Opinion: Better ways to deal with achievement gap need to be found

Frederick M. Hess’s long essay in the latest issue of the quarterly National Affairs pleased those of us who share the American Enterprise Institute scholar’s dislike for politicians’ fixation on closing the achievement gap, says Jay Mathews, columnist for the Washington Post. Reducing the gap sounds good until you realize that means it is okay for high achievers to stagnate so that low achievers can catch up. I have been venting about this for several years and getting only puzzled looks. Hess’s piece—the most detailed and vehement ever on the subject—will hopefully lead to more discussion of better ways to deal with the different average achievement levels of poor kids and affluent kids…

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