You're young, you're black, and you've got no future. Why? Because you were arrested on drug charges. You've been arrested before, just like more than half of the other young black men in your neighborhood. But this time, you'll receive a mandatory 'war on drugs' sentence.
Despite claiming equality in education for all students, there is a marked difference between the achievements of white, middle-to-high class students and their peers of color and lower socioeconomic status. So what can we do to close the achievement gap in the U.S.?
We are not getting the job done in our high schools nearly as well as we are at earlier grades. Our students are entering high school better prepared, but along the way that advantage is not being translated into proportionate gains among 17-year-olds overall.
What we should have learned from No Child Left Behind is that you can set a goal of 100 percent proficiency for all students, but if you don't have the policies to support that goal, you are going to fall far short.