The two can and do go together in Maryland schools, according to "Getting Results", a book being released tomorrow by the Maryland Public Policy Institute. From an MPPI press release:
Says (author Megan) Farnsworth: “The success of the schools highlighted in this study show that poverty is not educational destiny—schools serving poorer students can do great things. It is hoped that this report will provide ideas and inspiration to parents, educators, activists, and political leaders seeking ways to improve student learning.”
"Getting Results" profiles 12 elementary schools in urban, rural, and suburban areas of Maryland. These schools prove that low-income students can perform as well as, and sometimes better than, schools with wealthier populations. These schools performed in the top third of schools statewide in at least one grade level of the state standardized test.
The schools in this study share many positive strategies, such as staff collaboration, parentteacher partnerships, varied instructional techniques, benchmark assessments, test-driven instruction, and strong administrative leadership. "Getting Results" calls for an increased focus on math and reading skills, along with higher expectations for students and teachers.
Farnsworth is an independent education consultant, a former elementary school teacher and a Heritage Foundation alumna.