Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

A View from the Classroom

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

A View from the Classroom

Article excerpt

Christine Love Thompson supports greater accountability for teachers and several other broad scale initiatives on the education reform agenda, including school choice. But the 5th-grade teacher who also is a 2011-12 PDK Emerging Leader said the largely low-income students in her classes need more than just better teachers or different schools.

Among other things, "we would love to have more personnel, more interventions, and more time in class," Thompson said. Many of the students at her Guild Elementary School in Gallatin, Tenn., 20 miles northeast of Nashville, arrive without having attended preschool. Most of the school's 120 kindergartners don't know the alphabet, and barely half can spell their names when they begin school. The state classifies three-quarters of the school's students as economically disadvantaged.

That creates an immediate achievement gap--one that is rarely closed by the time they tumble into Thompson's classroom as 5th graders. Life makes it tough for them, Thompson said. "Some kids can't go to afterschool tutoring because they have to go home and take care of younger siblings," she said.

It's not that the parents don't care. "Some of them work at Taco Bell and don't get off until 2 a.m." That means kids don't get homework help, and, even if parents are home evenings, many don't have the ability to help their children with homework. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.