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Category Archives: American Street Gangs

The Hostile Corporate Takeover of America’s Public Schools Opens a Pandora’s Box

Unless you live in a closet or cave without electricity and the internet, it’s no secret that the hostile for-profit corporate takeover of America’s democratic public schools has led to billions of tax dollars lost to white collar fraud and crime with a lot more to come. > Despite Big Problems Charters Attract Hedge Fund Support and Presidential Candidates Hungry for Dollars

One of those attempted hostile takeovers is happening in Los Angeles, I read about this at John Thompson: Dare Anyone Say No to Eli Broad on Diane Ravitch’s Blog.

Thompson wrote, “It (Broad) produces a multicolored map of clusters of low-performing schools (in the city of Los Angeles), while pretending that it doesn’t undermine their case. The graphic supposedly shows, ‘These areas are especially ripe for charter expansion.’”

The Broad report doesn’t mention the poverty in those same areas of low-performing schools, but, and this is a BIG but, there is more than just poverty in Los Angeles. With that poverty comes extremely dangerous street gangs, and Los Angeles is home to the largest population of street gangs in the United States.

It would be nice to compare the Broad map to two other maps—the Los Angeles Street Gang map and a second map—if I could find one—that reveals where the most poverty is in Los Angeles, because in 2012, 29.9% of the children in Los Angeles lived in poverty.
Child Poverty in California

In addition, Los Angeles is home to more street gangs than any city in the United States. Will Broad’s opaque, authoritarian, for-profit corporate Charter school scheme identify all the gang members and make sure none of them get in to his charters—I think this is unlikely?

I taught for thirty years in an area of Los Angeles County where the local street gangs pretty much ruled the streets around the schools—even the local police didn’t risk patrolling some of those streets at night.  In fact, I witnessed with my own eyes a drive by shooting from my classroom doorway in the street beside the high school where I taught as school was letting out.

Hardly a week went by without one of our students being gunned down due to rival street gang violence. For instance, one night while working late with the editors of the high school newspaper, a hard core teenage gang member was gunned down and murdered with a shotgun blast to his guts on campus at 7:00 p.m. right outside of that classroom where I was working late with the seven female student editors of the high school newspaper. The poverty rate in that community was and still is higher than 90%.

“Gang presence in U.S. schools is a formidable obstacle for educators, law enforcement, and other youth-service professionals. Street gangs are linked to crime in elementary, secondary, and high schools, and on select college campuses. Schools provide fertile grounds for recruitment and many public schools are rife with gang activity such as assaults, robberies, threats and intimidation, drug distribution, and weapons offenses. Gang presence on college campuses is a growing concern as more gang members are gravitating toward colleges to escape gang life, join college athletic programs, or to acquire advanced skill sets for their gang.”
> FBI’s 2013 National Gang Report

Approximately 1.4 million people were gang members as of 2011, and more than 33,000 gangs were active in the United States. Los Angeles has been nicknamed the Gang Capital of America, with an estimated 120,000 gang members as of 2007 (11.6% of the nation’s total). According to a May 2001 Drug Threat Assessment by the National Drug Intelligence Center, Los Angeles was home to 1,350 gangs.

But the Los Angeles police department only has 9,843 officers, who were outnumbered more than 12 to 1.

I wonder if Eli Broad plans to privatize the police force in Los Angeles too, so he can wage war against these gangs to clean up the streets and keep their members out of his corporate Charters. Imagine what that will cost the tax payers when the police work for an autocratic, opaque, for-profit corporation that doesn’t have to answer to the same rules and regulations that the public police must follow or else. And if Broad ends up buying the Los Angeles Times newspaper as he wants, he’d also control the media in Los Angeles so his corporate police crimes would probably not appear in his newspaper.

Street gangs are expanding in Los Angeles, and Eli Broad—even if he doesn’t know it yet—is going to end up competing with them, because Eli Broad is an autocratic billionaire at war with democracy, but so are the street gangs in Los Angeles.

