Poverty and Education Alexandria Jackson EDCI 6300-98 Tennessee State University
Introduction • For years educators have seen the effect that poverty has on children. Students who live in poverty may have a more difficult time succeeding in school when compared with other students. This presentation will discuss the definition of poverty, poverty rates in the United States, child poverty, and the effect that poverty has on a child’s education.
What is poverty? • The state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions. • Poverty levels are established by the government and published by the U.S. Census Bureau. • Mollie Orshanky of the Social Security Administration developed the poverty thresholds in 1964.
What are the poverty rates in the United States? • The official poverty rate in 2006 was 12.3 percent. • 36.5 million people lived in poverty (Braeden 2008). • Poverty is higher in states that have a high number of single parent homes (Lee 2007).
What about child poverty? • According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2005 poverty estimate, approximately 13.4 million children live in poverty. • 17.4 percent of children under the age of 18 lived in poverty in 2006.
How does this affect a child’s education? • According to Farkas (2000), low-income parents provide their children with less physical and emotional support and weaker language, reasoning, and behavioral preparation for school. • Low income students are more likely to have insufficient nutrition, medical conditions, and have a home environment that may be neglectful, harmful, and violent (Farkas 2000).
Compared to middle-income parents, low-income parents provide their children with less physical and emotional support and weaker language, reasoning, and behavioral preparation for school (Farkas 2000).
Absent • Research also shows that absenteeism in kindergarten is highest among elementary grades, and has a positive correlation with poverty (Braeden 2008). • Students from poor families arefour times more likely to fall into the chronic-absenteeism.
Academic Achievement • The achievement gap, as explained by No Child Left Behind, is a persistent, pervasive and significant disparity in educational achievement and attainment among groups of students as determined by a standardized measure.
When analyzed according to race and ethnicity, achievement disparities negatively impact educational outcomes for poor children and children of color on a consistent basis (McGee 2004).
What can teachers do for these children? • Providing students with a predictable day may help them stay on task. • Studies find that students who eat school breakfast increase their math and reading scores and improve speed and memory in cognitive tests (Chemlynski 2007) • Instill in students that the school environment is a place to learn and not a place where they have to worry.
Keep parents actively involved, and provide them with supplemental information that may help to improve their lives as well as the lives of their children.
Summary The statistics on the number of families and the number of children living in poverty were astounding. In general, children who live in poverty have a hard time succeeding in school. These children have a home environment that offers little interaction at a time that is crucial to the development of language and social skills. They start school with deficits in crucial areas when compared with peers. A majority of the articles showed a direct correlation with poverty and African Americans. States with a large number of African American citizens, infant mortality, births to unmarried women, and other factors, have the highest rates of child poverty. In order for students who live in poverty to succeed, educators must provide opportunities for learning the fit the learner.
Where can you learn more about child poverty? • There are many websites available to help you learn more about child poverty and poverty within the United States. • The following are websites will be helpful:
National Center for Children in Poverty (nccp.prg) • This site contains a great amount of data. You can view regional profiles that integrate early childhood policy and demographic data for the 10 regions defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. • This site is helpful for teachers and parents.
The Future of Children (futureofchildren.org) • This sites main focus is to provide research that will promote change. • This site would be most helpful for educators.
Stop Child Poverty (stopchildpoverty.org) • This site provides information poverty and ways to help children and others who live in poverty. • This site would be helpful for teachers, parents, and students.
Save the Children (savethechildren.org) • This site provide information on how to create and make a change in the lives of children who live in poverty. • This site would be helpful for anyone.
U.S. Census Bureau (census.org) • This site provides a great amount of data on poverty in the U.S. and other areas that impact life. • This site would be helpful for anyone.
Print Sources that may help: • Education Week • Education Digest • Policy Studies Journal
Conclusion • Poverty in the United States has been a major concern since it was defined in the early 1960’s. Students who live in poverty have a hard time closing achievement gaps between themselves and peers. Poverty has an impact on how many students learn and how well they are prepared when they come to school.
References • Braeden, Mary C. (2008). Child poverty. Education Week, 27, 5-5. Retrieved February 10, 2008, from Academic Search Premier. • Chmelynski,C. (2007). Free student breakfast: surest way to raise performance. Education Digest, 72, 59-61. Retrieved February 1, 2008, from Academic Search Premier. • Farkas, George. (2000). Teaching low-income children to read at grade level. Contemporary Sociology, 29, 53-62. Retrieved February 1, 2008, from Academic Search Premier. • McGee, G. (2004). Closing the achievement gap: lessons from illinois’ golden spike high-Poverty high-performing schools. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk 9 (2) 97-125. Retrieved February 1, 2008 from academic Search Premier.