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11 November 2004: No Wonder There's an Achievement Gap (2 of 4)

Larry was an African American student who had been absent for a day or two, and as a result, was behind the rest of the class in his writing process. He needed a quiet, thoughtful place to work on his first draft, but our classroom was slated to be buzzing with the sounds of peer revision and editing. I was thrilled when he initiated a request for a more appropriate work environment (I donít have to tell you that sometimes our job is all about the little things!). I chose to send him to the office, thinking that it was more likely that it would be quiet there than any of the other upper grade classes. To the best of my memory, I sent him with the following note: Please give Larry a quiet place to work. Thanks! While I am willing to take some responsibility for what happened as a result, I am sure that a white student would not have had the same experience.

teaching quote of the day

Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.

- Chinese proverb

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