Diane\'s Blog

Sharon Reed Bradley

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

I just read “Ravitch Answers Gates,” from a Newsweek piece. I was stunned to see that your every answer was in direct correlation with my sentiments regarding our school system and the current negative media onslaught. It is comforting to know that the real issues of educating our children have a voice. Every year we start behind more affluent schools as we struggle to get new immigrants to “meet standard” and stay in school. Teachers at my school are heroes, consistently going above the regular work day to ensure the success of our poverty stricken student. There are exceptional teachers implementing interventions during the school day to fill the gap these students come to us with. Homogeneous grouping and double dipping the same academic course has been very successful here at my campus for the low socio economic student. Another proposal is to pair successful school districts with struggling school districts. Currently, I am working with my hometown to provide them resources that have been successful with us.

I grew up on the border of Mexico in a little town called, Zapata, Texas. There is a 95% Hispanic population with a high poverty rate. Needless to say, I have seen first hand the causes of low scores and dropout rates. Having dedicated my career to focusing on the bilingual and especially the low-socio economic student and their educational success, I want to express my sincerest hope that you will continue the good fight in providing real answers to the real issues and not allowing the “Great American School System” to die. I have been devastated to see the news articles, visual media and the public clearly being misled as to what the real issues are facing public education. Although the school system is not perfect, it should not die the slow, painful death I see coming. It is possible to change the current negative tide through honest dialog and the implementation of real data driven decisions, not test scores but students’ individual needs.

No Superman needed here. We have implemented a plan based on students’ needs. The nation however, needs your information to continue to get out there!

Sharon Reed Bradley