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Wed Nov 6, 2013, 11:48 AM

The Real 21st-Century Problem in Public Education is Poverty

http://billmoyers.com/2013/11/06/the-real-21st-century-problem-in-public-education-is-poverty/

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"A new study showing explosive growth in student poverty suggests, though, that we have misidentified the problem. What if we have actually been teaching the right skills in US schools all along – math and reading, science and civics, along with creativity, perseverance and team-building? What if these were as important a hundred years ago for nurturing innovative farmers and developers of new automobiles as they are now for creating the next generation of tech innovators? What if these are the very characteristics of US schools that have made us such a strong public education nation, and the current shift toward a narrower agenda just dilutes that strength? What if, rather than raising standards, and testing students more, the biggest change we need to address is that of our student body?

The October 2013 Southern Education Foundation study indicates clearly that poverty, which has long been the biggest obstacle to educational achievement, is more important than ever. It is our true 21st century problem. Fifty years ago, we educated mostly working-class kids and up, and we did not expect those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder to graduate. Now we educate all students, including the very poorest and otherwise disadvantaged. And we expect them all to graduate. Compounding this shift, a large and growing proportion of US students students live in poverty and even concentrated poverty, have a disability, and/or are learning English as a second language. THAT is the paradigm shift, and we need a totally new set of policies to address that 21st century reality.

In 2000, students who were eligible for free or reduced-price meals made up at least half of the student body in four states. Just eleven years later, over half of public school students are poor in 17 states, including every Southern state but Virginia and Maryland, and most Western states. Student poverty is the dominant reality in schools in three of the biggest states – California, Texas and Florida—and nearly the majority in New York, Michigan and Illinois. The 21st century has sharply increased the proportion of parents who are unemployed, whose jobs do not pay enough to provide basic food, shelter, clothing and health care for their children, and/or whose immigrant status limit their capacity to navigate the education system and restrict them to a shadow economy."

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Reply The Real 21st-Century Problem in Public Education is Poverty (Original post)
Starry Messenger Nov 2013 OP
MichiganVote Nov 2013 #1
LWolf Nov 2013 #2

Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Wed Nov 6, 2013, 09:55 PM

1. K&R

 

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2013, 09:26 AM

2. This should be pinned to the desks,

concrete and technological, of every school board member, superintendent, politician, and other policy maker in the country.

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