Oct 22

Reading Reflection Eight: Access to Education

By Tuesday at 1:30, post a comment addressing issues related to high-poverty schools, access to education, and the achievement gap. For example, why do you think there are such large disparities between school achievement in high and low poverty neighborhoods?  What can be done to address these issues?  Do teacher incentives to bring high quality teachers to low-income schools work? What else can be done to encourage teachers to go to these schools and to keep them from “burning out”?  What experiences do you have with high poverty schools in your own lives?  And so on….


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  1. George Goodman

    The disparities between school achievement in high and low poverty neighborhoods stems primarily from the community culture that exists beyond the school gates. I went to middle and high school in communities with a decent amount of poverty, so I witnessed problems that high poverty schools have first hand. A no care attitude develops as the normal and cool way to think and act at school. Many of these students get caught up in a mindset that what they learn at school doesn’t matter, so school becomes an arena for trouble making, drugs, gangs, and other negatives that can primarily be found in high poverty areas. The sad part of it all is that the students who actually come to school to learn and have aspirations to be a doctor, lawyer, businessman one day, are looked down upon as being a nerd. Now I will tell you a solution to this problem. In high poverty areas, they need to bring the fun to school. Have programs that students can choose such as auto shop, metal shop, and woodworking. Have more than half the student’s day at school be customized to what they want to do. Learning should be done through games and activities such as the Karunatree game that the guest lecturer showed us during the last class to explain topics such as environmental science. This will create a mentality that school is a cool place where I actually want to learn. In addition, incentives should be made to teachers who succeed in the classroom. I have had some bad teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District who knew their job was safe and didn’t care a bit about whether their students were learning. Lastly, there needs to be more efforts on after-school programs and youth sports in these areas in order to keep away the negatives that lie outside the school gates.

    1. Patricia Chiu

      That’s a good idea, making classes more interactive and fun. In addition, I agree; last week’s Karunatree presentation was really cute! However, it will be difficult for teachers to make classes fun all the time. Do you think that students of your past schools will be interested in learning if only some of the classes were fun?

      My suggestion in my blog is to have diagnostic tests in the beginning of the school year year and to be given to all new students. In this way, instructors can keep tabs on what topics need to be reviewed or taught. I know that this isn’t a surefire way to cease the disparity present in whether a certain race/ethnicity or demographic will succeed but it doesn’t hurt to try if it hasn’t been done yet.

    2. Brenda Ramirez

      Hi George.
      You offer some good ideas for making school more educational. However, I must disagree with your solutions.

      First, a student that is really into his/her school-work is a nerd in rich or middle class schools too. This problem exists regardless of socioeconomic status.

      Second, making high poverty schools more “fun” or “interactive” automatically assumes that children living in poverty lack concentration and attention. Of course that is not true.

      Third, offering classes such as metal shop and other vocational trades will not offer much in opportunities for advancement. Working as a beautician, mechanic, or in another customer service related industry does not offer ways into create so much wealth that one will be able to advance from a lower socioeconomic rank into the next. While it is possible, it is only a solution to offer a trade, not an education.

      This is a difficult issue and will require a very complex answer. While you offer guaranteed ideas to make school more learning friendly, they are not complete solutions.

    3. David Moghissi

      Interesting posts here. I wonder what type of role “magnet” or specialty schools can play in addressing this problem. Where I’m from we don’t have too many of these alternative educational routes but, from what I’ve heard recently, they seem to be effective.

  2. Patricia Chiu

    According to the reading, “gaps in immediate enrollment rates by family income, parents’ education, and race/ethnicity have persisted over time.” There is a correlation between family income, parents’ education, and race/ethnicity. The majority of Caucasian children, who have had parents graduate from universities and are middle class or higher, often do go to college like their parents. Not only do the influence of their parents to have them go to school play a role in having them go to college, but, because there is also a correlation between obtaining degrees and landing a well-paying job, the parents’ steady cash flow can support them through school. Because races/ethnicities (as stated in the reading), such as Hispanics, are more likely to be immigrants or have immigrant parents, many parents may not have enough money to send their children to college. As a result of starting a new life from the ground up, immigrant parents cannot teach their children because the language in which the subjects are taught are foreign to them. Thus, children of immigrants may struggle in school because they may not know how to get help or are too embarrassed to ask for it because their peers are doing well and don’t need help.

    The solution for this disparity may be to have all new students, regardless of their race/ethnicity, take diagnostic tests ranging from history to math. This way, the instructors can see what these students need to work on. It is probably preferable if this disparity be started as early on in the education process as possible, such as elementary school and middle school.

  3. Diana Garcia

    It is sad to say but where you live does matter, the disparities between school achievement in high and low poverty schools has nothing to do with the children but rather with the expectations the school has for them. I have been part of the LAUSD all my life I have experienced high poverty schools, I am one of those students who qualify for free or reduce meals. It is easy to say that student just simply are not motivated or have parents that do not care about their education. What statistics do not mention is that these parents for the most part have to work two jobs to be able to support their families, they cannot be as involved as they would like to. I know studies have shown a correlation between parent’s education and the success outcome but there is more to it, my parents do not have more than a fifth grade education, do not speak English and here I am despite the odds.

    The problem in these high poverty schools is that students are not given the resources to succeed, I remember going to classes that did not have enough books for all the students or had pages missing or were written on. These schools need better funding and in order to get the funds they need to perform well but in order to perform they need to be encouraged. Teachers need to be able to relate to the students and engage them. All teachers become teachers because they want to make a difference but when they do not have the school supporting them, they stop caring and that is when students begin to go off track. I think teachers need to have the support of the school and that the schools should look to have a diverse faculty. Speaking from personal experience, Latino teachers were the ones that opened up my eyes and inspired me to go on to higher education because they showed me that is was possible to make it and be successful.

    I also think that students need to have after school programs, whether it is tutoring or sports. Children in these communities are surrounded by gang violence and drugs, they need a safe environment and for many of them school is the only place that can provide that. By being part of a club or team students learn responsibility, which will improve their academics. Schools need to nourish the talent they have in these students and tell them that they have options. Many parents discount college as a option for their children because they think they cannot afford it, they are not given information about state and federal aid. Communication between the school and family is definitely one thing that needs to be addressed immediately.

    1. Jessica Yen

      I totally agree with you on how children in dangerous neighborhoods are in need of an afterschool program. I think clubs or sports are a great way to develop the characteristics you mentioned and to also ensure their safety as well. Also, you made a very good point about how many parents do not think they can afford college so they don’t even consider the option for their children. I never thought of that idea because I never had that problem, but it is a true reality for many people.

