We spend considerable time talking and thinking about the achievement gap. However, urban school reform scholars are pushing us to think even more about the expectation and opportunity gaps that exist in our schools. Low expectations and refusal to immerse children in academically rigorous course content significantly decreases their chance to graduate world class colleges and universities. It diminishes their career options and sentences them to a life of minimum wage earnings. As a teaching and learning community, we must believe that our kids can learn the Common Core Standards. A basic skills mindset has already failed thousands of children in our nation. High performing schools do not add to this number by expecting children to fail at tasks with high thinking demand. In this school, our commitment is to continue to make sense of the Common Core Standards and to continue to learn effective and highly effective ways to engage our students in the challenging work required by these standards. This is essential to our mission of becoming a high performing school.
-Hope Griffin O’Neil, Spring 2013