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“New Approach Needed To Aid Poor Students”

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A column in the Sacramento Bee today highlights a couple of recent studies questioning how education funds are spent in California to support many “”economically disadvantaged” students.”

One of the studies cited, from the State Legislative Analyst’s Office, has what I think is a surprisingly accurate critique of the present system (though, of course, it’s one that has been made for years by many educators and writers like Richard Rothstein):

“…the focus largely revolves around targeting more resources to ED students rather than addressing underlying issues likely to be affecting academic performance. For instance, students from ED families may lack health care, be in single–parent homes living on public assistance, have absent parents or parents with little formal education, have parents in jail or addicted to drugs, be parents themselves, live in unsafe neighborhoods, lack nurturing relationships with adults, speak a primary language other than English, be influenced by gang pressures, and/or need to work long hours outside of school. By focusing so much attention and resources on a student’s economic status, the state is missing opportunities to address the root causes of achievement problems.”

Guess what the study’s first recommendation for actionsis?

Allot $500,000 for another study on what to do about this problem.

Perhaps they could just read a few articles and books by Rothstein and others who have been researching and proposing how to respond to attack these root causes for years….

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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