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Thu Nov 7, 2013, 08:34 PM

 

Agree or disagree: Kids from poor and working-class families do not have the opportunities...

...in education that kids from middle to upper class families have-in terms of intellectual development, academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, the ability to become self-directed and think critically about social and political issues, and so on and so forth.

Interpret this and elaborate as you wish.

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Reply Agree or disagree: Kids from poor and working-class families do not have the opportunities... (Original post)
YoungDemCA Nov 2013 OP
Scuba Nov 2013 #1
Warpy Nov 2013 #2
GeorgeGist Nov 2013 #3
redstatebluegirl Nov 2013 #4
Igel Nov 2013 #9
dballance Nov 2013 #5
elleng Nov 2013 #6
roody Nov 2013 #7
AllyCat Nov 2013 #8
LWolf Nov 2013 #10
Nikia Dec 2013 #11

Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2013, 08:36 PM

1. I doubt many on DU will deny that class priviledge exists.

 

Those that do are likely trolls.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2013, 08:52 PM

2. It starts early, too, with infants either at home with poor mothers or in day care

not getting the type of stimulation they need to grow healthy brains. Now, with WIC cuts, they'll start to lack healthy nutrition, as well. We're going to see an increase in mental retardation rates about six years from now, thanks to those WIC cuts, the one program that decreased those rates markedly when it was implemented.

All this stuff is established medical fact, just being poor limits your ability to recognize and seize opportunity when it arises.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2013, 08:59 PM

3. Thank. Reagan.

The dumbing down of America is what progressives warned at the time.

Now we have Tea Baggers in Congress.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2013, 09:13 PM

4. There is no doubt that class is an issue,

I saw something interesting this summer. We attended three weddings of former students. In this case the best grades and most talented student was the young man who came from a working class family, first generation college student. The wealthy (oil money) student had the worst grades, worst attitude of the three.

In talking with them and their families during the reception I learned the wealthy student had landed a job paying almost twice what is normal for a graduate from our major. He was hired by "a friend of the family" who axcording to an aunt "saw his potential and overlooked his academic struggles (most of those due to heavy drinking). His wife was also hired by the same firm, her grades were also marginal. They have already bought a home and drove off in a new Infinity.

The working class student (i have to admit he was a favorite of mine), did not find a job in his field for a year. The one he found was with a very small firm with no insurance (ACA will be a blessing he said). He is not making enough to pay his loans, but hopes to work out a payment plan with Sallie Mae. His wife is still looking for a position, they live in a small apartment "cozy according to his proud Mom". They drove off in his Mom's 10 year old car because he doesn't have one yet (they use public transportation).

Driving home from the second one, my husband said "this just is NOT fair, those kids do not have a chance of getting ahead, they have worked hard, are nice kids but the deck is stacked". So it is...

What I am saying is, it is not a lack of intellect, but a lack of opportunity. The leg up no longer exista for these kids.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 9, 2013, 12:56 PM

9. Don't confuse anecdotes with data.

Anecdotes can be infuriating. They're true, but not the rule. Most upper-class kids who graduate get good jobs, but seriously--at some point the stupidity of an upper-crust dolt costs more than firing the brat would. Few people running a company like having parasites on the payroll, unless employing said parasite is a precondition for some big payoff.

The bigger problem is that a lot of the perks of living in a middle, upper-middle, or upper-class family are purely financial. We hear of stress, but there's a lot of stress when families break up, jobs are lost, etc. We seldom hear talk of *rates* because then it would show that it's not a case of stressed-and-poor versus non-stressed-and-prosperous but more-stressed-if-poor. Even then, we usually also hear this couched in terms of anecdotes--little Juan or Leticia versus little Biff or Heather. We Americans aren't good at those nasty little stats.


Most of the perks of living in a middle, upper-middle, or upper-class family are based on family characteristics. Better educations. Different interactional styles. More 2-parent families. Able to afford more consistent day care, instead of using neighbors and friends. Once the kid's able to take advantage of them, more educational "enrichment" activities for the more prosperous kids--trips and vacations, more emphasis on things that teach academics and not motor skills.

Where I live most of the guys are kicked out of the house at some point and play ball or chase girls. Most of the girls are coopted for housework or see themselves as primarily needing to attract male attention. "Why are you reading that book! It's a nice day, you should be outside."

It's what my mother said to me. She was a high-school drop out. My father was the one who took me to the library. He graduated high school (and only high school), but even when I was in elementary school took me to see caves and museums and pushed to make me college-ready.

