Raising the Bar

In 2003, a National Research Council report found that students learn better when schools foster caring and supportive relationships and high expectations. This month the American School Board Journal reports “few victories are more important than raising expectations.” If poor and minority children do not believe they can learn as well as those with advantages, “it can be difficult–if not impossible–to convince students that education offers their best opportunity for a better life.” And “it doesn’t take much to have low expectations of poor people and people of color,” warned the founder of the Haberman Educational Foundation, which helps high-poverty school districts hire teachers and principals. “All you have to do is grow up in American society, and you’ve built them in.”