View Poll Results: Why do the poor do badly in school?

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  • lack of ability - poor can't do the work and feel stupid

    8 15.69%
  • lack of motivation - poor can't study way out of poverty

    18 35.29%
  • school is racist - not taught things important to poor's race

    1 1.96%
  • school is class-based - not taught things important to poor's class

    5 9.80%
  • schools are underfunded - don't have special programs to help the poor

    15 29.41%
  • urban schools don't attract talented teachers

    17 33.33%
  • rural schools don't attract talented teachers

    12 23.53%
  • socio-economic factors

    28 54.90%
  • gang culture

    23 45.10%
  • other... (please describe)

    23 45.10%
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Thread: Why do the poor do badly in school?

  1. #31
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    Re: Why do the poor do badly in school?

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    Then you should say that children with one parent who's a drug-addicted welfare recipient and the other who's in jail is at more of a disadvantage, not children from poor single-parent households. Huge difference between the two.
    you write what you want and I will write what I want. you seem to be quibbing for the sake of quibbling.



  2. #32
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    Re: Why do the poor do badly in school?

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    I really should have included the bold as a choice. That one is huge, at least in considering my life. I just knew I would go to college, even if I took a detour through the Army.

    Do schools truly have fewer resources? I mean, if kids are disruptive and cannot appreciate the resources schools already have, then what exactly is missing that could make a difference?
    I have to agree. Probably the main reason I completed college was that from as far back as I could remember, was that it was simply expected by my family. If the culture is there, than it helps create a personal drive.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 05-02-10 at 02:40 PM.

  3. #33
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    Re: Why do the poor do badly in school?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I have to agree. Probably the main reason I completed college was that from as far back as I could remember, was that it was simply expected by my family. If the culture is there, than it helps create a personal drive.
    I would agree with that. My parents went to top schools and it was expected we would too.



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    Re: Why do the poor do badly in school?

    I think that some generationally poor people do inherit their inabilities from their parents. Yes, as a rule I think the lower classes contain people less intellectually endowed, and in some cases there is a genetic component, but it's hard to separate that out from the cultural deprivations that these kids suffer. They don't get exposed to books or a culture of enjoying them. They don't get exposed to adults discussing important topics, providing interesting insights, laying out plans for the future and carrying them out.

    One of the biggest differences between the poor and others, at least in America where opportunity exists for most people, is not raw intelligence, but instead the ability to make plans and carry them out. It's like the difference between a bad chess player and a good one and a great one. A great chess player can look ahead many moves and envisions responses to a variety of possibilities.

  5. #35
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    Re: Why do the poor do badly in school?

    Schools should first teach the 3 Rs then, teach them the things that really count like... automotive repair, building houses, plumbing, electrical installation and repair, painting, roofing, brick laying, truck driving, cooking, welding, yard work, tree trimming, road repair, drafting, and how to be skeptical about TV adds, get rich schemes, political promises, and spam.

    ricksfolly

  6. #36
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    Re: Why do the poor do badly in school?

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Thank you for adding your experienced opinion, Cat. I would say that I didn't even consider the first item, failure to learn to read, which seems to be a result of either family disengagement in student learning (your #2) or outright family dysfunction (your #3b)
    It's not only a result of families not being engaged, but also appears to be a function of using teaching strategies that do not work. It seems that teaching reading is divided into two camps: Phonics-based education and whole language. In reality, it appears that a mix of these strategies are required, along with direct instruction and potentially, using volunteers to read to students. Students need to learn phonics (the building blocks of language). They need to learn to enjoy reading for it's own sake and see how words fit together (whole language). They need to learn to read aloud (direct instruction). And, they need to be read to...if not by parents, then by mentors or volunteers.

    Schools that have incorporated a holistic approach to teaching reading have not only turned around student performance, but have reduced behavioral issues in school by as much as 80%. The schools that have done this have been primarily in the elementary ages. It gets much harder to teach literacy as students move into early adolescence. There is a window for teaching literacy, and if it is missed, it seems that students never really recover. I've seen this turn-around performed in urban schools, and it requires a committed administrator/principal and faculty. It also may require the principal to have free reign to fire/remove non-performing teachers. The entire school has to be on the same page. It's not easy, but it can be done.