      1. David Moghissi

        Perhaps high schools from poorer areas could partner with nearby universities and bus their students in for afterschool programs two or three times a week. This could help provide high school students with solid role models and emphasize the role higher education could play in their lives.

        1. Ai-Thuan Nguyen

          I think that is a great idea but the only problem is getting the money needed to start up this program. Most of the time, the parents are working 9 hour shifts and by the time they get home, they will be too tired to do anything. The kids have to take the initiative but that is going to be a problem. My solu

          1. Ai-Thuan Nguyen

            solution** is to bring the role models to the school and start there.

  4. Jessica Yen

    I think there are large disparities between school achievements in high and low poverty neighborhoods because of the different skilled teachers, resources allocated, neighborhood environment, and family influence among the two. Children who are from low poverty neighborhoods generally do not have roles models who went to college or know of anyone who emphasized education. Also, from my Education courses at UCI I learned that the bulk of new teachers are assigned to bad districts or schools since no professional teacher chooses to teach at an urban area. Hence, inexperienced teachers do not know how to properly relate or control their students and quit their jobs within five years. Also, in low poverty schools, the lockers, facilities, and books are run down or old. Due to this, not having the right resources to allocate to students influences them to not want to try hard since it looks unappealing. Lastly, if the environment was poor and dangerous, many students would not feel safe coming to school and would probably want to stay home instead.

    A good example of this could be seen from my personal experience when I used to be a tutor mentor for high-risk students at Santa Ana. I would help students from the ages of five to twelve, and the majority of these kids are considered at-risk, meaning they are poverty stricken, have parents who use drugs, immigrant family members who are not acculturated fully, or divorced parents. In addition, many of the children I used to work with lived in a single room apartment with five or more family members. Moreover, the bulk of these kids do not know of anyone who went to college or understand the importance of education. In comparison, now that I am working with wealthy kids at the Early Child Education Center at UCI, I notice how immensely privileged they are to have parents who are a part of the UCI staff, who have attention from at least ten different helpers in a classroom, an entire backyard filled with bicycles and jungle gyms for themselves, and individual sleeping cots for their naps.

    I think one of the most effective ways to address this issue would be to attract more mentors or volunteers. This way, students from underprivileged backgrounds can have someone to look up to and maybe relate to the volunteers. Also, obtaining individualized attention from a mentor may make the student feel like they have to be more accountable with their studies. Moreover, volunteers can possibly organize fundraisers to help collect donations or textbooks to aid the school.

    I think teacher incentives to bring high quality teachers to low-income schools will work. For instance, Teach for America is a highly honorable program where gifted college students are recruited to teach in poor neighborhoods while getting pay and earning their credentials for teaching. Although this program requires a two-year commitment, after working with Teach for America, you do not need to go to graduate school to teach. With tough experience, pay, and credentials under your belt, it seems that you will be prepared for any situation after. Other methods of incentives to bring high quality teachers to low-income schools may be raising the salary or benefits for the educators, although I do not totally agree with this method. In my opinion, since teaching is an respectable profession that requires genuine compassion and love for the job, it should not be a big deal whether you are placed with certain types of students.

  5. Brenda Ramirez

    Why do you think there are such large disparities between school achievement in high and low poverty neighborhoods?

    I believe there are large disparities between school achievement in high and low poverty neighborhoods because our country is still progressing from the segregation and racist past this country used to have.
    While the website did not state it, I noticed that many of the charts were broken down into sex, color or race or ethnicity, and income level. Historically, the same groups that face more educational challenges now are the same groups that had some sort of barrier to overcome to become equal. This may sound negative, but one must bear in mind that our country, and especially California, has seen a lot of progress in access to opportunities for all.

    The civil rights movement occurred within the past 100 years. A lot of change has occurred within the late 60’s and still continues to change. Solutions to this problem are difficult to find since this issue relates to so many other social issues. However, even though it may not seem fast enough, education is improving overall.

  6. Alejandro Barraza

    When I entered the “Condition of Education” website my first focus was on finding the mission statement, their purpose. From what I read, the goal of the “Condition of Education” is to monitor the progress of education in the United States. It accomplishes this goal by focusing on indicators, like “participation and persistence in education, student performance and other measures of achievement, the environment for learning, and resources for education.” Two weeks ago I read an article on how teacher tenure is holding elementary and secondary education back, and one of the points the article makes is that teachers are not held responsible. And this lack of responsibility is reaffirmed by the fact that not one of the indicators has to do with teachers.
    “Participation and persistence in education” is referring to the overall effort in improving education, “student performance and other measures of achievement” is referring to the students, and the “environment for learning and resources of education” is looking into specifically the environment and what this environment provides. If a school would do poorly we would look at everything, but the teacher. Teaching is a tough job and not everybody could be a teacher, I personally believe that teaching is an innate ability. Also, I am not stating that the majority of teachers are bad, but not all teachers are good either. From, 2005 to 2008 the percentage of people dismissed for poor performance in Denver was 0%, Chicago was .1%, and in Akron, Ohio it was 0%.
    Also, the gap between the rich and the poor in the education department can be traced back to teacher tenure. The majority of families that are in poverty send their children to public schools, and in these public schools tenure is the reason why bad teachers not being fired. In contrast, in private schools or schools that rich families send their children teachers are held accountable for their students’ progress. In other words, there is one system that teachers are being held accountable for their student’s success and in the other they aren’t. Unfortunately, the students that need the teachers that give the extra time and effort don’t find these type of teachers in public school teachers.

  7. Dillon Gamboa

    The big difference between these types of neighborhoods are income. The income that a parent brings in will dictate where a family will be placed. Sure a family wants to choose the best living conditions for their family, but in reality you choose what you can afford. I personally lived in a pretty well off neighborhood, so I am somewhat unable to relate to this topic. However, I do know that we had an elementary school that my community service organization wanted to work with to help promote reading and studying overall.

    The only reason we were brought to this attention was because of our Middle school Principal and also the elementary school’s librarian. To bring in teachers like these or principals, it doesn’t take incentives in my opinion. I think it takes a teacher that is willing to go through with the idea that some of their students might fail, but that still have the mentality that there is still that chance that they can succeed. I think showing teacher the benefits of working with these students and actually getting the chance to make a bigger impact on a student that might have given up should be enough to get teachers in. However, this will still be a difficult task I think that showing them may get the best results.

    Since I haven’t been able to witness/work with this type of environment, this is one of the why I choose to work with KidWorks. They will expose me to a different side of Orange county and allow me to expand my borders as a person.