“Various Crip and Blood factions have shown an inclination to cooperate with one another based on drug trafficking. They have established funds from drug money to provide for bail and lawyers. The traditional ‘dope lawyers’ are showing up on non-drug gang cases. These lawyers are not local attorneys but are from Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. This illustrates the growing wealth and sophistication of these gangs. Some of the older and more successful street gang members in Los Angeles County have purchased legitimate businesses to launder drug money. Some of these businesses are car washes, auto painting/body and fender shops, motels, auto dealerships, and liquor stores. The next step could be respectability in the community for these drug-trafficking gang members, as well as involvement in politics. The wealth and sophistication of the gangs, coupled with their penchant for violence gives them the potential for becoming one of the largest and most dangerous crime problems in the region if not the Nation.”

Eli Broad wants to replace the transparent, democratic, public schools in Los Angeles with his own opaque, autocratic, for-profit, corporate charters. The street gangs already have a strong presence in the public schools to recruit new members, so Broad’s charters will be in competition with the gangs as they attempt to infiltrate his corporate schools. This means Broad will soon be at war with the largest and most dangerous crime problems in the region if not the Nation.

In fact, the gangs might even take advantage of the opportunity Broad wants to create and open their own corporate charters through front organizations.

Eli Broad had better tread carefully with his hostile goal to grab the public schools in Los Angeles. He and his entire family might not wake up one morning to discover that he has been eliminated by the Crips and/or Bloods because he dared to invade their turf.

Before the hostile corporate takeover of public schools started with NCLB and Obama’s RTTT, the gangs couldn’t buy the public schools and own and manage them but now they can.  The door is wide open. If one secretive Islamic Turkish Cleric can own 120 American Charter Schools, what’s going to stop the gangs from doing the same thing? > The Atlantic

Then again, maybe the Sinaloa drug cartel already owns Eli Broad, and he is allegedly their legitimate but corrupt front. After all, the feds say that Los Angeles is the epicenter of cartel money laundering, and what better business to launder money than an opaque corporate charter school chain that doesn’t have to make its money transactions public like the public school?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

99 Cent Graphic for Promomtion OCT 2015

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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Eli Broad, the Billionaire at war with democracy, the want-to-be Emperor of Southern California

This post is about Eli Broad’s Hostile Takeover of the democratic Los Angeles Unified School District and his goal to control and own the media in Southern California.

Who is Eli Broad—he isn’t the image created by his propaganda machine? Eli Broad wants to buy the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union. Why does he want to own and control the two largest newspapers in Southern California? Politico Media

Scholastic.com says, “Broad, who made his ­fortune in home building, is worth $6.3 billion, putting him 55th on the Forbes 400 list. That can’t compete with Gates, first on the list with $66 billion. And so the Broad Foundation is much smaller—and more strategic—than the Gates Foundation; it’s more aggressive and disruptive in many ways, and as a result more upsetting to those who disagree with its approach. … For example, Broad is a fan of the so-called parent trigger, which many other foundations and reform groups have not yet endorsed and many district administrators find threatening and unhelpful. He is a big supporter of Teach for America, which has won its share of both accolades and criticism. And he’s a fan of former D.C. schools chief and reform firebrand Michelle Rhee … he tends to fund efforts that bypass, or even blow up, existing systems.”

Now this California autocratic billionaire, who clearly despises and hates the democratic process, is enlisting other wealthy backers in a $490 million scheme to place half of the students in the Los Angeles Unified School District into for-profit, corporate charter schools over the next eight years—a plan at least one critic says would “do away with democratically controlled, publicly accountable education in LA.”

The Los Angeles Times obtained a very public “confidential” 44-page proposal, “The Great Public Schools Now Initiative,” drafted by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and other charter advocates.  “Los Angeles is uniquely positioned to create the largest, highest-performing charter sector in the nation,” the executive summary reads. “Such an exemplar would serve as a model for all large cities to follow.”

The document outlines the following three objectives that would serve to overthrow the current public system. Common Dreams.org

I wonder if Broad thinks his autocratic, boot-camp, opaque, for-profit, corporate Charters will solve the following two challenges for Los Angeles and the nation.

