This video was produced by an organization called The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, with managing director Ralph Smith. I heard Smith speak, and saw this video, at the NBPTS Conference on Teaching and Learning in Washington DC in mid-March of this year. I would recommend showing this very short video (which can be found on YouTube by entering “The Statisticks Lottery”) to any parent, school administrator, politician, or ed-tech entrepreneur who makes the absurd claim that three excellent teachers in a row will overcome the effects of poverty on student achievement. The best response to such nauseating assertions about ‘fixing’ public education, of course, is that most effective way to reverse the effects of poverty is to demand a living minimum wage and actively lobby for a reverse of the national tax policies that got us here in the first place.
Another great short animated video, this one all of 3 min 33 sec, by the indefatigable Robert Reich. There is no more important thing we can all do to “raise student achievement” in our schools than to keep our individual and collective focus on the obscene levels of income inequality we have allowed our great nation to not only tolerate, but accept as “the way things are.” Now is the time to remember the transforming influence of Charles Dickens in England, and Teddy Roosevelt in the US, and to believe that we can be similarly transformative in our own day. See here for an extended discussion of income inequality and student achievement.