Should Teachers Ignore Poverty's Impact?

Owens described her effort to join the Philadelphia Teaching Fellows program, and her reaction to the prevailing view in that organization that good teachers should be able to raise the achievement of even the poorest kids. That is my belief, and the belief of the educators I most admire. But most Americans, including Owens, think people like me are wrongly discounting the effects of poverty and thus hurting, rather than helping, the national movement to ... Full Story »

Posted by Fabrice Florin
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Posted by: Posted by Fabrice Florin - Nov 28, 2008 - 11:02 AM PST
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Edited by: Derek Hawkins - Jan 20, 2009 - 3:55 PM PST

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Derek Hawkins
4.0
by Derek Hawkins - Nov. 29, 2008

Jay Mathews stokes a great discussion on how poverty affects children's performance in school. Invite educators to comment and publishing their remarks in full was highly effective and can even be viewed as an example of good civic journalism.

My mother and brother are public school teachers. Everyone in my family, myself included, partakes in volunteer tutoring and mentoring throughout the year. The questions and issues raised in this column are real and complex and there's little consensus on how to approach many of them. We ask so much of our teachers.

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Fabrice Florin
4.0
by Fabrice Florin - Nov. 28, 2008

This interesting column provides a range of viewpoints on the challenges faced by teachers in raising the level of instruction in impoverished neighborhoods. Participants discuss different approaches to helping poor children succeed, with practical observations about what teachers can realistically accomplish with limited resources. An intelligent overview of an important topic that's too often under-reported.

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Patricia L'Herrou
4.0
by Patricia L'Herrou - Nov. 29, 2008

an important issue with reasoned opposing views here. seems to me it illustrates well with the passion and thoughtfulness of all involved, how difficult the reality is in teaching those students who have many disadvantages for optimum learning and how much may be involved to overcome those disadvantages

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Peter Henry
4.7
by Peter Henry - Nov. 29, 2008

Many educators respond to the question about how external realities in students' lives affect (or are allowed to affect) teachers' ideologies of their job. This is an important question. The Education biz is full of wishful thinking and slogans, along with people who really care and who base their practice on what they observe works. Unless we celebrate diversity of opinion, we reinforce a tendency towards groupthink where there's pressure on teachers to give lip-service to the current paradigm, which will probably change in a few years anyway. What does this have to do with educating kids? I hope that Paul Hill, from the University of Washington, is quoted out of context, because his "my way or the highway" approach is ... More »

I am a teacher. I believe that most teachers try to do the best they can in a difficult practice, and that we can take responsibility for doing our very best, and at the same time realize there's stuff we cannot affect. Like the kid getting shot across the street.

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