"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

Friday, August 13, 2010

The First Five Years

The video below (Thanks Kate) hits the nail on the head. Most of our educational problems stem from child poverty which drags children down academically even before they start school.

1. The United States has the highest child poverty rate in the developed world.
2. Poverty is the most accurate determiner of academic achievement.
3. Since 2000 the number of families living in poverty has increased dramatically. 
4. It's easier to blame schools and teachers than to do something about the poverty in our country.



"Thousands of studies have linked poverty to academic achievement. The relationship is every bit as strong as the connection between cigarettes and cancer." —David Berliner, Our Impoverished View of Ed. Reform, Aug. 2005


"Arne Duncan and his accomplices aren't advocating the close examination of poverty data: health, tooth decay, presence of iron, family income. No, they declare test data is king. All you have to do is look at the really ineffective, misleading, inappropriate, and just plain stupid test questions on which they are basing all this data collection to know the data emperor has no clothes. Depending on McGraw-Hill, Pearson, et al student standardized test results is the most expensive, least effective, and most damaging way to evaluate teacher performance. Period." —Susan Ohanian, website, July 22, 2009


"13.6 million of America's children live in poverty." —Every Child Matters


"High-stakes decisions based on school-mean proficiency are scientifically indefensible. We cannot regard differences in school-mean proficiency as reflecting differences in school effectiveness. . . . To reward schools for high mean achievement is tantamount to rewarding those schools for serving students who were doing well prior to school entry." —Stephen Raudenbush, Schooling, Statistics, & Poverty


"Studies in Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Washington, Denver and Boston -- along with others in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales -- all show that poverty is a primary determinant of student achievement. High-stakes test scores are very highly correlated with family income." —Donald C. Orlich, Pacific Northwest Inlander, 3/15/06


"Poverty is not an excuse. It's a condition, like gravity. Gravity affects everything you do on this planet, and so does poverty." —Gerald Bracey

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