If Broad plans to copy New Orleans corporate Charter school model, how many children will end up booted out of his corporate Charters and end up on the streets when there are no public schools left that can take them in?

And what will happen to the gang culture, violence and crime in Los Angeles because of Broad doing that? Children who aren’t in school are on the streets—the street to prison pipeline.

I taught for thirty years in a public school district located in Los Angeles County in an area dominated by street gangs with a very high poverty rate—nothing short of the U.S. Marines moving in and declaring martial law will change this culture of poverty, drugs, crime and violence.  The only chance these kids have are the public schools that offer havens of safety in a community of violence. Once kids lose those democratic, transparent, non-profit public school havens, the gang culture WILL spiral out of control.

Los Angeles has been nicknamed the Gang Capital of America, with an estimated 120,000 gang members as of 2007. According to a May 2001 Drug Threat Assessment by the National Drug Intelligence Center, Los Angeles was home to 1,350 gangs.

To police this area, the LAPD has less than 10 thousand officers. They are heavily outnumbered and heavily outgunned, and to solve this, Broad plans to use the Bill Gates rank-and-fire teachers test culture in his autocratic corporate Charters to get rid of difficult to teach children.

Maybe to solve this challenge, Eli Broad is planning to take over the LAPD too. What are his goals—to own the schools, own the newspapers, and eventually own the police?

Los Angeles Is The Poorest Big City

The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area had 17.6 percent of people living under the poverty line. – laist.com

“Who elected Eli Broad, a man who has said publicly that he knows nothing about education, to redesign the public schools that belong to the people, not to him?” —Diane Ravitch

More on the Eli Broad attempted hostile takeover of democratic public education in Los Angeles may be found at K-12 News Network’s The Wire and The Huffington Post.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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The Walking Dead and their Whipping Boys

Thanks to the fake Ed reformers—for instance, Bill Gates, President Obama and his Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (there are many others)—teachers have become the 21st century’s whipping boys.

Are you familiar with the definition of “Whipping Boy”?

Merriam-Webster.com says, “Whipping boy: someone or something that often is blamed for problems caused by other people.”

In one of the internet forums I belong to, the following pull quote was posted in a discussion.

“Enrolling students of color in ‘rigorous’ academic programs that hold them to high academic standards is one way that educators attempt to close achievement gaps and disrupt the self-perpetuating nature of low expectations.”  This quote was pulled from a fake Ed reformer website.

When I read it the first time, I smiled wryly and wanted to laugh but there were too many painful memories from the thirty years I worked as a classroom teacher.

I taught mostly students of color who lived in poverty and/or belonged to violent street gangs and no matter how rigorous the academic program, too many of these kids didn’t give a rat’s ass about what some distant autocrat or billionaire expected teachers to teach.

In fact, I was often criticized by parents and kids for demanding too much of my students. Some of these kids who refused to learn called me “mean” and one or two would ask what I’d do if “they  jumped me.” Another excuse often used by some kids who did little to nothing was that I was “boring”, and because I was “boring”, they didn’t have to do the work.

However, that didn’t stop a “few” in every class from earning A’s and B’s and doing the quality of work I demanded of them.

It doesn’t matter how fantastic a teacher teaches, there is no way to force a kid to bring their book to class, pay attention, read anything, or do the work. For these kids, the results of standardized tests will always be dismal.

Those who don’t work, well, don’t—LEARN.  And the ones who don’t learn (because they didn’t do the work not because the teacher didn’t teach) are the ones who get the lower standardized test scores that will get teachers fired and schools closed.

There was a term that some veteran teachers at the high school where I taught used to describe these students who refused to learn: “the walking dead”. One teacher who had been teaching for more than forty years used this term in a staff meeting and administration criticized him severely. Every teacher at the high school signed a petition in his defense because we all knew what he said was true.

In reality, teachers are the whipping boys for the parents who didn’t support them and the kids, “the walking dead”, who refuse to cooperate, read and study. Teachers are also the whipping boys for the fake Ed reformers.