  8. Krystin Uyema

    I think there are disparities in high and low poverty schools because of budget funds. Those living in high poverty probably get noticed more by the community because it is nicer and wealthier. In low poverty neighborhoods where violence is more common, children are prone to become attracted to violence and not education. I believe it depends on the teacher if he/she wants to teach at low-income schools in exchange for incentives. It may be a little hard adjusting, but if he/she is willing to work with these students then he/she will enjoy it. If teachers need to be motivated to teach at a certain school then I don’t think they should be teaching there. Just seeing students achieve and grow should be fulfilling enough for them. A teacher is meant to educate students and help them accomplish the most they can, but if they are being picky about where they want to teach because of the neighborhood then it seems very contradicting.

  9. Jennifer Lazaro

    I personally believe that there is such a great amount of disparities between school achievements because there is an unequal distribution of funds in schools. Ever since the No Child Left Behind started, schools have been getting worse. Schools that were already labeled high-poverty schools stayed the same or got even worse due to their students. Students that were already in a bad situation were going to still produce problems unless the school was given more funds. And now with this program, these same schools cannot get more money because their students keep producing bad scores. Because the schools are not getting enough funds, students don’t seem to care about school. The student’s apathy reflects the school. On the other hand, students that go to school in better neighborhoods tend to be better equipped due to the location and outside funds that the student’s own parents provide. Of course there is an unbalance.

    What we can do, we can help the most needed. There are program that help those students, but only focus on the “smart ones,” such as magnet schools, where students that qualify due to their grades and test scores can be bused out to another school to get a better education. But what about the rest? What about those that are left behind. It’s important that when we try to help the students, we focus on every student.

    Most teachers do not want to work with these students, they all want good behaving students. Because of this, the students in high poverty schools are stuck with the lowest qualified teachers that eventually (Not in all cases) not bother to teach them the material. We need better teachers, more funds and more programs to help the students. I should know because I come from a school that fits everything that a high-poverty school has. I strongly believe that if it were not for the programs that were offered as an outreach source, I would not be here today. It is important that more programs such as the one that I was part of, help out schools with high poverty rate. Then maybe the gap can close down.

  10. Andre Navarro

    I think a lot has to do with home life and family/community values. I feel every family wants the best for their children but important matters like helping support the family’s financial stability, might predominate over elementary arithmetic. Children are like sponges they absorb a lot! So when a child from a relatively wealthy household goes home they (assumingly) receive more positive attention about their school work, which tells the child that school is important; thus, financial stability entails more time devoted to positive reinforcement. On the flip side, a family which does not have finance stability and is considered living in “poverty” may not have the time to devote to positive reinforcement of their child’s school work. However I do not believe this is the case all the time.
    I feel incentives for the teachers to teach at these schools would be beneficial; however, I do think that it is the child’s responsibility to really want to learn. A mark on the piece of paper is only so gratifying for a child. Incentives might seem a little unfair for these children; however, we understand that there are disparities with in these neighborhoods so why not combat that with some financial kickbacks for the child’s progress in school?

    A documentary was brought to my attention (Waiting For Superman) a trailer for the movie can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKTfaro96dg

    Maybe and extra credit point for seeing this movie would be an idea…

    1. Stephen Mendez

      I saw that trailer too. This movie really tackles the issue of public education in America and how it fails to meet adequate standards. As one of the world’s most powerful nations, it is crucial that as a country we educate children to become responsible, intelligent adults who are capable of running this this country and resolving problems better than past generations have. It is highly apparent that children have been receiving the short end while politicians and other irresponsible adults have squandered money on less important items. There needs to be more accountability and incentives for teachers and students and administrators. Someone previously mentioned diagnostic tests from when children enter grade levels, this sounds like a good idea because it not only provides a teacher with an idea of what a child needs to improve on but also provides a reference point in the end of the year to see if a child has improved in any areas. But this single measure won’t help if other measures aren’t set to incentivize teachers and children to do better while discouraging cheating or cutting corners. As many have mentioned before me, this is most crucial in impoverished neighborhoods. I grew up with a single parent who earned just enough money to put a roof over our heads and food on the table,and I never expected to be able to go to a University such as UCI. Through my entire high school career I was clueless while I took advice of counselors to enroll in AP classes. It is thanks to them that I was able to come here. I don’t know what my high school was doing, but it was doing something right.

  11. Rachel Berman

    Just in the two schools I have been teaching I have learned so much about the disparity and struggle in both schools in low-income schools as well as in well funded ones. Last year i taught in an elementary school where many professor’s children attend. Speaking with my host teacher there she talked about how much pressure there is being a high ranking school and wanting to continue that ranking by pushing the students in standardized testing. She was disheartened because there was one special ed student in her class who she worked the most with and had shown the most improvement, but he nor she would be acknowledged for that because of the values of the school. Now I am teaching in a classroom with many spanish speaking children, some who are still struggling with very basic english. They have tutors and special groups coming in and out of the classroom throughout the one hour I teach. The difference I find in the students is that they are so eager to learn new things. At the other school the students eventually warmed up to me and were less skeptical of my lessons, but at my current school they were warm from the beginning. The host teacher also has a warmth about her and is wonderful with the huge range of learners in her classroom. Sometimes it seems a bit like a circus act, but there is no doubt learning is achieved.

  12. David Moghissi

    The large disparities we see in school achievement between high and low poverty neighborhoods can be decreased by initiatives taken outside school gates. Because poverty is one of the driving factors behind the academic achievement gap, it is important to note that high levels of poverty are correlated with high levels of crime which, over time, can infiltrate the school environment and damage the educational process. I believe that any solution should have at least two fronts: one focusing on improving a school’s internal performance and another focusing on improving the economic status of areas surrounding troubled schools.

    To help boost the effectiveness of our education system, efforts should be made to stimulate economic growth in poverty-sticken areas. Government incentives from the state and federal level can help adjust taxes, provide funding, and promote business/economic growth in high-poverty areas with a notable education achievement gap. Such efforts – alongside the use of teacher-based incentives to bring high quality teachers to areas of high poverty – can go a long way to improve education in America. The use of “magnet” and speciality schools can also help provide students from poorly performing schools alternative roads success. One this is for sure, this problem is certainly complicated and multifaceted. As such, any solution should address this challenge from many different angles and be multidimensional in nature.

  13. Noelia

    According to The Condition of Education, high poverty schools seem to have one thing in common; the students in attendance are predominantly Black and Hispanic. Why is this so? Is there some sort of ethnic barrier that stands in the way? Is it unequal distribution of funds? In an era characterized by acceptance, tolerance and integration, is there still segregation? Maybe differing world views and expectations are cause for educational disparities. It is clear that there is no one single answer but rather numerous possibilities. What is indisputable is that poverty and lack of access to high quality education in its majority, go hand in hand. Although many efforts have been made to allocate funds to “at risk” youth, poverty goes beyond the classroom into the home and, I would argue, becomes like a culture all its own. Unfortunately Black and Hispanic alike must fight against those would be hindrances to achieve what is the norm for others.

