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Showing posts from January, 2018

Mayor de Blasio admits homelessness cannot be eliminated immediately.

After four years of blaming his predecessor, Mayor Bloomberg, for moving so slowly on housing the homeless, Mayor de Blasio finally admitted that it will take years to house so many homeless people. De Blasio discovered this when the homeless population increased from 50,000 to 62,000 during his administration. Perhaps it isn't all of a mayor's fault.

   To add a different perspective, let us take a look at New York State and its inability to commit resources to the city's problem. During the Bloomberg administration, the state cut funding to the homeless from $164 million in FY2002 to $110 million in FY2012, a 33 percent cut.  In addition, the state cut the funding to one of the few programs to permanently house the homeless, the Advantage Program. Not only did the state cut the program, but the state also passed legislation that the city could not use other state funds for the program.

   Then of course there is the federal government that has cut millions of dollars ou…

How Poverty Affects Children's Education

The greatest complaint I have of educational reformers is their belief that our public schools should be able to educate children even if the children come from poverty. It is poppycock. The research over years has demonstrated that poverty has demonstrative effects on children's learning. Let me cite a few examples of that research using Eric Jensen's article, "How Poverty Affects Classroom Engagement."Health affects the poor. The poor have more untreated ear infections and hearing loss issues (Menyuk, 1980); greater exposure to lead (Sargent et al., 1995); and a higher incidence of asthma (Gottlieb, Beiser, & O'Connor, 1995) than middle-class children. Each of these health-related factors can affect attention, reasoning, learning, and memory. Nutrition plays a crucial role as well. Children who grow up in poor families are exposed to food with lower nutritional value. This can adversely affect them even in the womb (Antonow-Schlorke et al., 2011). Moreover,…

Education is big business

The United States has the highest poverty rate in the developed world. It has the second highest poverty rate for children (23.1%) in the developed world beaten only by Romania. Sheldon Danziger, the director of the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan said:  “Among rich countries, the U.S. is exceptional,” he said. “We are exceptional in our tolerance of poverty.”

   In the last post, I documented how horrific poverty is for children's well being. How do we educate our children when almost 1/4th are dealing with poverty issues - poor health, terrible nutrition, sometimes horrible lives with homelessness and domestic violence, and meager preschool education? We don't. We have a bifurcated school system, one for the well to do richly funded with great results, and the other, usually in the inner cities or rural countryside, that is poorly funded with failing results. This story has not changed for decades. The reformers have changed. Once we had education…