The only thing that happens to the kids who wouldn’t cooperate is that they might not earn a high school diploma by age 17/18. About twenty percent don’t but as they mature and go out into the work world and learn the value of that high school degree, the number of adults in American who have earned a high school degree or its equivalent by age 24 reaches more than 90%—we won’t hear that from the fake Ed Reformers. There’s an old saying, “Better late than never,” but that isn’t stopping the fake Ed reformers from demanding that so-called failing teachers be fired and failing schools be closed.

The failure rate in my class was based on the work and not on tests. About 5% (on average) earned A’s, because they did most or all of the work, and 30% to 50% earned F’s for not working. Instead, some warmed a seat and a few caused a lot of trouble making it challenging for me to teach the 50% to 70% (it varied from class to class) who were willing to do some, most or all of the work.

I was one of those “whipping boys” for most of the thirty years I taught, but today I’m retired and angry, because I worked 60 to 100 hour weeks on average challenging my students to close that “achievement gap”.

Why is this happening? Why are teachers being used as whipping boys?

One answer may be: In a stock market prospectus uncovered by education author Jonathan Kozol, the Montgomery Securities group explains to Corporate America the lure of privatizing education. Kozol writes: “The education industry,” according to these analysts, “represents, in our opinion, the final frontier of a number of sectors once under public control” that have either voluntarily opened or, they note in pointed terms, have “been forced” to open up to private enterprise. Indeed, they write, “the education industry represents the largest market opportunity” since health-care services were privatized during the 1970’s…. From the point of view of private profit, one of these analysts enthusiastically observes, “The K–12 market is the Big Enchilada.”  (IS Review.org)

How much money are we talking about? The annual appropriation for the entire Federal Department of Education in 2012 was $64.1 Billion and the total from the fifty states for public elementary and secondary schools amounted to $638 billion in 2009-10.

Imagine the profits to be gained by a parasitic Corporate America. All they have to do is sweep aside more than four million public school teachers, their retirement plans, and their labor unions. And the hell with those brats who won’t behave and do what the corporate stooges tell them. Maybe they’ll send those kids, “the walking dead”, to prisons or concentration camps to get them out of the way.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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How does punishing teachers and closing public schools solve this, Mr. President?

In late 1970s and early 80s, I was hired to teach at an intermediate school considered at the time as the most dangerous school in California’s San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles County. My first year there, before class, teachers teamed up outside the classrooms to search students for razor blades, broken glass, and other weapons.

Our principal was a Korean War veteran and several of the teachers were Korean and Vietnam War veterans. I was one of those teachers. That principal only agreed to lead the school if he could transfer soft teachers out and tougher teachers in. That’s why he hired me. Being soft doesn’t mean a teacher is incompetent. It just means they were not prepared to deal with tough kids like those you will see in the video that accompanies this post.

One year, six teen gangbangers came on campus to invade my classroom so they could kill a rival gangbanger who by the age of twelve had murdered several members of their gang. Fortunately for me, another teacher saw them approaching my classroom and took a bat away from one of them and then chased them off campus.

Most low performing schools in America may be easily compared to the challenges faced by the high school in the previous video, and for twenty-seven of the thirty years I was a teacher the schools where I taught fit a similar profile.

But President Obama’s “Race to the Top”—like its predecessor, Bush’s “No Child Left Behind”—demands that all public schools and their teachers are successful with 100% of all students and to have all students ready for college by age seventeen/eighteen.  Fail, according to that federal law, and you have failed the kids and will be punished by, for instance, turning education over to companies like Wal-Mart.

According to Helping Gang Youth.com, there are 24,500 gangs in the U.S. with more than one million members and 90,000 are serving time in prisons.  I taught gang kids who spent time in jail as teens. Released from a juvenile prison, those dangerous kids had to return to school where most of them had no interest in education. And each year, I was asked by a member of a teen gang what I would do if the gang jumped me.