  14. Omeid Heidari

    Low Socio-Economic living conditions have always been a trouble area to fix in tems of Public Health. Access to healthy food, public resources such as safe parks and low crime rates, and access to a quality education are the leading problems. A number of measures can be taken to improve the quality of public education in the area, but all require the drive to show the students of the area their personal worth and potential with a proper education. Believing in their ability to succeed is the first step in motivation for pursuing a quality education. Other measures would be opening more charter school where there could be more personal attention between teachers and students. I personally attended a charter high school (9-12 grade size < 400 student) and feel that it boosted my ability to be a better prepared college student. Schools this size also reduce social stigmas associated with coming from a low SES background that is normally exhibited in a lager population school. Breaking apart from this stigma that low SES students do not succeed with boost any students potential for success. These students only need a bit more attention rather than ridicule to realize that they are truly smart and can make the most of the education

  15. Christine Thrasher

    In general, high-poverty schools have more students belonging to racial minorities and more crime. These students come from disadvantaged families, and because they are busy worry about their difficult family situations, often lack the time to put into their school work. As children who come from families where the parents often did not go to college, they are not encouraged or inspired to do so themselves. In addition, high-poverty schools lack the funding to bring in the best teachers, and turnover rate is higher than at other schools, due to teachers becoming burned out and abandoning the school. Because of this, students at high-poverty schools have a much smaller chance at educational success in the future.

    I believe that one of the most important things in solving the educational problems of kids in high-poverty schools is to give them tools and resources to cope with their family life and improve their situation at home. This should include a good school counseling program for troubled children. In addition, they should be given access to enrichment programs that will allow them to learn more hands-on and practical skills that they will need to secure a job, such as learning about technology, automotive repair, and other skills that will put them ahead.

  16. Karina Venegas

    There is a clear difference between high poverty schools and the more wealthier schools. I come from a valley where there is really poor schools and very rich ones too. Of course the high poverty school were the public schools were the students were predominantly low income/middle class Hispanics. I went to public school all the way to high school and I think I noticed the difference between schools more when I was in high school. On top of not being a wealthy school my high school was new when I entered as a freshman, which meant there were not many clubs, school activities, sports, or AP classes. The school is going for it’s eight year and I believe they still offer the same AP classes they did when I graduated almost four years ago. This lack of resources really affect students because they are not as well exposed to different activities, knowledge, etc as students from wealthier schools do. In contrast, last year I met a girl from my same valley who went to a private school and I was shocked of all the AP classes she took while she was in high school, my school didn’t even compare. It just made me think that students from high poverty schools aren’t as well prepared as students from other schools. Therefore, I believe that the reason there is such a large disparity between schools of low and high poverty neighborhoods is the money. Students whose parent’s afford a school with low poverty are probably educated and wealthy and therefore these students are more likely to do well in school than low income students with uneducated parents. Of course, this is not the case all the time, but majority of the time this is true.

    I think after school programs are a good idea for high poverty schools. Also, students from high poverty schools need more motivation to continue their education whether by a counselor or a teacher. They also need more information about college, perhaps visiting colleges would help motivate them .

  17. Alexis Utanes

    I believe that the large disparities between school achievement in high and low poverty neighborhoods are largely due to the environment school age children are exposed to. Many grew up in a society where most of their parents did not have a good educational background, so they were not raised with the right examples nor given any expectations to accelerate in school for brighter future. In addition, without the proper resources to effectively run classrooms (i.e. learning materials, overcrowded rooms, much needed building repairs), students are less encouraged to pursue education. As a result, countless numbers of kids drop out of school or do not consider continuing past high school. I think what needs to be done is a better allocation of education funds from each level of government. According to this week’s reading, “One in Six Public School Students Now in High-Poverty Schools.” I believe it is unfair that poorer students are separated into “high-poverty schools,” because it is unfair to group students into schools based on income. There should be more opportunities extended to less fortunate students. For example, the State should allow students from poor areas to attend public school in more well-off areas, offering free transportation and financial aid.

  18. Elim Loi

    I think there are such large disparities between school achievement in high and low poverty neighborhoods because of the schools, teachers, students or students’ families. Schools in high poverty neighborhoods may not have as much support or extra time and money from students’ families because they might be very busy trying to work a lot to make their living and unable to be as involved in schools as a lot of parents are in low poverty schools. I think parent teacher organizations that thrive more in low poverty schools make a difference in working to improve everything about schools and teaching so this may contribute to their schools’ achievements. Teachers can be encouraged to go to these schools to make a difference in their students’ lives to want to learn and achieve higher in school. Because of how they affect their students, they can work hard with them to know that they can change the pattern of their school and its future achievements by bringing up their reputation.

    In my own experience, there is an elementary school that is right down the street from my house that has a poor reputation for scores and school achievements. The student population is almost 100% hispanic and most of them are from high poverty neighborhoods nearby. It divides an area that has a lot of poverty from another area that doesn’t. The school district it is in has an overall poorer reputation than the district right next to it. The way the district lines are drawn includes us in this district, even though we are closer to the middle and high school of the other district. it was interesting that every one of my neighbors were sent to private schools or got inter-district transfers to go to other schools because none of the families wanted their children at those schools. However, i recently read about the elementary school’s achievement of the most improved standardized testing score in the district, so that is really great for them and it is apparent that the teachers and students are both trying hard. Also, my little brother was the only one to stay and attend middle and high school in the district and the schools seem to be improving each year and offering him unique opportunities that he may not have received at competitive schools were everyone was a high achiever.

  19. Natasha Zubair

    Disparities between school achievement in high and low poverty neighborhoods exist because of factors like poor staffing, poor home-life, and poor program coordination.

    I went to a lecture/seminar today by Rick Morris on campus and he was saying that 6% of a what/if a child learns is beyond the teacher’s control, 16% is what and how a teacher teaches that child, but 78% of learning has to do with the relationship that a teacher builds with his/her student. Some schools aren’t blessed to have an adequate amount of teachers who can give their students high quality attention whereas some teachers carry apathetic/snappy attitudes that also affect a student’s learning in a negative way.

    Though poor family life can be seen in wealthier neighborhoods, it is also often seen in poorer neighborhoods when neither parent is home due to work. Sometimes, close to no importance is placed on gaining an education or making it to college because it isn’t one of the family’s core values. These can influence the way a child is receiving his/her education.

