lack of ability - poor can't do the work and feel stupid
lack of motivation - poor can't study way out of poverty
school is racist - not taught things important to poor's race
school is class-based - not taught things important to poor's class
schools are underfunded - don't have special programs to help the poor
urban schools don't attract talented teachers
rural schools don't attract talented teachers
other... (please describe)
Last edited by tacomancer; 05-02-10 at 12:40 PM.
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.
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.
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.
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.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.
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.Yes. It is as common in Appalachia as it is in urban Detroit.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.
Indeed.#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.
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.None of these can be affected by educational spending. In fact, only #3c of your points can be affected thus.
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.
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 01:15 PM.
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.