Half of all kids in public education are below the poverty line. Two-thirds of the achievement gap comes from factors outside of school. Teachers influence about seven to ten percent of what happens in kids' lives. When you think about those statistics, you have to think about how to re-envision education so it's holistic and so we share responsibility.
I have the students for six hours a day. The community has them for 18 hours, plus prenatal and early childhood. I don't believe the schools create (the achievement gap), but our responsibility is not to add to it. We won't eliminate the gap until the community makes education a priority, but the schools can't wait for the community to do its part.
In DC, policymakers think that if we can only have high enough standards, tough enough tests, and hold people accountable, we can close the achievement gap. And it hasn't happened. Yet the new law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, is based on the same test-based and market-driven framework and ideology, except it lets the states do it.