You could see it in a guy I knew in grad school. His peers were in string quartets or piano quartets, wrote poetry or discussed travels or the niceties of Malaysian versus Kenyan food. He was the son of a postal carrier and 7-11 employee, and never learned to play an instrument, wasn't good at any foreign language, hadn't travelled, and whose interests were football, basketball, and the sports page. He lasted barely two years before he dropped out, feeling inferior.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2013, 09:30 PM

5. Absolutely Agree

 

It really struck me when I was at a conference and one exercise hand us step forward or back as a result of questions. Questions like:

- Did one of your parents have a college degree
- Did you have more than 10/25/50 books in your home

I was astounded by the results. I found out I was more fortunate than I knew. We had set of encyclopedias in our home. It was the WWW of the 60's/70's.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2013, 09:48 PM

6. No doubt about it,

and it begins with language.

Language-Gap Study Bolsters a Push for Pre-K

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/us/language-gap-study-bolsters-a-push-for-pre-k.html?hp&_r=0

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2013, 11:01 PM

7. Poorer kids have smaller vocabularies.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 11:39 AM

8. Agree. We are a middle class family and we notice an uptick in poor

behaviors with our own kids when we have not been at home as much due to outside activities. We notice more struggle with basic functions, let alone academic tasks if we are unable to have time together. I cannot imagine what it is like for a family where the parents are stressed out from having no job, not home and stressed because they are looking for a job, or are stressed and not home due to working with poor hours, no job security.

We have no cable and just got a teevee a little over a year ago. We read and have hundreds of children's books, let alone the overflowing bookcases with books for the adults. We have a huge bookcase with just GAMES. Board games, not video games. But our kids need us around all the time. They crave interaction. They do well in school. How would they fare if they were plopped in front of the teevee all day because we couldn't afford day care? Or were so busy keeping the house together that we needed the idiot box to entertain them?

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 01:24 PM

10. Agree.

It's been well-established, since long before the current deform models, that the biggest predictor of standardized test scores is parent SES.

Brain research informs us about the critical birth-4 year period when neural connections are formed that are crucial to later academic learning...long before children get to kindergarten, ensuring that students enter public education already ahead or behind, and, in terms of brain development, tend to continue the way they began. Those starting behind CAN grow more connections, although not at the pre-K rate, and they do; of course, so does everyone else, so they don't "catch up."

Our society is based on capitalistic values: competition, haves and have-nots, the "bootstrap" myth. Our society is not interested in closing economic gaps and equalizing the playing field. Our economy and our society depends on keeping a large pool of cheap labor and cannon fodder. Getting to blame teachers and the education system for "failure" is just a bonus for privatizers who want access to all of the public money spent on the system.

If the U.S. truly, honestly, wanted to improve the education of all, we'd start by eradicating poverty, and making sure that every person in the U.S. had fundamental rights to clean, healthy, safe, shelter with light, heat, etc.; appropriate clothing; abundant healthy food; easily accessible, high-quality health care, including mental, dental, and vision, free at point of service, funded 100% by taxes; clean, safe neighborhoods and communities, with parks, libraries, etc., etc., etc., close to all; a guaranteed minimal income for all, a job for all who wanted it, and a living wage.

That right there would increase learning without changing ANYTHING at schools. If we then wanted to provide every person with equal access to a world-class education, we would:

1. Fully fund every aspect of public education, including daily PE, health, counselors, art teachers, music programs, etc., etc., etc..

2. Reduce all class sizes to the optimal 15 that research tells is best.

3. Make pre-school universal and free.

4. Invest in comprehensive parent education programs: at school, on tv, at obstetrician's offices, as public service announcements on tv, radio, internet and bill-boards, etc., etc., etc.; blanket the culture with the information about how to raise children birth - kindergarten, and how to support students once they started school. Things like keeping them away from electronic toys, tv, etc. for several years; direct conversation and interaction with adults; developmentally appropriate play/exploration opportunities; singing, rhyming, poetry, storybooks, cooking, building, climbing, and all of the things that develop strong language skills and strong brains. Things like a dedicated reading and homework time, when there are no electronic distractions going on. Things like parents modeling reading and language and learning as family values by engaging in them themselves. Things like regular extended family conversations.

5. Make college, university, and/or trade school universally available and free.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Thu Dec 19, 2013, 09:26 PM

11. Most extra curricular activites are expensive

As are summer enrichment activities, as are vacations, and trips to museums and theater. For richer families, these are a given. For poorer families, participating in these activities is a financial hardship.
It seems that schools, to save money, are making the students and families pay more for school sponsored activities that used to be free or low cost.

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