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TNTP Re-imagine Teaching

Are Too Many Students Working Below Grade Level?

September 25, 2018 | Stephen Sawchuk, Education Week

The United States’ system of mandatory public schooling operates under an unspoken social contract with students: Work hard, get good grades, and you can succeed in college, work, and life.

Students are by and large holding up their end of the bargain, but too many schools break the contract by giving them classwork below grade level—leaving them underprepared for what’s next, a new study concludes.

What’s more, the report finds that when given the opportunity, students of color and disadvantaged students do almost as well as their peers on challenging, grade-level assignments, so the notion that such students can’t or won’t do rigorous work “is a pernicious assumption, and it is wrong,” said Daniel Weisberg, the CEO of the research, teacher-training, and advocacy organization TNTP, which conducted the study.

“This is about systemic inequity, systemic bias, and racism,” he said.

The findings, released Tuesday, are based on a huge amount of data collected during the 2016-17 school year from four unnamed school districts and one charter network working with TNTP. Though not a nationally representative sample, the districts are geographically diverse, differ in size, and one of them is rural.

Read the full article on Education Week.