Friday, January 2, 2009

Brutal Facts

At my last school, our principal's favorite buzzword, taken from Jim Collins' book, Good to Great, was "brutal facts."

I read a humdinger of a brutal fact yesterday. I’m still thinking hard about the last chapter of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, which concludes with a study done on students’ reading and math acquisition over the summer months and during the school year. The study splits up children according to their SES: low, medium, and high. Here’s the startling conclusion: low and middle SES kids learn MORE during the school year than high SES kids. Odd. And, further, in the summer, low SES kids learn little or even lose ground while high SES kids make tremendous gains.
Still thinking about this....


  1. That is pretty startling. It's one good reason for year-round schooling, I suppose.

  2. But how could we ever talk teachers into year-round school? Teachers live for their long summers.

  3. I just finished Outliers, too... And, as a teacher, I think I could get excited about year-round school IF we had more breaks sprinkled throughout the school year. I wonder if we could keep the same number of "re-charge" weeks, but just spread them out...? I bet kiddos would retain more -- especially if given enriching assignments to do over those breaks ;)

  4. Excellent strategy. Now could you come and present this idea to our school board? :-)


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