltimore city students passed an AP exam, for example, and that represents an improvement.

Despite the "no excuses" mantra of the corporate school reformers, this disparity has less to do with anything going on inside the classroom or with "bad teachers" as it does with the lives of students outside of school.

According to the Sun report:
As one might expect, the reason is that affluent families have far more time and resources to devote to their children's upbringing and education than do poor families, and the differences start long before a student ever sits down to take an AP exam. The intensive intellectual cultivation and stimulation that affluent parents — who are themselves likely to be more educated than their low-income peers — lavish on children literally begins in infancy continues throughout their school careers, and it includes everything from better diet, nutrition and health care to cultural activities, weekend sports and family vacations.

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