Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Children: Mine vs. Ours

An op-ed called Strong Homes in a Weak Village Won't Do rounded out an altogether interesting page in today's Star Tribune. Daniel Shaw, a speech language pathologist from Minneapolis, wrote simply of the divergence between "my" children -- who have been nurtured and prepared for school -- and "our" children, who "are raised in a world where the relative poverty of words and lack of interest in learning reflects the broader poverty of their existence."

He noted the following:

As winter break or summer vacation approaches, children in poverty begin to get wilder [at school]. Teachers tell me, with conviction, that this behavior is a "preaction" to the coming of a sustained period of unstructured life.

Five days a week of breakfast, lunch and a structured day with caring adults will disappear -- to be replaced by the day-to-day uncertainty of life in poverty.
Just another example of why U.S. test scores are what they are, largely driven by poverty levels, rather than caused by "bad" teachers.

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