    Finally, schools need to cater to the needs of those who attend the school: the students. If the programs and learning methods aren’t specifically designed to target the students’ needs, then their education won’t be fulfilling or appealing to them. Schools need to assess what type of teaching and other programs should be administered at the school so that way the intended audience is just the kids that attend the school.

  20. Symone Magsombol

    I believe that there are such large disparities between school achievements in high and low poverty neighborhoods mainly because the amount of resources and different opportunities outreached towards the two different ends of socio-economic classes. Many times the low poverty neighborhoods are more prone to receiving higher education and better quality of learning over those living in high poverty areas because the financial input the government decides to invest upon education in such areas. Also, the environment in which a school is surrounded by indeed affects the outcome of the quality of education. The community of the surrounding school could also influence and make an impact towards what actions should be taken in order to improve the value of education for younger generations, as well as the active community leaders within each region. Giving high quality teachers to low-income schools could work depending on the situation. The school’s incentives for the teacher’s higher pay is an obvious incentive for them, however if schools really showed how much of a difference these high quality teachers could have an effect within a school, I really think that would be a better incentive for them to be encouraged t go to these schools to teach. If they are shown that they can really make a difference, then the likely hood of them going to these schools will be much higher. I do not have much personal experience with high poverty schools in my own life, but from my own personal experience especially in high school, if my teacher was a very motivational and well-instructed teacher, I was also eager to go to class because of their skills to make me more engaged into school, and the subject that they teach. In all, I believe if teachers were given more recognition for teaching in high poverty neighborhoods to teach the less privileged, education will certainly advance towards fixing the large disparity between school achievement in the high and low poverty neighborhoods.

  21. Natalie Chau

    I believe there are such large disparities between school achievement in high poverty and low poverty schools because low poverty schools have more money than high poverty schools. The low poverty schools are able to afford better teachers and buy better supplies/school equipment for the students than high poverty schools. Also high poverty schools consist of so many students who don’t care about school. My research professor told me that she helped out with a science program at a high poverty school. And when she was there, none of them (with a few exceptions) was interested in it. She also told me that many of them always talked about how they planned to quit and drop out of school once they turned 16 to work. And it’s really sad because the students were seventh graders and dropping out of school and working were their big plans.
    I think to solve the problem, more fun programs should be held in school to help engage the students. However, this won’t always solve the problem because my research professor was helping with the science program where she would just come up with fun experiments for the students to do, and it still didn’t engage all the students. This is a hard issue to solve because once the students get older, it’s kind of too late to solve their mindset about school. I think an effective solution would be one that influences school achievement in the very beginning when the students are still very young.

  22. Nicole Fulbright

    The students who go to either high or low income schools are very aware of their situations. They know whether they go to the “good” school or not in their community. They realize that there is a large disparity between the two, and I believe that this knowledge is what causes the disparity in the first place. Many people who are stereotyped become whatever that stereotype is, because doing what is expected of you is far easier than being independent and breaking social confines. Children who go to these low poverty, high performing schools feel the pressure by their families, teachers and peers to do well in school because it is what is expected of them. While in high poverty schools, these students know that expectations for their achievement is quite low. They have no one to let down, giving them complete freedom to decide they don’t really care about school. And I’m not saying that this applies to everyone, but I think that a lot of people do fall into this situation on both sides…. Family is also a huge factor in whether students succeed academically or not. Students who attend high poverty schools are many times first generation to the U.S. Growing up, all of my rich classmates were white and everyone else who was more like the average American tended to have been an immigrant. And again, I am not generalizing, but from what I have seen growing up, it is difficult to start a new life in a new country and for a while it may reflect on your children. These children may not be able to ask their parents for help on their homework, simply because they may not understand English very well. Also, children with low income families may have parents who work lower paying jobs, but far more hours, so they are not around to be involved in the child’s academic life. High income parents are able to spend more time with their children to help them with their homework or support them however they can.

  23. Justyne Catacutan

    In general, our education in the United States is not that great, specifically referring to California. The public education program in California is one of the poorest ranked. With taking into consideration of high-poverty schools to low poverty schools in reference to their neighborhoods, it is obvious that the financial aspect is very important. The funding in public education has decreased. It’s sad to think that California would rather spend their funding on jails rather than the focus on the youth of the future. In general, I think that high-quality teachers coming to high-poverty schools is ideal, but minimal. Unless there is the incentive of getting paid more, I don’t think it would be a good turnout. They don’t know what to expect from the school. Will the kids be open to learn? WIll their be supplies? Etc. I think if people believe in change, they would help teaching and funding in high-poverty schools. For me, I attended private catholic schools up until the end of high school. It was my parent’s choice to enroll me their because they felt the schools were more disciplined. If I were to change anything, I would have attended a public high school because it seems more beneficial to get into a public university. Education is having a big problem. Considering the recession, I feel that more youth will be attending public schools and universities, so it is out time to change the quality of them.

  24. Anthony La

    The discrepancy of school achievement in high and low poverty neighborhoods show the troubling academic cycle for kids in poorer household. It seems as though children born in these less fortunate homes have a higher disposition to not succeed.

    For instance if you were born in a wealthier community you would have all the best resources at your disposal to succeed. You have the best teachers, the most up to date libraries and books, and heck not having to get a job gives you more time to study or pursue your hobbies.

    Being born into a needy family on the other hand changes everything. I’m not saying you can’t be successful but it’ll just be more challenging. Chances are your parents are already working multiple jobs just to keep food on the table. They therefore don’t have the time to spend with you to go over your homework or to provide moral guidance through parental care. You’re thus more likely to join a gang ( which are coincidentally more prevalent in your neighborhood) and lose grip of the path to success. The kids who are able to avoid joining gangs are nevertheless forced to leave school early to get a job so they can help their parents. Its just a never ending cycle.

    Its very hard to completely change the landscape of a city. When “South Central” was changed to South LA, the connotations of crime and violence still lingered when people think of that part of the city. I think it starts with city officials that are elected to office. They need to fight to better the lives of their constituents. They need to start i believe by pursuing more city projects to improve the aesthetic nature of the city to attract people from the outside.However, providing the funds for these projects would be difficult. Providing more jobs for the current residents would help them improve their lives. But you would be hard pressed to find people willing to open their businesses in these neighborhoods just because of the environment. Once again, a tragic cycle.

