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Poverty and the Achievement Gap

Poverty and the Achievement Gap. The Educational Answer. Poverty: the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor; indigence.

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Poverty and the Achievement Gap

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  1. Povertyand the Achievement Gap The Educational Answer

  2. Poverty: the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor; indigence. • Synonyms: destitution, need, want  imply a state of privation and lack of necessities. Poverty  denotes serious lack of the means for proper existence: Destitution,  a somewhat more literary word, implies a state of having absolutely none of the necessities of life. Need  emphasizes the fact that help or relief is necessary: Want  emphasizes privations, esp. lack of food and clothing:

  3. In the United States 13 million children live in poverty (Child Trends, 2009). • That means 1 out of every 5 students lacks proper housing, health care, and basic needs • How many of those are YOUR students?

  4. Children living in poverty are more likely to experience“lowacademic achievement, to drop out of school, and to have health, behavioral, and emotional problems” (Child Trends, 2009). • How many of YOUR students are headed down this path?

  5. What if schools provided access for families to housing, health care, community development, and parent education? • Would students come to school prepared to learn, with their basic needs met?

  6. Imagine a school where parents in poverty can learn about child development, appropriate discipline, and healthy life styles. • Imagine a school where children in poverty can be surrounded by positive adults, supportive services, and high expectations. • Imagine a community that benefits from its school because it will change its future for the better through education. • Would we get closer to closing the achievement gap?

  7. Schools such as the Harlem Children Zone that are providing wrap-around community services are watching the achievement gap begin to close. • Wrap-around services are systems of support that provided constant scaffolding for families in need by providing education on healthy lifestyles and basic needs. • Isn’t this what our families in poverty need the most?

  8. Support the idea of wrap around community services within schools. • Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” • If we wish to see the achievement gap close, we have to go to the root of the problem…

  9. Children who are …. hungry, tired, cold, lonely, scared, and lacking necessities cannot begin to think of ABC’s and 123’s. • Let’s change our ideas on closing the achievement gap. It is not more … Testing, retention programs, or improvement programs.

  10. It is looking at the community as a whole and providing what it needs most… • The Harlem Children’s Zone says: “to bring about widespread change it is necessary to work on a scale large enough to create a tipping point in a community’s cultural norms, a threshold beyond which a shift occurs away from destructive patterns and toward constructive goals” (Harlem Children’s Zone, 2009, p. 4).

  11. Lets look at poverty on a large scale and create tipping points that will close the achievement gap for students. • Support wrap-around services and give students living in poverty the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty all together.

  12. References • Moore, K., Redd Z.,, Burkhauser, M., Mbwana, K, & Collins, A. (2009). Children in poverty: Trends, consequences, and policy options. Child Trends Research Brief Publication #2009-11, 1-12. • Harlem Children’s Zone. (2009). Whatever it takes: A white paper on the Harlem Children’s Zone. Retrieved June 19, 2010 from http://www.hcz.org/images/stories/HCZ%20White%20Paper.pdf

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