7/30/2015 – We Won’t Get Great Teachers By Treating Them Badly

THIS WEEK: Poverty Hurts Kids’ Brains … Toll Of Inequitable School Funding … Kasich’s Lousy Education Record … Teacher Bathroom Privileges … Teachers Stuck With Classroom Costs


We Won’t Get Great Teachers By Treating Them Badly

By Jeff Bryant

“The bigger, unaddressed issues affecting teachers’ work environments are the current love affair with economic efficiency and the cognitive dissonance among believers in the education “reform” movement that although teachers are the ‘single most significant’ determiner of student academic outcomes, we need to make their jobs harder and less secure.”
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Poverty Disturbs Children’s Brain Development And Academic Performance

Scientific American

“For children, growing up poor hinders brain development and leads to poorer performance in schools … Up to 20% of the achievement gap between high- and low-income children may be explained by differences in brain development … Children who grew up in families below the federal poverty line had gray matter volumes 8 to 10% below normal development. [The researchers] did not find differences between children from middle class and affluent families but those only 50% above the poverty line showed gray matter volumes 3 to 4% below the norm … More money does not necessary mean better outcomes but at a certain point a ‘drop-off’ effect of income occurs where a lack of financial resources is detrimental to development.”
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‘These Kids Are Just Pawns’: The Rising Toll of Inequitable School Funding

NEA Today

“Reading, Pennsylvania is one of the nation’s poorest cities … Tour Reading’s 19 schools and you’ll see mostly aging buildings with broken floor tiles, leaky ceilings sprouting patches of mold, students crammed into too-small classrooms, and feral cats squatting under classroom trailers … Just a mile and a bridge away, Wyomissing Area School District – where 77% of students are White – spends a whopping $4,000 more per pupil each year. Students attend bright and modern schools, have a rich curriculum, and smaller class sizes … Research shows that students in districts with concentrated poverty benefit greatly from high-quality early childhood education, tutoring, ELL programs, dropout prevention measures, and other services … Those are the very programs that have been scaled back or cut altogether due to lack of funding in Reading schools.”
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What Ohio Gov. John Kasich Is Doing To Public Education In His State

The Washington Post

“With two-term Ohio Gov. John Kasich joining the crowd of candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, it’s a good time to look at the public education mess that has developed in his state … Under his watch, funding for traditional public schools … declined by some half a billion dollars, while funding for charter schools has increased at least 27% … despite the fact that many charters are rated lower than traditional public schools … Ohio charters … misspend tax dollars more than any other public sector.”
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Using The Restroom: A Privilege – If You’re A Teacher

The Atlantic

“A recent survey conducted jointly by the American Federation of Teachers and Badass Teachers Association asked educators about the quality of their worklife … 3 in 4 respondents said they ‘often’ feel stressed by their jobs… Of the various everyday workplace stressors educators could check off, one of the most popular was ‘lack of opportunity to use restroom’ … putting it in third place only after time pressure and disciplinary issues … One of the most pervasive strains on teachers’ lives at work has little to do (at least directly) with the problems that get the most attention in policy circles and the media.”
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Teachers Are Spending Thousands to Stock Classrooms With Basic Supplies


Classroom teacher Bronwyn Harris writes, “During my last year of teaching, I spent over $5,000 of my own money on my classroom during the year, and I know I wasn’t alone. On an annual salary of $42,000, that was hardly pocket change … Many public schools, even districts located in wealthy areas, do not give their teachers any money for supplies … Even the more generous PTA grants of $500 or higher don’t provide for much past the initial setting up of a classroom … Relying on private donations only works in middle- and upper-class areas … You often find teachers purchasing food for children who don’t eat enough at home. I’ve had friends buy clothing for children, especially socks and underwear, and I even know one teacher who bought a bed for a student who didn’t have one.”
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