By JENNIFER MEDINA
The New York Times
They take great pride in introducing themselves as the â€œodd couple,â€ leading an unlikely bipartisan alliance of politicians under the banner of school reform.
This week brought their latest display of strange bedfellows, as the couple, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein and the Rev. Al Sharpton, co-sponsored a conference of the Education Equality Project, at which the audience included the left-leaning mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio R. Villaraigosa, and Newt Gingrich, the Republican former House speaker. (more…)
By JOEL I. KLEIN and AL SHARPTON
The Wall Street Journal
It is not acceptable for minority students to be four grade levels behind.
Dear President-elect Barack Obama,
In the afterglow of your election, Americans today run the risk of forgetting that the nation still faces one last great civil-rights battle: closing the insidious achievement gap between minority and white students. Public education is supposed to be the great equalizer in America. Yet today the average 12th-grade black or Hispanic student has the reading, writing and math skills of an eighth-grade white student. (more…)
July 19, 2008
BY WALT GARDNER
Disadvantaged children enter kindergarten already three months behind the national average in reading and math skills â€“ and never catch up.
IF TAXPAYERS were not already frustrated enough by the performance of public schools, their mood was probably not improved by the release in June of contrasting manifestoes by two prominent organizations dedicated to improving education. (more…)
By Greg Toppo
Decades-long ties between civil rights groups and teachers unions could be split by a new effort, led by the Rev. Al Sharpton and New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, to close the nagging achievement gap between white and minority students.
Sharpton, a Baptist pastor and political gadfly, says that for years, civil rights leaders have been silent on education equity issues. But a new group of activists, school superintendents and academics will push education in the 2008 presidential election, he said. (more…)