Showing 116 posts tagged poverty
Students who rely on free and reduced-price meals miss out on a nutritious meal when schools close.
As a high school junior told me not long ago, “The kids that can’t afford it, they don’t even want to go to college.” And from what I’ve seen, the teens who don’t want to go to college don’t want to go to high school either. They are less apt to work and behave, less apt to attend school and graduate.
Simply put, the lack of motivation and its attendant deficits are often rooted in poverty. Of course, it should be just the opposite: Poverty should motivate students. Education was the way out of poverty for my family. Without focusing on poverty, we need to get this message out to students: Education opens the door to future possibilities. We must also look for opportunities to tell students, “You can do it!”
image via flickr:CC | opensourceway
Thanks to the equality of opportunity provided by sandlots and playgrounds, it used to be axiomatic that an American kid from any neighborhood could rise to the top of any major league sport. No more. For one thing, there are fewer and fewer sandlots and playgrounds. A more important reason is that fewer and fewer parents can afford the escalating costs of organized sports.
Even school teams are becoming rarer. An examination of who plays youth sports from ESPN The Magazine finds that while there may be 21.5 million kids between age six and 17 playing on a team, including teams at schools, the earliest participants come from upper-income families. “We also see starkly what drives the very earliest action: money,” wrote Bruce Kelley and Carl Carchia. “The biggest indicator of whether kids start young, [sports researcher Don] Sabo found, is whether their parents have a household income of $100,000 or more.” Kids from low-income families are the least likely to be on multiple teams.
A new study has discovered that 48% of the nation’s 50 million public school students are in poverty, as measured by whether they qualify for free or reduced-priced lunches. In 17 states, the majority of schoolchildren are poor. Poverty rates are led by Mississippi, where 71% of children are in poverty.
These data represent a startling rise since 2000.
Laurel Sturt was a 46-year-old fashion designer in New York City whose career trajectory took an unlikely shift one day on the subway. A self-proclaimed social activist, Sturt noticed an ad for a Teaching Fellows program. Then and there, she decided to quit her job in fashion design and shift her focus to her real passion: helping others. She enrolled in the two-year program and was assigned to teach at an elementary school in a high-poverty neighborhood near the South Bronx.
A decade later, Sturt has written about the experience in her provocative memoir Davonte’s Inferno: Ten Years in the New York Public School Gulag. I spoke with her about how her time in the classroom affected her views on education today.
Read more. [Image: Jim Young/Reuters]
It’s parent-teacher conference time. But for many students across the country, finding a bed at night is top of mind. Host Michel Martin talks about the growing number of homeless students in the U.S., with NPR Education Correspondent Claudio Sanchez, and Larissa Dickinson, a social worker for Mobile County Public Schools in Alabama.
How closely associated do you think struggling academically and growing up in poverty are?
Ready to be shocked: Writing about a linear regression test that he completed using recently released 2013 testing data from public schools in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, Freemark found that the correlation between a child’s economic condition and the likelihood of passing North Carolina’s end of grade exams is 0.85 — TWICE as high as the correlation between spending your life chugging Kentucky bourbon and dying of cirrhosis.
Philadelphia is deep into worst-case scenario territory, but it’s not alone. In cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Washington, D.C., and Chicago—all of them with sizable black populations and long histories of entrenched poverty—lawmakers have responded to budget crises with cuts to public education and market-driven education reform agendas. In a city like Philadelphia, which has the worst poverty rate of the ten largest U.S. cities, in which 39 percent of the city’s children live in poverty and in which blacks and Latinos are twice as likely as whites to be poor, robust public schools are even more vital. The consequences of the collapse of the city’s public school system is falling squarely on the backs of Stanback and her classmates.
According to the new NCHE report released this week, during the 2011-2012 school year, 1,168,354 homeless students attended schools across the country, a 10% increase over the previous year and a 24% increase overall since the 2009-2010 school year.
So how can teachers help homeless students in their own classrooms? After identifying and connecting them with the school or district’s homeless liaison, teachers can help them by being understanding advocates. Simple steps like talking with the students and letting them know they’re there for them, or setting aside classroom materials—pencils, pens, calculators, etc.—that the students can use are great ways for teachers to make homeless students feel welcome in school.
image via flickr:CC | tvanhoosear
Less than one in five third-graders from low-income families score at or above the national average in math, reading and science assessments, and only about half maintain a healthy weight and are in “excellent” or “very good” health.
Such disparities in early achievement and health are illustrated in a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation called “The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success.” The report tracks children’s well-being across multiple areas and in every state.
The report argues that for all children to have a strong foundation, they need better access to quality early care and education, and coordinated health care and support services for their families.
That compares with about half of children from higher-income families who are scoring above average on standardized tests and 62 percent of children from wealthier families who are in very good health.
It’s not poverty that makes the difference; it was the teachers. The difference was that the high-performing teachers actually “walked the walk.” First, the classroom and school climate was MUCH better at the high-performers. Secondly, the teachers at the high-performing schools didn’t complain about kids not “being smart” or being unmotivated. They made it a priority and built engagement, learning, thinking and memory skills every day. In short, they didn’t make excuses; they just rolled up their sleeves and built better student brains.