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    Poverty is no excuse

    Regent Angus Davis, who helped to recruit State Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist from Washington, D.C., came to Gist’s defense among the heat she and Frances Gallo were taking for their decision to fire all the staff at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island. (See my earlier post for the full story.) Davis’s words are inspiring, so I’d like to share them:

    “Where our real focus needs to be is admitting that this school has failed thousands of kids for so long. And I’m ashamed we let it go on for as long as we have,” Davis said.

    “For the first time, we have the courage, at the local level, at the state level, at the national level to say ‘this is not okay.’ Just because you were born in [Zip Code] 02863, that you’re going to get a lousy education. That is not acceptable, and we will not shrink from our responsibility to step up and say we are going to change this. We are going to have higher expectations for these kids.”

    Poverty is no excuse for a sub-par public education. That point is made over and over again in Crazy Like a Fox, but unfortunately it’s not a belief that many people share.

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