WHEN POVERTY PERMEATES THE CLASSROOM

TROUBLED SCHOOLS ON TRIAL: FIRST OF SEVEN STORIES

WHEN POVERTY PERMEATES THE CLASSROOM

Struggling to cope with past sexual abuse and a mother who works long hours at a low-wage job, Alex regularly breaks down while at school.

The screaming, crawling and crying of this 5-year-old at North Windham Elementary School – and the arrival of an ambulance when he sometimes begins to hurt himself – are disruptions that make it hard to keep other students focused.

“It’s a continued struggle to survive emotionally,” said Catina Cabán-Owen, the only social worker at her school of 466 students. “This child does not have the support, because the mother cannot provide it.”

Alex, whose name has been changed to protect his privacy, is watched by a neighbor while his mother works. His father is not around.

A student walks by one of the many boarded up houses in an impoverished neighborhood in Hartford on the way to school.

While Alex’s struggle is extreme, his basic story – a student living in poverty who needs help coping with trauma – is common. He is among many students for whom poverty creates or exacerbates obstacles to learning. Read more here. 

The South Isn’t The Reason Schools Are Still Segregated, New York Is

New York City might be a liberal hub, but that doesn’t mean white parents want their children going to school with black kids.

Rebecca KleinRebecca Klein  Editor, HuffPost Education

New York City didn’t experience school desegregation in the 1960s and ‘70s like other metropolitan areas. Unlike in Little Rock, Arkansas, the National Guard was never brought in to make sure black students could safely enter an all-white school. Unlike closer hubs, like Boston, resistance to school desegregation never escalated to a citywide crisis. New York never saw a large-scale integration program, and it was never ordered by courts to make its schools more racially balanced.  In historian Matthew F. Delmont’s new book, Why Busing Failed: Race, Media, and the National Resistance to School Desegregationhe explains how New York City drove the rhetoric and resistance that allowed school desegregation to falter nationwide. In the late 1950s, years before any serious action was taken to desegregate most schools, New York City parents created the language that would lead opposition to racially mixed schools. This language — which emphasizes the importance of neighborhood schools and opposition to citywide busing — remains the weapon of choice for communities who fight integrated schools today.  Read more HERE.