  25. Hyun Joo Lee

    I found it interesting that the question is formed in terms of high versus low poverty schools instead rich versus poor schools. It definitely brings another light to how we typically view the two extremes. In a way, “high poverty” sounds a lot better than “poor” and I think people may pay more attention when they hear “high poverty” and want to help out more to solve the poverty. While it does not apply to all, I think some people usually don’t want to be associated as “poor” or with “poor” people. They consider helping out the poor as a waste of financial and capital resources because the results tend not to show significant or dramatic variation after the additional input of resources. Therefore, a vicious cycle is created. People with a higher socioeconomic position will not devote their resources in high poverty neighborhoods, but they choose to move to a better area and pour their money into the schools with a better ranking. Low poverty neighborhoods also require the people who live there to have a higher income than the amount of how much low income families make. Thus, low income families will have no choice to reside in an area with a higher percentage of poverty.

    Solutions to these issues are tough to execute because if polices are changed to benefit more the poor neighborhoods and the schools, the “rich” neighborhoods will definitely complain and start a campaign against the new changes in distributing money into each school. These families with more money will use that in their advantage to hire professionals to “fight back” and set everything in their favors. However, the low income families will have a difficult time to protect themselves as they are already limited in all sorts of resources. I do believe if the government can step in with a strong determination to solve these issues, improvement will surface.

    I’ve worked with students at Santa Ana district schools through the Humanities Out There (HOT) program, SAGE Scholars Program, and now, Think Together (for my service learning site). And I do notice the inequality in our education system, and it reminds me of the reality of “where a student lives/grown up in reflects the quality of education they receive” (Teach for America). I’ve also seen how this educational inequality affects students from fulfilling their potential because no one really believes in them. On the first day I went to volunteer at a high school in Santa Ana through the SAGE scholars program, the teacher told me, “Most of these students won’t be going to college. Maybe one of them will go to a cal state or UC, but most will go community college or work afterwards.” But contrary to her belief, when I talked to the students, most of them were interested in going to college and excited to learn about what college life is like. Nearly all of them had no access to these types of information. A lot of them seemed worried about the expensive tuition. They were not really aware of the application process to go to college. One student told me he really loved music and wanted to pursue music at UC Berkeley, but his grades were too low and he also felt he couldn’t really discuss these kinds of dreams with his counselor because it was not an option that was provided for him, so he had given up long time ago. He didn’t know that he still had a chance by going to a community college, working hard, and transferring. I think a lot of times, students want someone to believe in them and encourage them that they can do it. They are told too many times “no.” Often times, having someone believe in your potential can be the best motivations for someone to work hard and to make an impact in the community and their own lives. But, what often seems to be the case in high poverty schools is no one believing in them from the start. They have preconceived notions that these students won’t make it already because they are from this environment. And, students know that. If teachers and counselors aren’t encouraging, and if they don’t believe in their own students, how can these students believe in themselves?

  26. Cindy Arias

    I have personally dealt with how affective and wide the achievement gap can be through my own high school education and through my job helping high school students reach higher education goals. During high school, standards were often set that were thought to test and strenghten the abilities of students, however once i entered college I realized that those standards were very minimal to what other classmates were required to meet. It took personal drive and focus to reach a state of knowledge similar to higher education standards than what my high school education offered. One example was writing. My high school had a graduation requirement of a year long research paper with a presentation at the end of the year. Once I entered college, I realized that I had no research skills and little skill in writing an adequate paper. It felt as if i was learning something new, when I had previously been ‘taught’ that before. With the students I work I with, I have enocuntered problems in math. Many struggle with a teacher that is highly skilled but unable to adjust his teaching style to fit that of lower income students. The end result is many students failing his class and learning nothing. I believe that teachers with high credentials should teach inareas that they are needed the most, but specialized training is needed to teach teachers methods to help students learn in their own environment. Once that is established, students will beable to achieve more in terms of learning on their own and understanding concepts that will be helpful in their college careers.

  27. Kellie St. Pierre

    This topic is always a hard one to look at. However, with my experiences, I know some high poverty schools are really trying to make a difference. I did some field work at Franklin Elementary in Santa Ana and was asked to help with the after-school program. This afters-chool program was dedicated to providing the students with a balance of homework time, additional learning, arts and activities, exercise, and freetime activities such as cooking. I even led them in dance activities and stretching. The after-school program provided so many opportunities and activities for the students, I feel that they received the most benefits from the school! The program was so well rounded and the students never seemed like they didn’t want to be there. They are doing amazing things with the resources of the school and are truly passionate about making up for the lack of funds they have.

  28. Leslie Mendoza

    In a Psych class, we learned “self-efficacy.”
    In Chicano Studies, it was social cognitive theory.

    While it is true that there is a correlation with poor education and low income areas, income is but one factor that contributes overall to the problem at hand. I believe this because in contrast to other nations whose standard of living (or quality, I forget which term it is so please correct me) is much lower than ours, their education standard is much higher than us and somehow their students manage to obtain that. The reason for this is that these two subjects are held in such esteem I believe; it’s admired. Like my classmates said earlier, there is a character that is more admired than “the nerd.” He is known as “the slacker.” Through definition, this is what social cognitive refers to: an adaptation or learning that one acquires from living in his or her environment. If a person lives in a “school is important,” chances are higher (but does not guarantee) that that person will place emphasis on education as its polar opposite (just like the poor income dwelling person’s fate is not guarantee to forever stay in his environment. ” As a result, peer pressure creates a “factory” to reproduce what they have “learned.”

    To be honest though, I think the responsibility falls HEAVILY upon the the school staff. Why? It’s because I think sometimes, individuals want to be “good” but find it hard to do in amass of their peers. Sometimes, they need that extra help- someone to encourage them and tell them that yes! they can do it!!! Studies reflect that teachers who “believe” that certain students will do better in terms of learning and are “treated” differently than regular students- thus promoting education amongst only a select of them. On the other hand, if a teacher believes a student to be bad, that student no matter how hard he works will continuously lose motivation to try and “prove himself. ” I feel this because I’ve SEEN this in my own school. AND to my irritation, it’s still happening even though I graduated two years ago as I have been reading from my younger friends’ facebook statuses.

    Though I don’t see a problem with Diana’s solution of having afterschool activities (because as she said, it would encourage and promote a positive environment towards learning), the flaw would be that once again, it’s only a group of people who will be placed there. It won’t be a solution to everyone else in school. I feel the problem itself is the culture. We should strive to demonstrate to the children the importance and “fun” aspects of learning. We should strive for self-efficacy within class-rooms as a whole and not just in select groups of after school activities because then a genre will get left behind. And we should definitely give teachers to do a better job in teaching rather than being apathy to the students- by putting their job on the line (as harsh as it might sound). That way, if they fail, we can give the chance to someone else who truly cares about a child’s improvement and the apathetic teacher can go find something that’s more reflective on themselves.

