Embedded in the story about the potential state receivership of five Long Island schools is a kernel of essential but troubling truth ["State steps in on schools," News, July 17].
Michael Griffith, a consultant for the Education Commission of the States, asserted that long-range problems such as "large amounts of poverty" are problems that "nobody has found a solution to."
It's a sobering reality. The problems of the districts and schools cited in the article more than likely go far beyond those of bad management. A 1966 landmark study, Equality of Educational Opportunity, by a team headed by educator-sociologist James S. Coleman, concluded that socioeconomic factors, not academic ones, were the culprits when students did poorly.
The report found that there was little difference in the quality of schooling in communities that are predominantly white and those that are predominantly minority. The quality of personnel, including teachers, and curriculum was found to be essentially the same, but not so the results.
Until we make more concrete inroads to solving social and economic problems, the quality of schooling and the resulting outcomes will probably not change significantly.
Victor Caliman, South Huntington
Editor's note: The writer is an adjunct professor of education at Adelphi University.