|At the heart of the current debate about school
reform is President' Bush's insistence that low
expectations are taking a toll on the lives of our
neediest students. The No Child Left Behind legislation
is intended to hold schools and teachers accountable for
the performance of their students on standardized tests.
Unless a school demonstrates that it's students can
read, write and do basic math, it should be closed, and
students can then choose a better school to attend.
Opponents of No Child Left Behind, like Jonathan Kozol,
argue that this approach fails to acknowledge the
special challenges that inner city kids must cope with
in the 'surround' of their neighborhoods and cultures.
The answer, according to Kozol, is higher spending.
this article Katherine Boo, a staff writer for the
New Yorker magazine, describes the impact of the
closure of a failing public high school in Denver,
Colorado on the lives of a group of Hispanic teenagers.
She also tells of the efforts of the school district's
new commissioner to provide support for the kids being
Thesis: Follow the twists and turns of this story to its
improbable and highly tentative happy ending. Is there
common ground between the ideological poles?