It is easy for people to think that educators really don’t know what they’re doing. After all, it is possible to read endless stories detailing incompetence, helplessness, and fraud.
But if you just scratch the surface a tiny bit you can find educators who have built enormous expertise about how to help kids learn.
Take, for example, the folks in Steubenville, Ohio.
Steubenville is a small, impoverished city that sits just west of West Virginia along the Ohio River. Once a thriving steel town, it has been devastated by the loss of manufacturing. About half of its population left over the last couple of decades and its rate of poverty is more than twice that of the rest of the country.
Other school districts that have experienced that kind of economic devastation have also experienced downturns in their students’ academic achievement.