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Tag Archives: poverty and education

What would happen to the Corporate RheeForm War against Public Education in the U.S. if every American knew the few facts in this post?

Value Added Measurement (VAM) uses the results of student tests linked to the flawed Common Core Standards that are being forced on the nation’s public schools to punish teachers for students who–-for a variety of reasons that seldom if ever have anything to do with the actual teaching—are not learning.

In fact, VAM totally ignores the student learning factor and places ALL the blame on teachers when reputable studies have repeatedly proven that time spent in the classroom and teaching represents less than 30% of the factors that lead to a child’s learning.  The other factors that make up two-thirds of what causes a child to learn takes place outside of school in the home/family environment, and poverty DOES play a vital role when it comes to a child learning what is taught by a teacher in the classroom.

Even the results of the International PISA tests prove that poverty is a major factor, and to make my point, I’m using several different reputable sources.

FIRST: A Stanford study found:

“There is an achievement gap between more and less disadvantaged students in every country; surprisingly, that gap is smaller in the United States than in similar post-industrial countries, and not much larger than in the very highest scoring countries.

“Achievement of U.S. disadvantaged students has been rising rapidly over time, while achievement of disadvantaged students in countries to which the United States is frequently unfavorably compared – Canada, Finland and Korea, for example – has been falling rapidly.

“U.S. PISA scores are depressed partly because of a sampling flaw resulting in a disproportionate number of students from high-poverty schools among the test-takers. About 40 percent of the PISA sample in the United States was drawn from schools where half or more of the students are eligible for the free lunch program, though only 32 percent of students nationwide attend such schools.”

SECOND: The Economic Policy Institute validated that the Stanford report was correct.

THIRD: Mel Riddle, the Associate Director for High School Services at NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principals), compared the results of the PISA and focused on children who lived in poverty to discover that children living in poverty in the United States are improving and doing better than their socioeconomic peers in the other OECD countries.

Mel reported: “PISA results have provided ample fodder for public school bashers and doomsayers who further their own philosophies and agendas by painting all public schools as failing. For whatever reason, the pundits, many of whom have had little or no actual exposure to public schools, refuse to paint an accurate picture of the state of education.

“A closer look at the data tells a different story. Most notable is the relationship between PISA scores in terms of individual American schools and poverty.  While the overall PISA rankings ignore such differences in the tested schools, when groupings based on the rate of free and reduced lunch are created, a direct relationship is established.”

FOURTH: The Center for Public Education looked closely at the time American children spent in school compared to other countries and asked and answered several questions.

For instance: Are students in India and China required to go to school longer than U.S. students?

According to data from the OECD and the World Data on Education, students in China and India are not required to spend more time in school than most U.S. students.

Do other countries require more instructional hours for students than the U.S.?

According to the OECD, the hours of compulsory instruction per year in these countries range from 608 hours in Finland (a top performer) to 926 hours in France (an average performer) at the elementary level, compared to the over 900 hours required in California, New York, Texas, and Massachusetts.

Are U.S. students receiving less instruction?

The data clearly shows that most U.S. schools require at least as much or more instructional time as other countries, even high-performing countries like Finland, Japan, and Korea.

In conclusion, I ask again: What would happen to the Corporate RheeForm War against Public Education in the U.S. if every American knew the few facts in this post?

_______________________

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

Crazy is Normal promotional image with blurbs

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).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

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Poverty with Pollution—Its impact on the education of children

Before I get started, according to the Common Core State Standards Initiative website, formal assessment is expected to take place in the 2014–2015 school year, and seeks to establish consistent educational standards across the states as well as ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit-bearing courses at two- or four-year college programs or enter the workforce.

There’s also a Common Core Timeline you might find interesting. If you click the previous link, also visit the Analysis page; then scroll down to #3: How is the federal government involved in the Common Core? The rest of that page is worth reading too. Look close to discover the short timeline to achieve goals that no country on the planet has ever achieved with 100 percent of 17/18 year olds no matter how much time they were given.

Anyway, the impact of poverty on educational outcomes for children is well documented. The US National Library of Medicine reports, “School readiness reflects a child’s ability to succeed both academically and socially in a school environment. It requires physical well-being and appropriate motor development, emotional health and a positive approach to new experiences, age-appropriate social knowledge and competence, age-appropriate language skills, and age-appropriate general knowledge and cognitive skills. It is well documented that poverty decreases a child’s readiness for school through aspects of health, home life, schooling and neighborhoods.”

Poverty Timeline: In 2000, the poverty rate was at its lowest in U.S. history at 11.3 percent. Under Presidents G. W. Bush and Obama, by 2012, the poverty rate had soared to more than 15 percent, the highest rate in decades.

In addition, “The Department of Agriculture’s measure of poverty, every red state (Republican) from Arizona to South Carolina has the highest poverty rates in America; between 17.9% and 22.8%.” aattp.org

By 2012, the share of Hispanics living in poverty had risen to 25.6 percent and for blacks 27 percent lived in poverty—compared to 9.7 percent who were non-Hispanic white. In addition, in 2012, 73.7 million American children represented 23.7 percent of the total U.S. population, but made up a disquieting 34.6% of Americans in poverty and a full 35% of Americans living in deep poverty. National Center for Law and Economic Justice

From this point on, I’m going to focus on what air pollution does to children, and the challenges that their teachers face to achieve the goals set by the rank and yank assessments of the Common Core Standards.

The findings of the Yale University research add to evidence of a widening racial and economic gap when it comes to air pollution. Communities of color and those with low education and high poverty and unemployment face greater health risks even if their air quality meets federal health standards. … Also, children and teenagers were more likely than adults to breathe most of the substances.

A study of Air Pollution and Academic Performance from the University of Southern California in conjunction with the University of Maryland says, “In this study, we examine the effects of four common and nationally-regulated outdoor air pollutants (PM10, PM 2.5, NO2 and O3) on math and reading test scores.

“The results suggest a sizable effect of pollution on academic performance, which provides evidence of another avenue by which pollution is harmful. Not only is it bad for children’s health, but it also impacts negatively on students’ performance in school and their ability in general, which we would expect to reduce future labor earnings. Since lower socioeconomic households tend to reside in more highly polluted areas, our results suggest that a decrease in pollution will result in a decrease in inequality, everything else held equal.”

Conclusion: Thanks to President Obama and his partner Bill Gates, children who live in poverty can’t win in the fake corporate-reform movement that is at war with public education and classroom teachers. The war on public education seriously started with President G. W. Bush’s NCLB and became more Machiavellian—think of Darth Vader and the dark side of the force in the Star Wars films—with President Obama’s Race to the Top and the rank and yank assessments of the Common Core standards.

The Obama-Gates driven rank and yank method of judging teachers and children—then firing and/or failing the losers besides closing schools and turning those children over to corporations to teach—will hit the poorest schools with Thor’s Hammer.

If you have trouble accepting this conclusion, then I suggest reading Why Poor Schools Can’t Win at Standardized Testing by Meredith Broussard published in The Atlantic Magazine on July 15, 2014, to discover the real agenda behind the reform movement in education—a reform movement that is focused on profit and to hell with children, teachers and parents.

Anyone who really wants to help the public schools improve would start with two programs: First, a national early childhood education program.

Second, teacher training resulting in a paid, full-time, year-long residency program with a master teacher and follow up support from the teacher-training program for the following two years. There would be no rank and yank assessment agenda linked to the Common Core Standards, and no public schools would be closed. Instead, they would be fully funded.

Discover who is responsible for blocking legislation in Congress that would reduce air pollution @ Is Global Warming a hoax and why should we care?

_______________________

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).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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