If Ed Commissioner Bowen understands impact of poverty on student performance, why wasn’t it accounted for in school grading scheme?
On May 8, 2013 At 3:45 pm
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Education Commissioner Steve Bowen had this during an online chat hosted by the Portland Press Herald this noontime:
“We think that our goal should be that all students have high levels of achievement, and the fact the grade distribution correlates with income levels suggest s to us that we need to make efforts to address that issue. Had we somehow adjusted for that, we might not be having the conversation we are now having about how we bets meet the needs of students in low-income communities…
“Importantly, the grading system also showed us schools in low-income communities that do have high levels of student achievement, so one of the very next things we need to do is take a look at those schools and learn from them…”
The takeaway here is that teachers and schools are being graded on something completely out of their control – the income level and education level of parents, and that impact on student performance. Many children in areas of poverty have so many other things to deal with than the 3 R’s, including but not limited too unstable relationships of their parents, substance abuse by parents, unsafe housing, frequently moving within towns or to new districts, hunger, poor hygiene, etc.
Perhaps the most difficult thing for these kids to overcome is the lack of parental support and emphasis regarding the importance of education. Studies show that if this is not instilled in children before they enter the 4th grade, it is likely that child is lost.