I think we have learned and the research supports that kids need a balanced literacy approach. The “whole language vs. phonics” wars should really be put to rest. It is an old fight. Kids don’t learn the same way so a variety of instructional methods should be available. It is not unusual for districts to offer both direct instruction to identified students and reading recovery to others. The problems that kids have are different so the instructional interventions should be different as well. In terms of kids in heterogeneous classrooms receiving instruction – all kids need to be taught at their level. The challenge for teachers in diverse reading and math classrooms is to figure out how to meet those very different needs. It is difficult but not impossible.
The author seems to be saying that we should be segregating our classrooms and our schools. If you look at the scores of low-income students in low income schools-where the demographics are 90% low income, 90% African American or Hispanic – the scores are generally low. It is not like segregating the kids will automatically raise the scores.