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June 10, 2013


High expectations are easier to operationalize when there is some differentiation (a term which I'm now coming to realize means some readiness grouping within the classroom, not 30 different lessons for 30 different children). An awful lot of the commenters on your Slate story do not seem to be teachers, and it is teachers who can give you a more fine-grained view of this challenge. I have taught in inner-city classrooms, and what you strive to do is have expectations that wills stretch the children, but not overwhelm them. Actually, I think that differentiation/readiness grouping is even more important in low-income classrooms that contain children who are far behind in their knowledge and skills. Because in that same classroom there will be children who are not behind at all, and who deserve a chance to develop their knowledge and skills too.

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