Monday, March 21, 2016

To Ed Deformers, Its Deep Poverty Stupid!

Over the years education reform organizations, commonly known as ed deformers have minimized the role poverty plays in student academic achievement and blame the problem on "ineffective teachers". Now an article by Bill Hammond has shown that poverty is the major factor in low performing schools in New York State. While some studies have previously shown a correlation between single mothers in poverty and poor student academic achievement, there were no studies that connected the 178 "failing schools", oops struggling schools in New York State with poverty  However a new report has found just such a connection, a"lock step" correlation between the concentration of deep poverty in all the schools and their academic shortcomings.  In fact, the report showed that for every 10% increase in students in  poverty, the academic test scores in English and Math dropped 6.3 points  Since all the 178  "struggling schools"  have high concentrations of low income students, the results were proof that poverty greatly affects student academic achievement.

The report prepared by John Bacheller found that the 178 "struggling schools" had an average proficiency rate of 6%, compared to 30% for the entire State in English and Math.  The report also points out that poverty made up 79% of the test results while the rest were associated with schools, including teacher quality, budgets, resources, class size, and administration accounted for the remaining 21% of a student's test results.  This is in line with other studies and the American Statistical Association that found that any one teacher contributed between 1% and 14% of a child's academic achievement not the 50% that Governor Cuomo and his ed deformer allies pushed through. 

The ed deformers can complain all they want and blame it on "ineffective teachers" but this study shows the "lock step" correlation between "failing schools" and high concentrations of low income students as the primary reason for poor student academic achievement.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. The ed deformer sources in Hammond's article hit all the ed deformer talking points, but never address the poverty. A living wage, good health care, secure housing and safe neighborhoods would help children be ready to learn more.

Bronx ATR said...

Poverty, for many is a devasting factor, but it goes deeper than that. Many of my best (and most successful) students were poor. Two of my favorite (yes, teachers have favorites) were homeless. Both homeless kids were with their single fathers. One lived in his fathers car. The father worked as mechanic and they slept and lived out of the car. The difference with those kids is that they had a strong parent involved in their lives. The parent(s) also highly valued family and education. Many were also religious and the church (regardless of denomination) gave them stability and a strong moral foundation. Poverty is an issue with many students, but the lack of ambition to have a better life, morality and a cohesive family unit, in my opinion are greater obstacles - they are also much more difficult to quantify.

Third Path Man said...

Yup, and ALL of the Establishment candidates offer no hope in changing our domestic ,economic landscape. In fact, they are all responsible for The Greater Economic Depression we have been in for the longest time-or are lackies thereof. There is only one candidate who proposes major economic change...and he is being destroyed by this same Establishment. Extreme Globalization has destroyed the fabric of this country. The Bush and Clinton Crime Families have presided over this smokey wreck for how long now? Under Tricky Bill Clinton, our factories began to be shipped to China, down to the last bolt. Then he pulled NAFTA , claiming that it would actually help our economy here. The The Bush Crime Family came in, imploded the rest, and finished off the job. Bye bye America...hello to a vast poverty with no hope on the horizon...except for the lucky few.