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Home and Health Tied to Closing Student Achievement Gap

It's unreasonable to expect that a child with untreated dental problems and a 600-word vocabulary who is read to by his parents just once a week can perform as well as a middle-class peer who knows 2,000 words and is read to daily, said Richard Rothstein, author of "Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap."
It's unreasonable to expect that a child with untreated dental problems and a 600-word vocabulary who is read to by his parents just once a week can perform as well as a middle-class peer who knows 2,000 words and is read to daily, said Richard Rothstein, author of  "Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap."

"No matter how good the instruction of the school is ... you're going to have a difference in achievement," said Rothstein. However, he said laws such as President Bush's No Child Left Behind act place the burden of all the social agencies in the country on schools. The nation needs to hold other agencies, such as those that oversee health care and affordable housing, accountable.

Rothstein, who is also a visiting professor at Teachers College at Columbia University, said he believes a dedicated staff and strong curriculum can improve performance, although alone cannot close the achievement gap.

This article, written by Karen Rouse, appeared in the March 22nd, 2006 publication of The Denver Post.

Published Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2006

Home and Health Tied to Closing Student Achievement Gap

It's unreasonable to expect that a child with untreated dental problems and a 600-word vocabulary who is read to by his parents just once a week can perform as well as a middle-class peer who knows 2,000 words and is read to daily, said Richard Rothstein, author of  "Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap."

"No matter how good the instruction of the school is ... you're going to have a difference in achievement," said Rothstein. However, he said laws such as President Bush's No Child Left Behind act place the burden of all the social agencies in the country on schools. The nation needs to hold other agencies, such as those that oversee health care and affordable housing, accountable.

Rothstein, who is also a visiting professor at Teachers College at Columbia University, said he believes a dedicated staff and strong curriculum can improve performance, although alone cannot close the achievement gap.

This article, written by Karen Rouse, appeared in the March 22nd, 2006 publication of The Denver Post.

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