In September 2013, The Washington Post reported that “21.8 percent of American children under the age of 18 lived in poverty in 2012, according to new Census Bureau statistics released on Tuesday. …

There are more than 50 million children attending public schools. Therefore one in five lives in poverty and one in fifty belongs to a violent street gang but these kids are not spread evenly across America. Instead, they are concentrated mostly in the big cities like New York and Los Angeles.

“According to this report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development about the 2009 international PISA tests: Socio-economic disadvantage has many facets and cannot be ameliorated by education policy alone, much less in the short term. The educational attainment of parents can only gradually improve, and average family wealth depends on the long-term economic development of a country and on a culture that promotes individual savings. However, even if socio-economic background itself is hard to change, PISA shows that some countries succeed in reducing its impact on learning outcomes.”

I suggest reading the The Washington Post.com piece to learn what’s going on in those other countries that are dealing with this challenge—something the U.S. isn’t doing.

Teen street gangs and poverty are the problem—not failing schools and incompetent teachers. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” and Obama’s “Race to the Top” offer nothing to solve these problems, but what these two laws did was to punish the public schools and teachers instead.

Hitler and his Nazi’s blamed the Jews for Germany problems after World War I and we all know what happened to the Jews. In China, during Mao’s Cultural Revolution, the schools were turned over to the students; teachers were persecuted by teenage bullies known as China’s Red Guard and some teachers committed suicide. The schools stopped working and a decade later only 20% of Chinese were literate.

How is this different from what America is doing today to its public schools and teachers? It’s time for our government to stop persecuting teachers and start supporting them. Do you really believe Wal-Mart—a company that contributes to poverty in the United States—is going to fix this?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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Dumping Teachers due to Standardized Test Results and Student Performance – Part 4/7

In the August 2011 Costco Connection, Sydney Morris, the young teacher expert against seniority as a base for layoffs, said, “While we agree that teachers need much stronger evaluations, there are other objective factors that districts can use in layoff decisions.”

However, in Finland, teachers make the decisions while the government stays out of the process, but in the United States, Washington D.C., state legislatures, elected school boards and district administrators decide what is taught and how to teach it, and when those fads or methods do not work, teachers are blamed.

I was told by Mr. D, the teacher/administrator that handled school discipline at the high school where I taught, that 5% of the students earned 90% of the 20,000 referrals written each year at our high school of about 3,000 students.

Most students that belonged to that 5 percent were failing and stole an average of fifteen to twenty minutes a day in each class they attended due to unacceptable behavior.

The worst that would happen to a five percent student would be a detention after school and possibly two days of suspension, which was always a blessing because on the days one of the five per-centers was absent, I taught for the full period instead of writing referrals, and calling campus police officers to pick up the student (and others that supported or copied him or her).  All it takes is one student to cause others to misbehave.

One example of the type of behavior I’m talking about may be found in Having Sex With Elephants, another post.

The National Center for Educational Statistics reported that in 2008, students ages 12 to 18 were victims of about 1.2 million nonfatal crimes (theft plus violent crimes) at school… During the 2007–08 school year, a greater percentage of teachers in city schools (10 percent) reported being threatened with injury than teachers in town schools (7 percent) and suburban or rural schools (6 percent each)… However, a greater percentage of elementary school teachers (6 percent) reported being physically attacked than secondary school teachers (2 percent).  Two percent of 5 million is still 100,000.

Moreover, these statistics do not deal with kids disrupting the classroom due to unacceptable behavior.

There are more than 5 million public school teachers in the United States. Ten percent equals 500,000 and 350,000 equals seven percent.

When one student failed, her parents accused me of losing their child’s work. During the administrator, parent, teacher, student conference, I asked the student to open the binder for my class and all the unfinished work I was accused of losing was there. She had not turned anything in. The parent did not apologize for accusing me of losing the student’s work but asked me to accept first semester work during the second semester and change her daughter’s grade. I refused since the rule was that late work was not accepted. It had to be turned in on time. That mother had her daughter transferred to another teacher.

