Tuesday, July 27, 2010

No Rich Child Left Behind

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Update: Increasingly, a degree often says more about family affluence than it does about intelligence, desire to learn and/or potential to contribute to the advancement and evolution of society. This becomes more and more apparent as college students struggle to hide hunger and homelessness .

And although it's no secret that affluence and entrance into academia are inextricably linked, it's lesser known that there is a growing population of  "financially stressed students, who are facing hunger and sometimes even homelessness" that transforms the often cited cliché of the "poor" college student, into a harsh reality.

According to the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, there's a definite increase in the number of homeless students nationwide that became apparent in 2008. 

And as Andrew Miller posted:
Even sadder is the fact that these young people are going into debt to prepare for earning a living in jobs that are no longer plentiful or available at all. Many former students find themselves burdened with massive education debt and no way to pay it off because there are no jobs.
So, how can we say that we value democracy, liberty, and justice for all when we allow our future, in their pursuit of knowledge to better themselves,  to endure daily, the uphill battle of  securing the basic necessities of life: food and shelter? 

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The long battle to equalize the achievement gap attributed to income and race in America continues.

A new report, Massive Spending Gaps Between Schools in the Same District illustrates the relationship between teacher pay and student poverty in California public school systems.

High-poverty schools tend to be staffed by teachers with less experience than low-poverty schools. Yet school budgets and financial reports claim that all teachers within a school district earn the same salary, thus concealing that high-poverty schools are often shortchanged when it comes to financial resources devoted to teacher salary. President Barack Obama’s blueprint for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act proposes to address inequity hidden by the fog of averages.

"Inequality haunts U.S. public school finance. Some federal programs are demonstrably unfair in allocating funds to states, and there prevails in many states a negative relationship between the rate of student poverty in school districts and the amount of per student revenues made available by the state funding formula. There is also reason to believe that the distribution of funds to schools within districts systematically disfavors schools serving the highest concentrations of low-income students. The reason is that funds follow teacher experience. Teacher salary, the largest category of school expenditure, is tightly linked to seniority, which also confers transfer privileges. Teachers tend to exercise these privileges to flee high-poverty schools for ones serving more affluent communities."

Links:

Common Core State Standards Initiative - The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce.

The NGA Center and CCSSO received initial feedback on the draft standards from national organizations representing, but not limited to, teachers, postsecondary educators (including community colleges), civil rights groups, English language learners, and students with disabilities. Following the initial round of feedback, the draft standards were opened for public comment, receiving nearly 10,000 responses.

The standards are informed by the highest, most effective models from states across the country and countries around the world, and provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn. Consistent standards will provide appropriate benchmarks for all students, regardless of where they live.

These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standard

The condition of education is an integrated collection of the indicators and analyses published in The Condition of Education 2000–2010.
The National Center for Education Statistics today released The Condition of Education 2010, a Congressionally mandated report to the nation on education in America today. It covers all aspects of education, with 49 indicators that include findings on enrollment trends, demographics, and outcomes.

The report projects that public school enrollment will rise from 49 million in 2008 to 52 million by 2019, with the largest increase expected in the South. Over the past decade, more students attended both charter schools and high-poverty schools (those in which more than 75 percent of the students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch). One in six U.S. students attends a high-poverty school; and the number of charter school students has tripled since 1999.

This year’s report features a special section that looks closer at these high-poverty schools in America, examining the types and locations of schools, the characteristics of the students and their teachers and principals; and student achievement. It finds a wide and persistent gap in educational achievement.
States Create Wealth of Education Bills

Obama’s ‘Race to the Top’ Education Fund Draws Fewer States

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