On Public Schools

“The problem is not public schools; it is poverty.”

I feel like that line alone says so much. I mean, I knew that poverty was part of the problem, but still, that it might be the major factor in our schools, and to say it so starkly — that the more well off the population of the school, the better the school is, so all these reforms that we are always hearing about aren’t all that useful.

“And as dozens of studies have shown, the gap in cognitive, physical, and social development between children in poverty and middle-class children is set by age three.”

Ouch. Read Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools. [via Longreads, which is pretty much full of interesting things to read.]


  1. If I recall correctly, even before a kid gets to school, there are physical and emotional needs that, err, need to be met for them to succeed in school. For example, if they’re not getting enough to eat, or their emotional life at home is unstable, chances are they’re going to be distracted and/or disruptive to try to meet those needs.

    It’s really heartbreaking. With teachers under pressure from the beyond asinine demands of No Child Left Behind, and an increasing need to document everything, including formulating IEP’s for special ed students, it’s a wonder a teacher has any energy left to provide emotional support to struggling student. They’re human, and they can only do so much, without a major toll on their health.

    Oh my. I hope this doesn’t come off the wrong way.

  2. Over worked and underpaid. Such is the life of a teacher.
    …tons of research can pin point the problems in education, but not enough things can be done to solve them. Instead, teachers just get piled on with more blame and stress that it eventually burns them out and the students don’t get the 110% they need.
    Lose. Lose.

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