Achievement Gap: Closed!

Project Bright Idea:

cool idea: get teachers to treat students as if they’re “gifted”, and everyone involved tries harder. hard to see a loss there (except to the actual gifted students, who should really get their own “really gifted - but don’t tell anyone!” secret super-gifted program, in fairness).

Darity’s research showing black and Latino students to be underrepresented in advanced and gifted classes


Its primary author calculates “on the safe side” that 15-20 percent of students taught with techniques usually reserved for gifted classrooms are identified within three years by their districts as being academically and intellectually gifted. Only 10 percent of a control group of similar students taught in regular classrooms met their district’s “gifted” criteria during the same period.
energizing their profession and their classrooms by weaving together teaching strategies based on the work of national education experts, including Art Costa and Bena Kallick’s work on “habits of mind,” Mary Frasier’s on “traits, attributes and behaviors” and Howard Gardner’s on “multiple intelligences.”


“We are literally changing the knowledge, skills and dispositions of teachers so they believe children can learn. It is a lot about teacher expectation and belief,”

teachers’ fault, as the usual hopeful story goes.

“We are teaching students how to think, not what to think,” Gayle said.

why did no one try this before? it’s brilliant!

“In college we learned about the multiple intelligences theory; it’s nothing new. But Bright Idea had the research that provided a model to incorporate all the things we know that are right for kids,” Miller said.
By using some components of Bright Idea, McFarland watched the achievement gap at Fuquay Varina decrease by 4-6 percent from 2006 to 2010.

4-6% relative? so the gap went from e.g. 20% to 19%? or absolute? (from 20% to 15%)?

“But with high expectations, there is a change in teacher practices and more willingness and interest on their part. Teachers are saying they want more.”

all we need are high expectations.

i wish them all sustained exuberance and effort.