    And, as you stated below, it isn't as much about money/funding as it is about leadership and requiring teachers to be on the same page.

    Your second item: Low family/community support for education, I consider to be one of the core factors behind my lack of motivation item. It is good to see you break it out.
    YEs, it's huge. It is the common link that you see in areas of the country with low educational attainment, regardless of race. It's why some immigrants (caribbean, African, asian) assimilate well educationally and overachieve, and why some (central American, Mexican, Haitian) don't.

    I suppose I was read to and learned at home to read. It was not delegated to school to do the job and my parents were involved in my education. The same is true of my sister and her approach to the learning of her children.
    That lack of involvement in their children's education is sad. I also found this to be disturbing and close to the "white-man's education" dilemma.
    I wanted to add that this oppositional attitude is probably prevalent in poor white communities, and not limited to Black Americans.
    Yes. It is as common in Appalachia as it is in urban Detroit.


    #3b is disturbing. The combination of 1, 2, and 3b are all outside of school and lead's perhaps to oppositional attitudes among students. I don't think this is restricted to black students, although the causes may be dissimilar. Poor whites also have an oppositional attitude.
    Indeed.

    None of these can be affected by educational spending. In fact, only #3c of your points can be affected thus.
    This would be my position, as well. In the most troubled urban school districts I've worked with, the schools actually have a higher weighted pupil unit than their surrounding surbuban competitors. Of course, a lot of this weighted pupil unit ends up funding high salaried district administrators and doesn't ever make it to the classroom at all. I call it the raping and pillaging of the urban poor.

    Then there are poor districts where the schools are definitely underfunded, and where students aren't getting a lot of home support. Targeted utilization of programs like Americorps is a great way of getting more adults per child into the classroom, but some of those schools need additional funds to allow access to the arts, music, and sports.

    I'm not going to lie...urban school districts often appear over-funded (but the funds aren't utilized properly). Rural school districts are often under-funded, and this applies to both poor black and white schools.

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    Re: Why do the poor do badly in school?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyOwnDrum View Post
    I think that some generationally poor people do inherit their inabilities from their parents. Yes, as a rule I think the lower classes contain people less intellectually endowed, and in some cases there is a genetic component, but it's hard to separate that out from the cultural deprivations that these kids suffer. They don't get exposed to books or a culture of enjoying them. They don't get exposed to adults discussing important topics, providing interesting insights, laying out plans for the future and carrying them out.
    It isn't that the poor are less intellectually endowed. It's that there is little familial support for education and creative thought.

    I worked with many kids, for instance, whose entire life was lived in a small section of the community. They lived 10 miles from beautiful mountains, but had never visited them. They lived close to the state capitol, but had never seen it, except from a distance. They lived near beautiful universities, but had never visited them. They'd never played a game of chess. They'd never eaten a meal that required a fork and knife. They'd seen American life on television, but never really experienced it.
    Last edited by Catz Part Deux; 05-02-10 at 03:15 PM.

  8. #38
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    Re: Why do the poor do badly in school?

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    We recently talked about some of this in another thread. I am curious what others think are the driving factors for why the poor, both urban and rural, do so poorly in school.
    I don't believe it has anything to do with poverty or class. I think it has to do with the individual student.

  9. #39
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    Re: Why do the poor do badly in school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    It isn't that the poor are less intellectually endowed. It's that there is little familial support for education and creative thought.
    It's a chicken and egg situation in my opinion.

    There is also the problem of substance abuse during pregnancy, and prematurity as well. It's a complex m multifaceted situation, with not just one explanation.

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    Re: Why do the poor do badly in school?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyOwnDrum View Post
    It's a chicken and egg situation in my opinion.

    There is also the problem of substance abuse during pregnancy, and prematurity as well. It's a complex m multifaceted situation, with not just one explanation.
    Well, there are some indicators in early brain research that living in a traumatic, stressful environment can actually inhibit brain development in infants.

    The Leadership Council - The Effect of Childhood Trauma on Brain Development

    So, it's probably a chicken. The parent determines the home climate, which leads to inhibited brain development in the child. And then the home climate continues to inhibit development of literacy and creative thought. And, more often than not, these kids are clustered together in schools that are also failing to teach basic literacy.

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