Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Henry Closes Eliza's Achievement Gap

Just watched "My Fair Lady" and it looks like Teach for America grad Henry Higgins managed to close the vast achievement gap of one Eliza Doolittle.

NYC Chancellor Joel Klein praised Higgins' work.

"When Doolittle had the cheek to ask 'What will become of me?' Henry blasted right back with, 'Who the devil cares what will become with you?' That's exactly the attitude we encourage our people to have. Look at the data only and ignore other factors. "

When it was pointed out that Higgins had a class size of one and took Doolittle in to live with him for 6 months, Klein responded:

Rubbish. These factors had no impact at all. We analyzed the data and the results are due to the differentiated instruction. And the word wall.


  1. Great post!
    Here's a line that really fits:
    “You see, really and truly, apart from the things anyone can pick up (the dressing and the proper way of speaking and so on), the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves but how she’s treated. I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treats me as a flower girl, and always will, but I know I can be a lady to you because you always treat me as a lady, and always will.”
    It's what I keep saying about
    Teach for America-It's not addressing the real problems that are causing the achievement gap and is being funded by individuals who will always look at Eliza as a flower girl.

  2. Great point. I never took the movie seriously before - or even watched it for a long time. But there are a lot of messages that are applicable. It was GB Shaw of course and that explains a lot. Pygmalion probably goes further.


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