  29. Leslie Mendoza

    *give teachers an incentive to do a better job**

  30. Kevin J. Son

    The large disparities between school achievement in high and low poverty neighborhoods is due to the differences in community and family income. If a school is near an environment where they are exposed to gangs, drugs, and thefts than many students education will plummet and instead turn for the worse. Family income also relates to what type of community the family situates themselves in. The wealthier family tends to give their children the best and safest community to live in. Also, when they live in a well-off community the children usually goes to a school where achievements is recognized and has teachers who cares about the students’ success. In contrast, students with low-income family are often located in schools that consist of some careless teachers and a school with a big diversity of students. I kind of relate to this because the high school I attended was a school where an enormous diverse group of students went and mainly consist of students with low-income family. My school wasn’t rated as one of the top high schools and there were many drug related activities occurring at my school. I also had some teachers that didn’t really care about the students’ education and allowed students to pass the class without much work.
    I honestly believe that teacher’s incentives to bring high quality teachers to low-income school will not make a difference. I believe that the teachers who are passionate about teaching and wanting to help the school succeed are the teachers that can make a difference in any school environment. Also, I believe the teachers that actually take time out to help the students in need and understand where the student comes from are the teachers that will make the difference in the student’s life. I believe teachers are the only ones who can encourage themselves to go to these schools because it really depends on their passion to teach.

  31. Nirav Bhardwaj

    I believe that the issues with disparities between low income and high income educational systems stems from outside the school. The neighborhood and culture which children grow up in is what shapes the culture in the classrooms. When people live in neighborhoods which suffer from a lot of poverty, they tend to place education low in the ranks of priorities. It is easy to diagnose what the problem is but it is extremely difficult to come up with a plan that will fix the issue.

    Personally I don’t think bringing in “great” teachers with an incentive program is the right way to go. To me that is like saying, just put premium gas and oil in your 1980 Ford and it will fix all your problems. The issues lie within the community. I believe that an organization like Kidworks in Santa Ana is something that can steadily change the culture of a low-income neighborhood and also change the mentality of the students living within the neighborhood.

    It has been proven that spending loads of money on education in low-income neighborhoods is not the way to go. Washington DC is a great example of this. I remember looking at some statistics a couple years back (please don’t quote me on this though). The statistics showed that the amount of money spent per student in Washington DC school districts is substantially higher than that of any other districts in the country. At the same time students from those Washington DC districts continue to perform poorly in the classroom.

    This is because a complete renovation is needed of the community. It starts with the police cracking down on the crime in the area. And then volunteer organizations like Kidworks coming into play. After that is when specific restorations to the staffing of schools within low-income districts should take place.

    If all else fails – privatize the schools within the low-income area. Make the tuition fully subsidized by the government for those who can not afford it and leave it up to the individuals running private schools to straighten everything out. This sounds intense and ludicrous but private schools tend to be quite successful these days.

  32. Dulshani BalasuriyaArachchi

    Like many other s have stated, I too there is large disparity between high and low poverty schools. My mom used to teach at one of the high poverty schools. Most of the student do not complete high school and drop out. This was mainly due to either not being able to afford to send the child to school as the parents could not pay for school supplies and other activities or older students drop out because they feel like they need to find a job to get money for their families and they think there is no point in completing high school as they will never be able to afford college. Not only the students, teachers too change schools because they do not receive the same benefits and treatments as teachers of low poverty schools do. Low poverty schools’ achievements are high because of the low dropout rates and also because they have enough funding to provide the low achieving students with the help they need. To improve the issue, I think, students need to be informed about importance and benefits of completing their education and have mentorship programs and more funding should be provided to the schools so that they could create extra tutoring or free tuition programs.

    1. Jennifer-Christine Madamba

      I definitely agree with you on your response. I think the government should offer more monetary benefits to those in low income areas. Programs should be offered to encourage children to stay in school especially to encourage them to pursue a higher education.

  33. Jennifer-Christine Madamba

    I think that there is such a large gap between school achievement in high and low poverty neighborhoods because of the influence and the resources. High poverty areas are more likely to lack updated books and materials to learn. Also, the influence around them might not be the best. Children living in that area may lack the motivation to pursue a higher education. Low poverty areas are more likely to afford more resources to teach the children such as books, projectors, games, etc. To be around more motivational people may influence them to become more influenced to study in school. I think in order to address these issues, more funding should be brought to higher poverty schools. I think giving teachers incentives to bring high quality teachers to low income schools does work because other than love for their jobs, teachers won’t be motivated to teach in a low income area. I think if a teacher is really inspired to change the educational experience of a student in a high poverty area then that should be his or her incentive. But statistically, it may be more difficult to teach child in a high poverty area due to lack of resources and motivation. Honestly, right now, especially in our economy, any financial or material incentive might be the driving force to encourage teachers to go to low income neighborhoods and teach those students. Honestly, I’ve never had an experience with high poverty schools. I went to a private school from 3rd grade to sophomore year of high school. The public schools I actually attended the other years were located in really nice neighborhoods. My graduating public high school actually had the highest test score average for our annual academic district wide public school tests. However, whenever someone mentioned schools in low income areas, it was known that they weren’t really intelligent or they lacked the motivation to go to college, etc. But I don’t think that it’s necessarily the case for some public schools. I actually think it’s really inspiring when someone from a low income area is really motivated to learn and be successful in their education. Sometimes, I think they have more motivation so that they can succeed and live a better life.

  34. Amy Sage

    I feel that there are large disparities between school achievement in high and low poverty neighborhoods, but there are several reasons. I think coming from an area of high poverty, students are not in the most nourishing educational environments. Either peers make fun of you for being a nerd and it’s not cool, probably in both situations, or in some ethnic communities you are viewed as “acting white” the more educated you become. But factors like low socioeconomic status, parents education level, geographical locations and so on all effect education in students, but more so in low income neighborhoods.

    There is not an emphasis as much in education, better teachers are harder to solicit into educations systems located in so called “bad neighborhoods”, and there seems to be a lack of funding to schools situated in poorer neighborhoods. Parents may not be able to help their children with class assignments, and many may not even know how to get their children into college or what the standard protocol is for applying to college or for financial aid.

    I am from a poor neighborhood, and when I was in High School my educational system was ranked very low in our state. I did not know how to apply for college, scholarships, or financial aid, but I took the initiative to learn, but it some areas it may be hard to find resources to learn from. In poorer neighborhoods there tends to be less individuals going to college or coming from a family that has college graduates, so many do not know how to find resources and knowledge.

