"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

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's not an excuse. It's a condition.


From SOS Million Teacher March on Facebook. Click the cartoon for the link.

In 2007 Gerald Bracey wrote,
When people have said "poverty is no excuse," my response has been, "Yes, you're right. Poverty is not an excuse. It's a condition. It's like gravity. Gravity affects everything you do on the planet. So does poverty."
"Corporate Reformers" like to call the labels on the backpacks of the children in the above cartoon 'excuses' but teachers know first hand how outside influences affect children's achievement.

In Poverty and Potential: Out-of-School Factors and School Success (2009) author David Berliner wrote,
Because America’s schools are so highly segregated by income, race, and ethnicity, problems related to poverty occur simultaneously, with greater frequency, and act cumulatively in schools serving disadvantaged communities. These schools therefore face significantly greater challenges than schools serving wealthier children, and their limited resources are often overwhelmed. Efforts to improve educational outcomes in these schools, attempting to drive change through test-based accountability, are thus unlikely to succeed unless accompanied by policies to address the [Out-of-School-Factors] that negatively affect large numbers of our nations’ students. Poverty limits student potential; inputs to schools affect outputs from them.
Read about Berliner's report at Blame for School Achievement Gap Misplaced.

...and here are some links to information about the "excuses."

TV
Violence
Drugs
Abuse
Absent Parents
Poverty
Lack of role models

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