What happens when a student doesn’t perform, which means he or she does not participate in class, doesn’t ask questions when he or she is confused about a lesson [correct me if I’m wrong, but teachers cannot read minds], avoids class work, avoids homework, avoids reading assignments, will not read independently, will not study and/or misbehaves in class?

Is that the teachers fault?

Continued on September 8, 2011 in Dumping Teachers due to Standardized Test Results and Student Performance – Part 5 or return to Part 3

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Needs versus Education – What comes first? – Part 5/5

Child Help.org says, “Over 3 million reports of child abuse are made every year in the United States; however, those reports can include multiple children. In 2009, approximately 3.3 million child abuse reports and allegations were made involving an estimated 6 million children.”

Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.

RAINN.org says, “Fifteen percent of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12 and 29% are age 12 – 17. Three percent of boys grades 5 to 8 and 5% of boys in grades 9 to 12 said they have been sexually abused.

“Children that are victims of sexual assault are three times more likely to suffer from depression, six times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, 26 times more likely to abuse drugs and 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.”

The No Child Left Behind Act mandates (without directly saying so) that teachers are to overcome all of these challenges without any changes taking place outside the public schools when hunger, homelessness, gang and crime statistics, child abuse, etc. impact a child’s life.

However, when survival comes first in a child’s life, and other essential needs are not met, education takes a back seat and teachers in the public schools will not overcome these challenges no matter what mandate the federal government votes into law or how many critics claim America’s public school teachers are failing.

With these challenges, it is amazing that teachers have accomplished what they have.

For example, in California, 53.9% of Black or African American students in the public schools have met the English Language Arts Target while 56.3% have met the Mathematics Target.

Yet, in the United States, sixty-seven percent (67%) of Black-African American children live in single-family homes.  In addition, more than 35% live in poverty.

Among Hispanic/Latino children, more than 33% live in poverty, while less than 12% of white children do and about 13% of Asians.

The numbers of students that fail or succeed in school is easily explained by the numbers of those living in poverty, in communities dominated by youth gangs, and those that live in single parent homes.

Asking America’s public school teachers to overcome these obstacles is the same as telling someone to climb Mount Everest nude and without any climbing gear.  Only ignorant fools or people with political agendas based on greed or ideology would make such accusations.

The facts say, when a child’s basic needs are met, that child is ready to learn and not until then and the complexity of what it means to make sure every child’s basic needs are met is difficult to identify and achieve.  We cannot expect the government or teachers to solve everything for everyone. Individuals must take responsiblity for their lives and that means parents too.

Teacher’s cannot push these child to the next level in literacy or math even with the threat of lost jobs and closed schools.

Return to Needs versus Education – What comes first? – Part 4 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Needs versus Education – What comes first? – Part 4/5

The National Center for Children in Poverty says, “Nearly 15 million children in the United States – 21% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level – $22,050 a year for a family of four. Research shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice that level to cover basic expenses. Using this standard, 42% of children live in low-income families.

“Most of these children have parents who work,” NCCP.org says, “but low wages and unstable employment leave their families struggling to make ends meet. Poverty can impede children’s ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional, and behavioral problems.”

However, poverty is not the only challenge to overcome. Being loved and belonging to a family was on the third step in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs blocking a child’s need to earn an education, which was on step four and five.

In fact, the Heritage Foundation reports, “How Broken Families Rob Children of Their Chances for Future Prosperity”. The growth in the number of children born into broken families in America—from 12  of every 100 born in 1950 to 58 of every 100 born in 1992, has become a seemingly unbreakable cycle that the federal government not only continues to ignore, but even promotes through some of its policies.

Statistics and studies show that children who grow up in a stable, two-parent family have the best prospects for achieving income security as adults,” and today only 47% of children live with both of their original parents.

Then there is child abuse, which sabotages a child ability to leave the second level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs where it clearly says safety of health, body, morality and of the family must be satisfied before an individual’s needs change.

Continued on August 18, 2011, in Needs versus Education – What comes first? – Part 5 or return to Part 3

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions

 

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