    I believe that we do need motivated and passionate teachers to work in these areas, and that may take incentives, but I believe that the real change needs to focus more on the students. As a student from an area of high disparities, I find that we do know of all the statistics stacked against us and we do know that our schools aren’t the best, but individuals from “rougher” areas have more strength from surviving crazy situations. I think if we can instill confidence and self esteem in these young students, they have the potential to drastically change the future of their communities and the world in general.

  35. Brenson M Yu

    Poverty shapes the decision-making process for a youth, in the person they will become later. School achievement is balanced with what personal events happen at home, and the social environment (friends and teachers) a youth becomes part of. Access and value of an education exists if there is a supporting cast to guide and encourage youth to access those opportunities. From personal experience I grew up in a rural community where poverty was prevalent. In my opinion, poverty is shaped by experiences, and from those experiences the youth learns to handle and do something about their future.
    For example, I knew and had friends back home who didn’t value an education as I did. For the most part, the youth I knew had to work with their parents in labor jobs at a young age, and it became a standard for youth to work at a young age to support themselves for the meantime, or support their families entirely.
    The value incentive of an education tends to work when youth are introduced to an alternative and have the influence of a guardian to give advice and correct them along the way. During junior high, and high school a lot of parents were not involved in parent-teacher meetings, or college fairs. Therefore, students came home to a place where education was not valued, and put school on the bottom of their priority list.
    Many teachers to me were disinterested in tutoring students after school. What parents couldn’t teach in general education of topics, teachers instructed, but the teaching tended to be 8 -3 pm with the youth motivated to do other things besides prepare for classes the next day. The teachers I knew were poorly paid, and to them it was a morning to afternoon job. The students, especially at the low-levels would pass class with ease or fail. A lot of students took low-level general classes, and saw school as troubling work to get out of the way and be done with. Things would have been better if teachers took the time to have one on one with low-level students. Many students I believe would have been motivated to take higher-level classes and pursue the value of an education. To me, the teachers lacked incentive, and only did what their job required them on the clock, rather than on a personal (I want you to do better) level between student and teacher.

  36. Wendy Salazar

    As I was scrolling down to the bottom of the page, I couldn’t help but notice the lengthy responses for this topic. However, it is not surprising given that we are all college students and highly value education. Regardless, this topic is of great interest to me and definitely something I have given much thought to. I can not only speak from personal experience since all the schools I attended were in poverty stricken communities, but also as a result of my experience working in several low-performing schools.

    The thought of educational inequity and an achievement gap had never really been a great concern for until high school. It wasn’t until I was preparing to go to college that I started looking at all the discrepancies at times even within the same school district. I attended Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, a school only recognized for its winning football team. All the other associations were negative such as low-performing test scores, high drop-out rates, race wars, and gang violence. Of course, it was no longer shocking to the community especially since the “jungles” were across the street. The “jungles” are an accumulation of projects and section 8 housing which also happens to be home to the Bloods. Due to the proximity, I witnesses numerous lockdowns, drive by shootings, and swat teams walking campus. To many, this may sound crazy, but the truth is that it reality and somewhat normal for students attending inner city high schools in bad neighborhoods. I never really thought much of it until I came to UCI. It was here that I started seeing an unequal distribution of resources in the education system as well as different quality. My dormmates thought I was crazy for never reading The Odyssey and other such classical literature, but instead reading books that incorporated race and ethnicity. Even though we were all UCI college students at the end of the day, our experiences were nothing alike.

    So now that we know there is a problem, what can be done? I do not feel teacher incentives are helping find a solution at all, but rather digging the problem in deeper. Such teachers come for the money and not because they actually want to help the students and the school. At the end of the day, you have a bunch of teachers that give their students busy work rather than challenging them and truly preparing them for college. Some efforts that I do feel are successful are outreach programs/non-profits and mentoring. Such approaches can help even out the gap a bit and provide students with the resources they are not adequately receiving. However, even then, there are many students that don’t take full advantage of such opportunities. If the education system is ever to be equal it will require a joint effort and collaboration from the school, community, parents, and students.

  37. Ai-Thuan Nguyen

    I think there is a huge gap between school achievement in high achievement and low poverty neighborhoods is everything, ranging from role model to lifestyle and resources available to each group. When I went to high school, most of the kids I knew wanted to go to college. It was not for the typical reasons though. The people I knew wanted to go to community college in order to get the financial aid award. They did not know the value of education because money was always missing or important in their lives. Their parents always had money problems and that made them value money more than education. Their vision is limited to the near future because the role models they have are focusing on getting fast money.
    The lifestyle from the kids in poverty and the rich is so huge that it is unimaginable. In my town, everyone drove either Honda Civics,Acura Integras or some old beat up car. That is not an overstatement at all. When I came here, everyone is driving around in their new BMW and all of that. Most likely, when those kids were in high school, they were living the life of a king.
    Living a life of a king can provide many benefits. Private tutors and and private/good schools are a must. Having those things greatly increase the rate of success because the teachers are most likely better and the resources at that school must be crazy good.
    I after-school programs or sports are the best solution. With my own experience, building a strong bond with a group of people that have a common goal towards success will help a lot. Any sort of motivation will help even if it is little.

  38. nirmah salim

    I think that there are many reasons there are such high disparities in school achievement and low or high income neighborhoods. In low income neighborhoods for example, generally speaking both parents work overtime and are often not home, and so students are often not able to get help at home. For example a high school student, whose parents work overtime, often has many other responsibilities and school can’t be a priority. They would have to take care of younger siblings along with a part time job etc. Often even teachers view students from low income families as “incapable” of learning harder material and expectations for those students become much lower.

  39. Gaurav Nihalani

    High poverty neighborhoods can never solve the problem with their schools until the neighborhoods themselves fully change. At the schools there are 2 major problems. The first is that students are disengaged from their education for various reasons: bad teaching, inferiority complexes, gangs/drugs and other distractions. The second is a synergist of the first, bad teaching. To solve both problems the neighborhoods themselves must become better. In order for this to happen there must be a lot of work on the part of the government but the main effort has to come from the residents of the neighborhood. Although the government must provide the communities with massive funding for improving schools, hiring new teachers, cleaning up the streets, and providing successful opportunities within the neighborhood; the bulk of the work is in the hands of the residents. The residents must come together and work to fix these problems within the everyday discourses of the neighborhood which each resident has come to accept as “thats just how it is out here”. This mentality must be changed and only then can progress occur. When so many are involved in gangs in hi poverty areas it becomes quite difficult to mobilize residents towards progress. Also when the economy of these neighborhoods is largely drug related it becomes even harder to weed out the dealers because so many innocent residents depend on the money coming in from their services. Therefore if the government can provide massive funding and the community can collectively change their mentalities about what is possible we can see a change that we desperately need.

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