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* Has federal eduational policy ignored povert?

Posted By: Stephen Krashen on August 15, 2012
 
Rothberg cites the OECD (2010) report that concludes that in the US, 80% of the difference in reading achievement is due to child poverty and notes that current policy ignores this kind of evidence. Actually, Sec. Duncan has addressed the role of poverty, but argues that education is the way to overcome poverty.
Research says it is the other way around and agrees with Martin Luther King's position: "We are likely to find that the problems of housing and education, instead of preceding the elimination of poverty, will themselves be affected if poverty is first abolished.” (Martin Luther King, 1967, Final Words of Advice).

Research tells that there is no correlation between improved test scores and subsequent economic progress, that high unemployment in an area results in decreased school performance of children, even those whose parents are still employed, and it also tells us what we already should know: High poverty means poor diets, inadequate health care, and little access to books and all of these conditions are related to school performance.

The best teaching in the world will have little impact when there is high poverty, when children are under-nourished, in poor health, and have little or nothing to read.

The consequences of the US Department of Education philosophy are serious: Since they define school success in terms of test scores, money is being invested in new tests, which means instruction will become even more oriented to test preparation (is this even possible?), instead of protecting children from the effects of poverty.
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 Has federal eduational policy ignored povert? by Stephen Krashen on August 15, 2012  * 
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