Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I went up to Teachers College for an interview ...

... last week where Simon Doolittle asked me many of the same questions Charlie Rose asked Randi Weingarten (her video here). I think I did a better job than she did (which was not hard.) And future journalist Simon did a better job than Rose in framing the questions and we engaged in a very stimulating dialogue. I don't know when (or if) the interview will be posted, but check out the work they do over at After Ed:

Check out Simon's "The Education of John Deerdon" in the featured video section.

I asked Simon my own questions.
Did he believe Deerdon's difficulties were due to lack of literacy or the achievement gap in general? In other words, would John Deerdon have gone to college right out of high school if he had been in, say, a KIPP school? Or would the streets have gotten him anyway?

I asked Simon these questions because of the number of my former students who were not behind academically at the elementary school level and certainly had the tools to succeed in school, but ended up not doing so for so many reasons beyond school and why the closing achievement gap focus is so narrow a way of attacking the problem. I mean, how many former students who you had great hopes for have to end up in jail or become pregnant at 14 for you to say, "Houston, we've got a problem. And it ain't soley due to the achievement (gag) gap.

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